Frequently Asked Questions to Creation 7th day Adventists

This page deals with questions that are sometimes asked of and by Seventh-day Adventists, both online and in person. The answers provided here are very brief, and do not go into all the detail necessary for a full understanding. Whenever possible, therefore, a link is provided to an article that deals with the matter in more detail. This page has two sections: a General list of questions asked by Christians of all kinds, and a page that deals specifically with the differences between CSDAs and Adventists of other types. The initial list on the left side is the CSDA/SDA list, but by clicking “General Questions” at the top of the menu, you can view the other set.

General Questions

1)

What is an Adventist?

A) An Adventist is a Bible believing Christian, briefly told. We believe in salvation by grace, wherein one is justified by faith in the sacrifice of the Son of God. We believe in the continuing validity of the 10 Commandments; and though they are not a “checklist” to see if one is being righteous or not, we hold that the natural condition of the converted person is obedience to the principles outlined in the Decalogue. As such, and in contrast to most Christian groups, we keep the 7th day Sabbath (generally considered to be “Saturday”). We believe in a literal, bodily return of our resurrected Savior, and that the signs of the times indicate a very soon fulfillment of this promise. Adventists in general have been known to place strong emphasis on healthy living, modest dress and Bible study. We believe that Adventism constitutes the remnant Church of Christ, and that the testimony of the prophets continue to this day; specifically, Adventists hold that Ellen G. White was an inspired messenger who contributed much to the formation of SDA doctrines. Some of the major doctrines that differentiate Adventists from most Christian groups, in addition to our observance of the Sabbath day, are: the Sanctuary doctrine (that leads to the idea of the Investigative Judgment), the belief that human beings are unconscious in death, the belief that the “unclean” foods of the Bible remain unhealthy for human consumption, and the avoidance of outward forms of display like jewelry and extravagant clothing. Most of these are covered in more detail as subsequent questions. 2) What does it mean to be “saved?” A) The Scriptures say “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom 10:9, 10) These constitute the two elements that lead to salvation: a belief from the heart that the Son of God died for our sins, and a confession of faith. This confession of faith, while it takes place “with the mouth” is not limited merely to this, but the outward expression is also found in baptism, (Mark 16:16) and in continuing to walk in obedience to the faith one has received. If one truly beliefs from the heart, it will lead to “righteousness,” or good works, as Romans 10:10 says. While the works themselves do not lead to salvation, they result from it, and while most modern Christians are afraid of (or at least averse to) being “judged” by others, the committed Christian can say, with Paul, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” (Acts 23:1) “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1Cor 11:1) Those who can say these things sincerely have experienced the “joy” of true salvation. (Psalm 51:12) 3) What is the Sabbath? A) The 7th day Sabbath is what the Lord calls “my holy day.” (Isa 58:13) It is truly “the Lord’s day” according to Biblical terminology. Contrary to the teachings of many Christian groups, it was not annulled at the Cross, but was in existence before the Decalogue was given to Moses (Gen 2:3, Gen 26:5, Exodus 5:5), and will continue to be kept even after the Day of Judgment. (Isa 66:23) It was kept by the disciples of the Messiah after His death, (Luke 23:56) and even Gentile Christians were encouraged to use it as a day to study and learn of the Scriptures even after the day of Pentecost (Acts 15:21) As such, the last-day Church will truly be distinguished because they have “the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev 14:12) Some of our essays that explain the meaning and enduring nature of the 7th day Sabbath are: Before Sinai, Blessed and Hallowed, and The Five Decalogues. 4) What is the “Investigative Judgment?” A) This doctrine springs from the teaching that the earthly Sanctuary described in the books of Moses was a “pattern” of the true, heavenly Tabernacle that was shown to Moses on mount Sinai. (Exo 25:40, Heb 8:5) John the Revelator saw this Heavenly Tabernacle in vision, (Rev 15:5) and it is in this sacred place that the Savior ministers for us as a High Priest, according to the pattern of the priests in the Old Testament. (Heb 4:14) Now, just as there was a “Day of Atonement” in the Scriptures that indicated a final cleansing of sin for the Jewish religious year, (Lev 23:27) so the Messiah makes a final cleansing for all humanity just before He returns. (Rev 22:11, 12) Of this procedure the apostle Paul wrote, “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.” (1Tim 5:24) Those who do not wish their sins following them to judgment (which would be a very bad thing) have the opportunity now to confess them (opening them up to judgment now) and put them away forever, that they

will be clean when they are called to account for their actions (i.e. the results of their faith), “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2Cor 5:10) The “Investigative Judgment,” therefore, is simply this final act of cleansing that Christ does for us before His second Advent, and during which time the eternal destiny of every man is fixed. This must be the case, for when the Messiah returns, all who are yet alive have been judged already; He says, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev 22:12) An essay that points out the Scriptural basis of the Investigative Judgment may be found here: $10,000 Letter. 5) What are “Faith” and “Grace?” A) These are terms that are not easily defined, and commonly confused. Grace, while some consider to be an irresistible force exuded by the Godhead, is actually (and simply) undeserved favor. Because of grace man, who has sinned, has the opportunity to accept Christ and repent. Because of Grace it is written that, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” (1John 4:19) Nowhere do the Scriptures speak of Grace as a causative power, as some believe it to be, but Ezra clearly defines it this way: “And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in His holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.” (Ezra 9:8) In other words, grace is “a little space,” an opportunity to follow the way of life, despite the fact that of ourselves we cannot seek Yahweh. (Rom 3:11) Though man, of himself, is wholly depraved, grace is the gift we did not deserve, the ability to seek the Almighty, for “by the grace of God [Jesus] should taste death for every man,” (Heb 2:9) thus “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11) and “if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” (Deu 4:29) As the Messiah said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20) Grace is that undeserved ability to respond to the call of the Spirit and the Bride. “‘As I live,’ saith the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.’” (Ezek 33:11) Thus, He has given us grace that we may do just that, turn from our way and live. Now, faith is our response to that gift. By faith we “find” or benefit from, grace; as it is said, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD,” (Gen 6:8) thus it was “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Heb 11:7) If we respond to Yahweh in faith (which is possible – but not forced – only by the fact that He first loves us and gives us the ability to do so), we “find” that grace to be “unto salvation,” and so “we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.” (Rom 5:2)

Again, “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2:8) It is by grace, that is the means, the potential, the environment of salvation. It is through faith, that is the procedure, the response. Faith is the belief that Yahweh has the power to do all He says, and though man in his sinful condition cannot even do this, it is grace that makes it possible, for by the grace of the Almighty, “all things are possible,” (Mark 10:27) and specifically – for those who have faith, “all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23) 6) Do you believe in Predestination? A) That depends on what you mean by the term “Predestination.” The Bible, of course, says that some have been “predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Eph 1:11) The ones who have been predestined for Heaven are called “the very elect.” (Mark 24:24) The only question is... is this selection process arbitrary? Some say it is. Some read the following verse in support of that: “As it is written, ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.’ What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Rom 9:13-16) Those who take this to mean there is an arbitrary (from the human point of view) selection of those to whom God shows mercy have neglected the intent of Romans 9. This chapter is not speaking of salvation, but of the choice of the Almighty of which of the two brothers, Esau and Jacob, would serve Him (Rom 9:12). Both boys had an opportunity to find eternal life, as many other verses say. Yahweh is “not willing that any should perish,” that is to say, He does not “will” anyone to heaven or Hell. The Bible clearly tells us, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom 8:29) A careful reader of the Scriptures will notice that whenever this matter is spoken of, it is typically with limited application. In other words, the author is generally using it as an example of, for instance, why Yahweh chose Israel to be His people, and why they were given benefits while other groups were left out. It is never used of individuals when speaking of salvation (though Esau and Jacob were used as examples of their respective nations). Romans 8:29 speaks of individuals, saying that those who are chosen are those whom Yahweh foreknows. Being all-knowing, of course the Almighty is aware of who will be with Him in eternity – but, He Himself does not “cause” this. Some have a hard time understanding how there can be true freedom, if God is “Sovereign.” One person with whom I spoke told me that if human beings are truly free, this “limits” God, because it takes away from His ability to control all the universe. The truth is, the fact that God can create beings that are truly free is evidence of His limitless power, because all human beings can do is create things that follow orders (sometimes badly). But Yahweh not only created man, He made him “in His image,” (Gen 1:26) and ensured that He would have true, moral responsibility. This is why every

Book of the Bible requires man to make a moral choice. The fact that Yahweh “foreknows” the future does not limit man’s freedom, because He has not revealed His counsel to humanity. We must still choose between life and death. The ultimate proof comes in the words of one of the apostles, for Peter gives us this “ladder to life,” if you will. He writes, “[By God’s divine power] are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” (2Peter 1:4-10) There is a calling; there is an “election of grace;” there is a “predestination” in the limitless wisdom of the Father, but Yahweh does not force anyone either into His Kingdom or into the fires of destruction. Through Christ the Creator “ministers” unto us a way to attain His salvation, (2Pet 4:11) and encourages us, in every book of the Canon, to use our freedom to choose Him. (Josh 24:15) 7) How about “Once Saved Always Saved?” A) Some people believe that “Since salvation is by grace, it must be eternal.” By eternal, however, they mean that it cannot be lost by any means. This idea comes from a misunderstanding of “grace” (see the entry on Grace and Faith), and is closely linked to Predestination (see the entry above). Grace is “undeserved,” but that does not mean it is “compulsory.” Again, the Bible tells us no one can take us out of the hands of Christ, (John 10:29) but that does not mean we won’t “jump” out of His hand on our own. There are subtle, but important differences, in these ideas. The Bible teaches that those who obtain salvation have their names written in the Book of Life. (Exo 32:32, Rev 13:8) Indeed, because Yahweh has foreknowledge, those names are in there “from the foundation of the world.” (Rev 17:8) Yet if one turns away from the salvation he has attained (which the Bible says he can do!) his name is “blotted out” of the Book. (Rev 3:5, Rev 22:19) In the Books of Heaven, there are names, and there are sins. For those who are saved, the sins are blotted out and the names remain. (Acts 3:19) For those who are lost, the names are blotted out and the sins remain. These are the only two options for humans before the Throne of Judgment. The Bible talks about those who truly “believe,” but “in time of temptation fall away.” (Luke 8:13) Hebrews tells us that some fall away from the truth, having once experienced salvation and received the Holy Ghost. (Heb 6:4-6) There is a harmony there with every verse that speaks of this – for though no man can force us to sin, we are nevertheless free

to make moral choices, even if they end in disaster. Salvation is eternal, but it is based upon our acceptance of Christ, and our maintenance of the sanctified life (which is also accomplished through His grace). Those who endure to the end will be saved, (Mat 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13) since the fact that a gift is free does not mean it is always kept. Now, some claim that to take this position is to weaken the power of God. The issue is not the power of God, but the way in which He uses His power. His sovereignty does not make Him a Puppeteer. He does not force anyone into His kingdom against the wishes of one formed in His Image. And neither does taking this position make the Christian hope an uncertain thing. No, we can be CERTAIN we will not fall, because one who is truly converted does NOT commit sin, therefore will not fall away. (1John 3:9) To put it in practical terms, it is not that we CAN not fall, it is that those who endure to the end are possessed of such a character that they WILL not fall. They will not commit known, willful sin, because they are filled with the Spirit of Christ; therefore how can they fail to obtain eternal life? The same verse that corrects the Predestination position can be used to perfect the “Eternal Security” view: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure [i.e. guaranteed]; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” (2Pet 1:10) The guarantee of eternal life, the true “Eternal Security” is that if we know Christ, we will not deliberately sin. He has changed our character so that committing acts of righteousness is now our natural state. For articles on the Victory over Sin, the true Christian assurance of eternal life, see “The Victory” entry under the CSDA/SDA Questions. This was a topic once taught in mainstream Adventism, but has now been relegated only to the Remnant. 8) Who is Ellen G. White? A) Ellen Gould Harmon, who later married James White, was a Methodist Christian who became involved in the teachings of William Miller in the 1800s, when he began to realize that a significant event was about to take place in the timeline of the plan of salvation. Though the Millerites experienced several disappointments due to their various errors, those who continued to study the Scriptures remained together, and eventually became the first members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ellen White began to receive dreams and visions about a number of issues, from health to education, from doctrine to dress. Due to the fact that she wrote many of the things she saw in books and letters, she remains (to this day) the most published woman in American history, and the second-most-published person overall, with only Benjamin Franklin producing more work. This is made all the more remarkable when it is understood that she had very little formal education. Some of her best-known writings include “The Desire of Ages,” an account of the life of Christ that has won acclaim both within and without Adventism, and “The Great Controversy,” which traces the events of the Bible down to the very last days of human history. Her booklet “Steps to Christ” is considered by many groups to be a Christian “classic,” and has shown many people all over the world the simple, loving way to

eternal life through the sacrifice of the Son of God. Today, Adventists believe that she was a modern prophetess, and the principles she set forth in her many books continue to speak to the hearts of believers with inspired language. For an examination of Biblical, and post-Biblical prophecy, see Standing in The Rain. 9) On what authority do you base your beliefs? A) Despite the fact that Adventists believe in the continuing Spirit of prophecy within the latter-day Church, we hold that the Bible, and the Bible alone, is suitable for establishing doctrines. The claims of individual scholars, and the works of our pioneers like Ellen White and others, are held up to scrutiny based upon how well they match the Biblical account. There are no foundational beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that are not anchored firmly in the Word of God. For an article dedicated to the accuracy and consistency of Scripture, one may read the Contradictions in The Bible?” web page. 10) What is your position on the Rapture? A) When most people use the term “Rapture,” they are speaking about a pre-tribulation catching-away of believers. Two of the most common verses used to support this idea are these: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Rev 3:10) Also, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1Cor 15:52 The problem with both of these verses is the matter of the timeline of last day events. The first verse from Revelation is addressing the “Church of Philadelphia,” which was the state of the Church before this current age: Laodicea. It is during this last Church age that the Messiah returns, and so of course those from the previous age have been kept from the hour of temptation... they have died. An article discussing the Church ages may be found here: The Desire of Ages. The verse from 1 Corinthians speaks of the return of Christ, when He comes to gather His believers. The problem with using this to suggest a pre tribulation fulfillment is that the only two passages in the Gospels in which Christ addresses the timeline of His return place this event squarely after the time of trouble. After all, He has told us, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The two passages in which He addresses the events of His return are Matthew 24 (mirrored by Mark 13) and Matthew 13. In Matthew 24 He tells us that after a series of signs, “then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Mat 24:21) It is only after this, after the “tribulation of those days,” (verse 29) that He says, “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (verse 31) In order to have the Messiah’s teaching fit the pre-Tribulation mindset, many have had to

resort to the dubious practice of saying that the “elect” in those days are the Jews who have been converted to Christianity during the time of trouble... a contention that has absolutely no Scriptural basis. The verses that some use to establish this, taken from an atrocious misreading of Daniel 9, are covered in the Tribulation articles provided at the end of this entry. Obviously, however, the “last trump” Paul mentions is the “trumpet” in the Savior’s own teaching... and the trumpet that changes believers and raises the dead takes place after the “tribulation of those days.” It is also found in 1Th 4:16, where it reads that the Messiah will “descend from Heaven with a shout,” not “shouts from Heaven,” as Pre-Tribulation supporters such as LaHaye have arbitrarily re-worded the passage. In books such as “Rapture Under Attack,” that attempts to firmly establish the Pre-Tribulation doctrine from the Bible, a number of verses are actually altered; readers who are not familiar with what the Bible actually says (in even the most liberal translations) can easily be deceived. Mark 13 only confirms this further. The Savior warns the Church – not a last-minute ingathering of pureblooded Hebrews - “And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”(Mark 13:18, 19, 24 – 27) He could not have used more clear language than this to describe the timeline of events in the last days! Finally, the word itself – “tribulation” – tells us much. The word is derived from a mechanism known as the “tribulum,” which is used to separate chaff from wheat! In other words, we may now understand more clearly the Master’s other teaching about the time of the end. “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. He said unto [his servants], ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (Mat 13:24,25, 28-30) First the tares are gathered, and then the wheat is gathered into the barn. The mechanism by which the wheat is separated from the tares is by the working of the spiritual tribulum, the tribulaton of which John the Baptist spoke, “[His] fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Mat 23:12) Of course, this is the only way Peter’s statement makes sense, when he tells the Church – not a last-minute ingathering of pureblooded Hebrews – “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with

fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2Pet 3:10-12) Peter did not separate Christ’s return into two parts: first to gather the believers and then with power to punish the tares. No, like the Savior Himself, he taught that this process would take place at precisely the same time... the wicked would first be bound to destruction by their rejection of the Gospel (during the tribulation!) and then destroyed “with the brightness of His coming;” (2Th 2:8) at that same event the dead would be raised and the righteous living changed. Peter tells the Church to watch for the return of the Master with power. The wheat will be gathered into the Barn. The tribulation is nothing to be feared, it is the greatest evidence to the watching universe that Yahweh saves. The articles that deal with this doctrine are Pathogen, Contagion, Antigen. 11) What about speaking in “Tongues?” A) The Bible records only one use for speaking in tongues, and that is to “glorify God” in languages that the speaker did not initially know. The word “unknown” is sometimes added before the word tongues, but it does not appear in any manuscripts from which the translations spring; in addition, no “secret prayer language” is mentioned anywhere including a much-misunderstood verse in Romans 8. This topic is a delicate one, because many people have had the experience of “speaking in tongues,” and they consider it to be a blessed, holy, and emotional connection with the Almighty. As such, it must be approached gently. These individuals must be gently, lovingly reminded that the Word of God is the true judge of doctrine, not a “spiritual experience,” however moving. The simple fact of the matter is that the purpose of tongue-speaking in the Bible is clearly outlined, and clearly limited to evangelical purpose. Look at the examples of the places where the word “tongues” is used in the Scriptures after the day of Pentecost (when the gift was delivered): “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, ‘Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?’” (Acts 2:5,5,7,8) This was a manifestation of the divine gift, in which the apostles, who could speak very few languages, were miraculously given the ability to communicate with “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, etc.” (Acts 2:9) This is the only type of “tongues” mentioned in the Bible.

Here are the other verses in which tongues are used, some of which are used as “proof texts” by those who contend for a “secret prayer language”: “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6) No translator is mentioned, yet at least one person in the audience (probably Paul who spoke “more languages” than most people – 1Cor 14:18) understood what they were saying. Similarly, in Acts 10:46, the gentile converts were able to speak in a language they had not learned, but again it was recorded that they began to “magnify God,” or to declare His power. If no one understood the speakers in these verses (including the speakers themselves, as some claim) how was it known what these men were saying? Those who maintain that it was a “secret language” being spoken here must invent a translator in the audience; but there is no Scriptural reason for doing so, sine the gift of tongues was defined in clear terms at Pentecost, and no counterexample is ever provided. When Paul is listing the gifts of the Spirit in 1Cor 12:28, he calls this one “diversities of tongues,” meaning “different kinds of languages.” He does not say that it is A tongue given for the purpose of prayer, it is different kinds, used to speak to people from “every nation under heaven.” Again, the definition is anchored in the event recorded at Pentecost. There is no other type mentioned. In one place Paul says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (1Cor 13:1) A quick reading of this verse has led some to conclude “Paul says he speaks with the tongues of men and angels, so one of the many tongues must be an angelic language!” There are two problems with this idea. First, the only two named angels in the Scriptures have Hebrewbased names, and the Bible says that at the time of the Tower of Babel, “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” (Gen 10:5) Before this, when Yahweh and the angels spoke with mankind, it was by means of a single language common to both, and since it was the “Gentiles” who had their language divided, we must conclude that the original language of mankind (and angels) was Semitic in nature. Some may say, “Well, it must mean the language that the angels speak when in Heaven.” Of course, no reason is given as to why there would be two different languages, and additionally, a language that makes a “sound,” (i.e. a vibration of air molecules) would have no purpose in a Spiritual Kingdom. Secondly, the word “though” in 1Cor 13:1 means “even if.” Proof of this comes from merely reading the entire passage. Paul says, in the next two verses, “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (verses 2, 3) Paul did not do/have most of these things. He had the gift of prophecy – but that’s it. He did not understand “all mysteries,” or have “all knowledge.” (1Cor 13:9) He did not have “all faith,” he had the one, “perfect faith.” (Eph 4:5, Phl 3:15) Paul did not bestow “all” his goods to feed the

poor. (1Tim 4:13) History records, in addition, that Paul was executed by beheading under the Roman emperor Nero – he did not give his body to be burned. The conclusion that Paul spoke a “secret language of angels” based on this verse is therefore entirely spurious. The chapter that deals with the gift of tongues in the most detail is 1Corinthians 14. A study of the matter in greater detail than may be presented here can be found in this article: With New Tongues. One final matter that may be mentioned here is another verse that those who contend for a secret language use. It is found here: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rom 8:26) This verse is also examined in the article provided above, but for a brief explanation it should be pointed out that the groanings inspired by the Spirit “cannot be uttered.” They find no utterance, and therefore the syllables that spill out during the experiences of Pentecostals and similar groups cannot be based on this verse. It is not entirely true, however, to say that a kind of speech not known in human language is unknown to Christian history. There IS a type of “tongues” mentioned in the records of the early Church that consisted of a type of speech that would not be interpreted into any known (understandable) form. However, the Church historians and scholars realized that this was not the kind of tongue-speaking mentioned in the Scriptures. It was labeled the “Montanist heresy” after the individual who invented it, and the records record the course of his movement, and their probable end. A description of this history is found here: With New Tongues 2. 12) A “Christian diet?” A) Is there a “Christian diet?” Absolutely. It does not consist of a set, unchangeable list of foods to be eaten on certain days, or at certain times. Rather, it is a diet that follows the principles established in Scripture. The principles are found here: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3John 1:2) Again, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1Cor 10:31) A third, relevant Scripture reads, “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1) The Bible tells us that every man will be judged based on “the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2Cor 5:10) This does not mean that the works are what determines faith! What the apostles understood (and what the world today badly needs to understand) is that works testify to faith. A person who is spiritual will acknowledge that the apostles’ advice is good – and this is not limited only to doctrine, but to health as well. (1Cor 14:37)

While we are to let no man judge us on food, drink, holy days, etc. except for the Body of Christ, (Col 2:16, 17 – properly translated) the Body of Christ (the Church) can judge things correctly! Remember, Paul said that the Church was responsible for judging, disciplining and encouraging right actions in its members. (1Cor 6:3, 5:12; Heb 10:24) The teachings of Christ, as repeated by His servants, let us know what Yahweh would have us do to honor Him with our eating and drinking. And, of course, the instructions we have about food are not for God’s benefit (as if He needed anything) but for ours. The Laws of Clean and Unclean foods are still very profitable guidelines. Some have said, “Christ’s death on the cross now means we can eat bacon.” I recently saw a book in my school’s library entitled (if I recall correctly) “25 Reasons Why Christians Can Eat Pork.” Going through it, I found not one solid argument of the 25. The issue is this: we can perform the physical actions of eating unclean foods; and no bolt of lightning will destroy us if we do. That doesn’t mean we should. For me, eating any significant amount unclean food on purpose would be a “sin” because I have committed myself to following the advice of the apostles, and rendering my body as a “living sacrifice” in the most healthy form I can reasonably manage. The cross is not a direct argument for any kind of dietary practice. Christ’s death did not reduce the level of cholesterol in lobster. No amount of spiritual cleansing (if one wishes to argue it has taken place) makes unclean foods any healthier, and while some contend that Christ’s statements in the Gospels, like Mark 7:19, enable us to eat anything we want, the context suggests otherwise. The Messiah was never asked a “health” question by the Pharisees. They were more concerned with ritual cleanliness than bodily, because every Hebrew in those days knew that swine (for example) was unclean. It would have been utterly ridiculous for the Sadducees to come up to a fellow Jew and say, “Can we eat shrimp?” The idea would simply not have occurred to them. In addition, the apostles did not understand Christ’s words to be referring to food. Years later, Peter still refused to eat unclean meat. (Acts 10:14) The lesson in his vision was that people should not be treated as unclean things, (Acts 10:28,34) but he was certainly right to refuse the food itself! God had never “cleansed” those things; in a vision of the last days, the prophet Isaiah saw a time when people would defile themselves with unhealthy foods. (Isa 66:17) This prophet saw a time after the death of Christ, in which certain meats would be unclean. Similarly, Noah was able to tell the difference between clean and unclean animals before the Law of Moses! (Gen 7:2) Obviously, being “clean” or “unclean” is a nature of the flesh itself, and not the covenant under which one is operating. New Testament believers continue to have an obligation to select the best, most healthy foods for the body and the mind, and the Bible has not left us in ignorance as to what those are. Though we will not earn heaven, or lose heaven, by our works... our works tell others (and we ourselves, if we are alert) what the quality of our faith is. The following article, though it applies more to drink than food, outlines the principles very well: The Blood of Grapes.

13) Why do you avoid alcoholic drinks? A) I have written an extensive article that addresses this topic: The Blood of Grapes There is, however, one extremely significant argument that I have not included in that work, and I include it here as reason “c” below. Adventists believe that it would be sinful to purposely partake of alcoholic beverages, even if it only clouds your judgment “a little.” A part of the reason is, as stated in the explanation for “A Christian Diet,” that we are committed to doing the very best for our bodies and minds. Some have said, “Christians can drink wine, if they don’t do to excess.” They point to places where Yahweh allowed the Israelites to drink strong liquors on certain occasions. They have forgotten three things: a) God allowed some things due to the hardness of peoples’ hearts, much like adultery. (Mark 19:8) Now, there is a more pure way, and a higher standard to which we have the opportunity of rising. (Acts 17:30) b) In the days of Solomon (the most enlightened time of the Israelite Nation) those who were allowed to drink intoxicating beverages were considered “lost causes” as the Proverb points out: “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” (Pro 31:6, 7) c) There were two classes of Israelites that were never, ever to drink wine. The first was the class of kings: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink, lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” (Pro 31:4, 5) The second was the class of priests: “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou [Aaron], nor thy sons [the priests] with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations.” (Lev 10:9) Again, “Neither shall any priest drink wine when they enter into the inner court.” (Ezek 44:21) We are told more than once: “[Christ] hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:6, see Rev 5:10) Peter calls Christians, “a royal priesthood,” (2Pet 2:9) repeating the idea. Specifically, we are told that we are priests of the “inner court,” for it is written: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest [place] by the blood of Jesus, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb 10:19,22) This “Holiest” is the place described as being “through the veil,” (verse 20) and therefore corresponds to the most sacred part of the Inner Court. If Christians are, therefore, both “kings and priests” of the most holy place, with Christ as our High Priest, (Heb 7:26) how can any deny that we must have pure and perfect judgment to perform our duties as ambassadors for Heaven? For any conscientious

Christian, this should settle the matter entirely. For those who want the full story, with a complete examination of the doctrinal evidence that reinforces this conclusion, see the article named above. 14) Another denomination? A) The Seventh-day Adventist movement is not merely “another denomination.” It is, yes, “denominated” by the name “Adventist,” but the differences between this group and those in Evangelical Christianity are wider than the average dispute between some minor issue. SDAs hold that the Law of God is unchangeable, particularly those engraved in the tablets of the Decalogue. This speaks to the character of the God we worship, and is vastly different from the beliefs of those who think that the Son came to do away with the Law of the Father. Other beliefs, such as the state of the dead, and the nature of hell, contribute in significant ways to the picture we have of the Father and Son, and as the Scriptures tell us, “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Knowledge of the character of God is an essential element of the Christian experience, and therefore the various man-made interpretations of the Bible as it relates to the Commandments, to the nature of hell, to the nature of man’s soul... all these are too important to be glossed over under the heading of “unity.” It is true, the Body of Christ is not divided... there must be unity before there can be success. At the same time, we cannot unite under error! There is a name for this practice: apostasy. Seventh-day Adventists hold some very distinct, very clearly Biblical doctrines, and these cannot be compromised without making hypocrites of those who claim to hold them. Thus, we have found it necessary to “come out” from among those whose beliefs dishonor our knowledge of God, and to gather together under the banner of Christ. Now, even within Seventh Day Adventism there are divisions. We know, however, that Christ is returning for a unified, holy and happy people. The Creation Seventh Day Adventists, therefore, believe we are the remnant of those who hold the original beliefs of Adventism, and Christian integrity demands that we preach the truth as we understand it. We warn others against the misleading influence of the various false teachers, priests and prophets speaking from the pulpits of Christendom in these last days. For the specifics of Creation Seventh Day Adventism, see the relevant FAQ section here: CSDA/SDA Questions. 15) What about works of healing? A) As followers of the Messiah, we are certainly told: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) Miracles have always been a part of the Christian experience, and even in this day, when faith is rare and the “love of many” has waxed cold, (Mat 24:12) we have evidence of the power of the Almighty with us.

Some have said that miraculous acts of healing are no more, because Paul wrote: “Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1Cor 13:8) The claim is that “Charity,” or Christian love, endures even though these spiritual gifts have departed the earthly plane. However, Paul was not saying anything of the sort! There have always been prophets in the Church of Christ, and will be even in the last days. (Rev 12:17, 19:10) Daniel tells us that knowledge, rather than vanishing away, will “increase” in the last days. (Dan 12:4) Paul was pointing out the superiority of Love over the more obvious gifts of the Spirit; and “even if” they should depart, Charity would remain. As in most spiritual things, there is a ditch on either side of the road. While some say that miracles are no longer a part of the Church’s experience, others go too far and almost seem to say that a Christian’s walk is defined by the quality of the miracles he or she experiences. The Messiah told us, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) We are not known to be Spirit-filled Christians by the prophecies we can utter or understand. If we lay hands on people and they recover, it does not mean we teach the truth about the Almighty. If we speak in Tongues, it is not conclusive evidence of the Holy Spirit – in fact, Paul told those who believed this that they were in error. (1Cor 12:30; 14:18, 19) Miracles are the result of faith; they are not intended to cause faith. To know whether or not one is in the true Body of Christ, one must go “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa 8:20) This is the only Biblical test of orthodoxy. If they agree with (but not necessarily do every detail of) the Law of Moses, and if they agree with the testimony of the prophets sent by the Father and Son, then they are speaking the truth. Even Satan can perform miracles, (Rev 13:13) and of healing not the least. Works of healing are a part of the Christian experience, but not every experience that includes works of healing is Christian. 16) What about makeup and jewelry? A) Peter writes to Christian women, saying of their adornment, that “it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1Pet 3:3,4) Admittedly, some groups have taken this too far. Peter is not saying that all “plaiting” of the hair is wrong, but in his day prostitutes would plait golden chains into their hair as a mark of profession. They would also often wear little golden anklets (these are common today) to advertise their job. The principle, however, should be clear: it is not about the outward appearance, but what is inside counts. In truth, for Adventists it is a bit stronger than that. We read the experience of the early Israelites. Yahweh said to them, “‘I will not go up in the midst of thee, for thou art a

stiffnecked people; lest I consume thee in the way.’ And when the people heard these evil tidings they mourned, and no man did put on him his ornaments. For Yahweh had said unto Moses, ‘Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.’ And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.” (Exo 33:3-6) Regardless of what the people then thought (or what the people today think) the Creator knew and knows that external ornamentation is a distraction to the pure, Christian life. In the Day of Atonement, the Israelites would “afflict themselves,” considering the occasion far too important to be involved with outward show. (Lev 16:29) Seventh Day Adventists know that the Day of Atonement pointed forward to the time of final cleansing for humanity before the return of Christ (see the entry on “The Investigative Judgment”) and therefore maintain that same mind of soul-searching and preparation to meet the Messiah. We have accepted Yahweh’s judgment that ornaments, make up, and the like are distractions, and have rejected such things in favor of putting the (sometimes considerable) money toward more suitable goals. Finally, the Bible tells Christians, “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you.” (1Cor 6:19) If we are indeed representations in the flesh of the holy Temple, we gain much by examining the various Scriptures that describe this sacred building. Search the Bible; it will be found that much gold went into its construction, but every shekel was inside the building, and outwardly it was a plain, but dignified edifice. Christians are to be neat, and to dress and carry themselves in an attractive manner. However, contrary to the values of our secular, perverse society, “attractive” does not always mean “adorned,” and it certainly does not mean “covered with colored powder and various pastes.” 17) What happens when we die? A) One of the doctrines that distinguish Seventh-day Adventist groups from other forms of Christianity is that we follow a literal, exact reading of the Scriptures in regard to the state of the dead. The Bible teaches us that when a human being dies, he or she returns to the constituent elements. Specifically: “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psa 146:4) This is not the only Scripture to point this out. We are told also, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Ecc 9:10) King Hezekiah said, “For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.” (Isaiah 38:18, 19) All this adds up to a very clear teaching: there is no consciousness in death.

Now, there are some Scriptures that appear to suggest otherwise. For example, the book of 1 Samuel describes an occasion in which the “ghost” of the prophet Samuel was brought up to discourage Saul – an event that led to his suicide. There are some things, however, that most people do not realize about that passage. First, although the writer of Samuel (not Samuel himself, obviously) calls the apparition “Samuel” this is told from Saul’s point of view, and Saul never actually saw the spirit. He concluded it was his prophetic mentor from the description of the medium, (1Sam 28:13, 14) and the account goes along with his description. When the Chronicler describes the account, he tells the reader exactly what happened that night from an objective, historical standpoint. “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against Yahweh, [even] against the word of Yahweh, which he kept not, and also for asking [counsel] of [one that had] a familiar spirit, to enquire [of it]; and enquired not of Yahweh: therefore He slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.” (1Chronicles 10:14, 15) Notice that several words are in [brackets]; this means they were added by translators, and not a part of the Hebrew text. What this verse really says is this: “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against Yahweh, against the word of Yahweh which he kept not; and also for asking of a familiar spirit, to enquire; and enquired not of Yahweh: therefore He slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.” (1Chronicles 10:14, 15) The Hebrew word owb does not mean “a person who consults with a familiar spirit,” but the demonic entity itself – armed with this knowledge, we see that the account in Samuel and Chronicles is entirely consistent with the teachings of David, Solomon, and Hezekiah as recorded by Isaiah the prophet. Indeed, all the Bible is consistent on this point. Some verses from the New Testament are sometimes advanced in an effort to support the idea that people are conscious in death – generally, no explanation is offered as to why Solomon (the wisest king to ever live) David (a man after God’s own heart) did not believe this doctrine. In any event, here are the verses: “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23:43) Some claim that this means the thief on the cross would be in Heaven with the Messiah that very day. This is obviously not the case, if a few other verses are taken into account. First, we must establish that Paradise is not a “waiting room” for Heaven. Some, realizing that Luke 23:43, when read at face value, is inconsistent with sound Biblical doctrine, attempt to say that the Savior did not mean “Heaven,” but some other place. They realize they have to do this, because three days later Christ said He had not ascended to His Father! (John 20:17) The word Paradise only occurs three times in the Bible, and every time, it means Heaven. In addition to Luke 23, we find it here: Paul said he knew one who was “caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2Corinthians 12:4) Two verses earlier, Paul tells us that he was, in fact “caught up to the third Heaven.” (verse 2) The first Heaven is the atmosphere where birds fly. (Gen 1:20)

The second Heaven is beyond this, where the stars, sun and moon may be found. (Gen 1:14, 15) The “third Heaven” is therefore “The Kingdom of Heaven,” of which the Messiah so often spoke. Paradise, according to Paul, is Heaven. Further confirmation comes from the third place where Paradise is found: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: ‘To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.’” (Rev 2:7) The Tree of Life is currently in New Jerusalem – in Heaven. (Rev 22:2) The way to deal with Luke 23 is very simple. First, if Solomon was correct (and SDAs give him the benefit of that doubt) that “the dead know not anything,” then as soon as the thief on the cross died, his next conscious thought would indeed be an awareness of his heavenly surroundings. Of course, this thief did not die that day – his legs were broken at sunset, () so as attractive as this idea is, it is not enough. (John 19:31-33) What this does, however, is prove that “To day thou shalt be with me in Paradise” does not mean what many take it to mean, or it would have been a false prophecy. What it means is that we must take a look at Greek grammar... which contains no punctuation marks. What we must read it to say, then, the only way we can make it harmonize with John 19, is “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with me in Paradise.’” (verse 43) Not only is this allowed by the grammar, it is demanded by the context, and the additional evidence of John 19 that the thief did not die that day. Even if we forget about the state of the dead issue, simple harmonization issues among the Gospels prove the validity of this way of reading the verse. The other major verse used to support the “consciousness in death” idea is Paul’s statement: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2Corinthians 5:6) All we have to do here is ask what Paul meant by “absent from the body.” He uses this expression a number of times (e.g. 1Cor 5:3) and it does not mean “dead.” What he means here is that we cannot see the Almighty in this body, but in fact it must be “changed.” (1Cor 15:52) As long as we are present in this body, we are absent from the Lord, but Paul did not desire to die but rather to “meet the lord in the air.” (1Th 4:17) In fact, He says, “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. “ (2Cor 5:4) In Paul’s analogy, to be dead was to be “unclothed,” not in this body. He wanted to be translated directly without seeing death. Now, to the Philippians he did say “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Phl 1:23, 24) This is the point at which the knowledge we gained from studying the thief on the cross comes in handy. Paul said that departing meant to be “with Christ, which is far better.” But when did he expect to be with Christ? Immediately after dying? Yes, from his point of view, but from an objective standpoint, he knew it would not be until the resurrection of the dead, which occurs at the Messiah’s return. He says so himself: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2Th 4:8)

The Bible tells us there is no reward or punishment until the day of Judgment. It is entirely inconsistent and unBiblical to claim that there is an immediate judgment of those who die, and then a judgment of all together to determine where they go! The Bible says “death” (a word translated “hell” in the O.T.) is a place of “silence,” and it is a place where both the righteous (Gen 37:35) and the wicked go. (Psalm 9:17) It is really just the “grave” and only of the Day of Judgment do we read this: “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and [then!] they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev 20:13-15) The punishment does not occur in “hell” according to Biblical language, but in the lake of fire after those in hell (both the righteous and the unjust) are judged. Finally, some will say that the Messiah teaches about consciousness in death by the story in Luke 16. This chapter describes a man named Lazarus who dies and goes to a reward; it also describes a rich man who dies and goes to “hell” and is tormented in fire. First of all, this was a parable. Some have said, “Luke 16 is not a parable, because a name is used – Lazarus.” I have yet to find the precedent they claim for this “rule.” Names were used in parables. (Numbers 23:7, Numbers 24:3) In addition, we are told that Christ did not speak to crowds of people “without a parable.” (Mat 23:34, Mark 4:34) It was only when He was with His disciples that He spoke “plainly,” (John 16:29) but before the mixed audience of commoners, Pharisees and religious leaders, the Scriptures say He only spoke in parables. That is conclusive. There are some who are uncomfortable with the idea that Christ would use a theoretical situation to teach a spiritual truth. Yet He did. He said, “a grain of mustard seed [...] is the least of all seeds.” (Mat 13:31, 32) This is not biologically true; it is apparently some form of orchid. Again, He said that the tree that sprouts from the mustard seed is the largest of all trees – this is also not biologically true. Yet, He did not deceive anyone; the mustard seed was probably the smallest seed with which His listeners were familiar, and so He made His point – which is the entire purpose of parables. In the book of Judges, a parable is given that includes talking trees – yet it is in the Bible because, by definitive usage, a parable is not intended to convey accurate information about the circumstances of the lesson is is attempting to teach. (Judges 9:8-20) That is also conclusive. A couple articles that I have written, dealing with these issues, are found here: Dust to Dust, The World of The Dead. 18) Eternal hell? A) As with the state of the dead, Seventh-day Adventists go with the literal definition of hell that the Bible gives. It is a place where all who die go; it is “the grave,” the state of unconsciousness in which all await the Day of Judgment. (Gen 37:35, Psalm 9:17) The real question most mean when they ask this is, “Do the wicked suffer forever in the Lake of Fire?” Though often confused with Hell, the Lake of Fire is the true punishment of the wicked, (Rev 20:15) and when the Messiah taught us about it He called it Gehenna. (Mat

5:22, 5:30; Mark 9:47, Luke 12:5) The problem is that Gehenna is also translated into English as “Hell,” forever confusing the issue in the minds of many readers. If we leave out the opinions of translators (which are not always objective), we find a much clearer, much more consistent, picture emerging. All who die to go the same place. In Hebrew it is called She’ol or Dumah, (Job 11:8, Psa 94:17) in Greek it is called Hades. (Acts 2:27) At the first resurrection, the righteous come up to eternal life, (Rev 20:6) but “the rest of the dead” come up in the second resurrection, for their names are not found in the Book of Life. (Rev 20:5, 15) The question now becomes, “Does the Lake of Fire burn forever?” Most Christian groups would answer the foregoing question, “Yes,” and they appear (at first glance) to have strong Scriptural support for it – IF they leave out a few very important Scriptures. First of all, in order to even suggest that the righteous live forever in Heaven, while the wicked burn forever in Hell, we would have to accept that human beings have an immortal soul. The Bible says that this is not true. The souls of human beings can die. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezek 18:4b) “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mat 10:28) It is true that when a man dies his “spirit” returns to God, (Ecc 12:7) but the word “spirit” in that solitary verse means “breath,” or, idiomatically “life.” The person’s life is over, and his breath returns to God who first breathed it into Adam, our first father. (Gen 2:7) It is not the conscious part of man (commonly called the “soul” these days), for the man’s consciousness departs at death (see the entry above about the state of the dead). In addition to that, the Bible says that only Christ has immortality. (1Timothy 6:16) This entirely rules out the idea that there is conscious punishment for the wicked that lasts eternally. They won’t be alive that long – their souls die. Some say, “The Lake of Fire is called ‘the second death,’ and so though they are conscious, it is not really life.” That is a clever attempt, but if it is truly the second “death,” then what we know about “death” from the Bible applies. The prophets tell us that the Lake of Fire goes out when its work is done. People are misled by imperfect translations, for though the fire is indeed called “everlasting fire,” (Mat 18:8, 25:41) the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was also called “eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7) The words “everlasting” and “eternal” are both aionios in Greek. Though we read that the fire of destruction “never shall be quenched,” (Mark 9:43) Jeremiah warned the Israelites that Jerusalem would be destroyed by fire that “none can quench.” (Jer 4:4, 21:12) Again, he says it “shall not be quenched.” (Jer 7:20, 17:27) Though the fire shall not be “quenched,” (i.e. put out) it will go out naturally when it has accomplished its work of destruction, as with Sodom and Gomorrah. The prophets tell us, as I mentioned before, that this fire will destroy all sin, and purify the world – yes, the Lake of Fire exists on this world, while the saints are safe in the City of God. (Rev 20:9)

After this purification, we can read in unmistakable language: “‘For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up,’ saith Yahweh of hosts, ‘that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this,’ saith Yahweh of hosts.” (Mal 4:1, 3) But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of Yahweh shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” (Psalm 37:20) “Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.” (Isa 57:14) This is hardly an exhaustive list... there are a great number that all say the very same thing. The singular verses that can really be used to try to counter the idea that the actual suffering (and not just the punishment) lasts forever are these two: “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Rev 14:11) The first verse, of course, speaks of the “smoke” of their torment ascending forever and ever. It does not say the torment lasts that long. In fact, the image of ascending smoke in the Bible is consistently used as a “memorial.” (Lev 2:2, 9, 16, etc.) Since the memory of the punishment of the wicked will indeed last forever and ever, the prophet says “What do ye imagine against Yahweh? He will make an utter end; affliction shall not rise up the second time.” (Nahum 1:9) There will indeed be an “utter end” of sin, not a continual burning, and it will not rise up again in the renewed, clean universe. In the second verse, first note that no humans are mentioned. Satan is there, as well as the “beast” and “false prophet,” which are not individual beings, but governmental systems according to the language of Revelation. The matter of Revelation’s symbols is a longer study than this space allows, but an article on this may soon follow. In any event, Satan is cast into this pit where the systems will be forever held in contempt, but Satan himself eventually is destroyed by the Lake of Fire also. About this, the Bible is clear and explicit. “Thou art the anointed Cherub that covereth; [but] thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.” (Ezek 28:14a, 28) The words of Christ are easily shown to be in harmony with this. The second death is indeed eternal. The destruction, the punishment, is indeed eternal. The suffering that leads to that punishment, that second death, is not. Notice the wording carefully, “And these [wicked] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Mat 25:46) The punishment is indeed everlasting, for there will be no return from the fires that destroy their bodies and souls.

Ironically, one of the most clear verses that demonstrate the true nature of the final destruction is the most quoted of all the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) The word “perish” there, describing the fate those who do not receive eternal life, is the term apollumi, which means precisely this: “to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin, to vanish away entirely.” Strong’s Concordance adds an additional, spurious meaning: “metaph. to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell.” Notice the word “metaph.” meaning that it is added only because it was believed John 3:16 spoke of this, not because it is a true meaning of the word! This is a case of back-translating into the language what one believes a word should mean, and has nothing to do with the language that John the Beloved actually employed. A couple essays that deal with this topic may be read here: Ashes to Ashes, Former Things are Passed Away. 19) How old is the world? A) While an exact figure would be hard to compute, based upon the data we are given, the world is a little over 6,000 years in age. This is often a matter of some ridicule to those who have accepted the flawed interpretation of data provided by many branches of science, but there are a number of researchers (some with a relatively high degree of prominence) who are beginning to realize that while their evidence is correct (that which they observe), their interpretation of that evidence is subject to some review. This is of great consequence to Christianity, not merely because of the integrity of the Old Testament record, but also because of New Testament theology. To claim that the earth is “millions of hears old” is to propose an ecology in which death, disease and suffering existed before Adam’s sin. Adam, who was given dominion over the world, traded away this inheritance for a life of transgression, and Christ’s death on the cross reversed that transaction. (1Cor 15:45) If death existed before sin, then the wages of sin is not death. The Bible would therefore be entirely wrong, (Rom 6:23) and no consistent theology could be maintained. The Cross, by canceling sin, would not result in eternal life for the believer; and worse the Messiah, who Created all things, would have spoken words revealing ignorance about the details of His own creation. The Savior accepted the testimony of Scripture as factual, (Mat 10:6, John 5:46) and so do we. The reasons for doing so are not merely theological in nature, but scientific and rational as well. An article that deals with the Scriptural basis of the “young earth” doctrine are found here: Why” Creation,” and there are a number of websites that deal with the scientific basis of the Bible’s statements. One of the better sites is Answers In Genesis. While Adventists would not agree with much of the theology presented by this group, the studies done in the fields of natural science are of value to the believer.

20) What are angels? A) The Bible states that they are “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” (Heb 1:14) Angels are spiritual beings that were created before mankind, (Job 38:7) and have powers and abilities that exceed that of physical beings. (2Th 1:7, 2Chron 32:21) Angels protect human beings from both spiritual and physical attacks, (Psa 91:11) although not all of their original number remained faithful (see the entry below on “demons”). Although there is no one place in the Bible that gives us a full picture of these “ministering spirits,” enough information is provided throughout the course of the Canon that we may construct a reasonable body of information: 1) Angels are not mere “robots.” Though the faithful ones are fully obedient, they are intelligent, morally responsible creatures capable of making choices. (Job 4:18, Dan 10:11-13) 2) Although angels generally appear in male bodies when they manifest themselves to human beings, (Gen 18:2) there have been occasions when divine beings have taken the form of women. (Zech 5:9) 3) They are organized into defined ranks: Seraphim (Isa 6:2, 3) -- Cherubim (Ezek 10:15) -- Ophanim (Ezek 10:9 – translated “wheels” in the KJV) -- Ikari’im, Ko’achim and Malakim (Translated as “Principalities,” “Powers,” and “Angels” from the Greek terms Archae, Dunamis, and Aggalos in Romans 8:38) -- Dominions (from the Greek Kuriotes in Colossians 1:16). 4) The have distinct jobs. Some are assigned to guard men. (Psa 91:11, Mat 18:10) Some reveal the will of the Almighty to human beings. (Luke 1:19) Some perform the service of “priests” in the Heavenly Sanctuary. (Rev 8:3) Some have charge over the elements of the earth. (Rev 14:18, Rev 16:5) Some are sent to execute judgment. (1Ch 21:15) A more full description of the nature and qualities of these beings may be found in the last three chapters of my book Traces of Creation. 21) Who is Michael the Archangel? A) An additional characteristic of angels that may be added to the above list (aside from the obvious fact that they are created beings) is this: angels do not receive worship. If offered adoration, they will refuse to accept it. We read that when John the Beloved fell to his knees in awe of the being that showed him the visions, his guide said, “See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book; worship God.” (Rev 22:9) Angels know well enough that a created being is neither equipped nor entitled to receive worship. They have with them always the memories of Lucifer of whom it is written: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” (Ezek 28:17)

Yet despite this, we read of a mysterious Being in the Scriptures, exclusively in Old Testament times (this is significant) who receives worship, though He maintains a distinction from Yahweh the Father. He is called, in various places, “The Angel of Yahweh,” (Gen 22:11) “the Captain of the Yahweh’s Host,” (Josh 5:15) the “Angel which Redeem[s],” (Gen 48:16) and Yahweh Himself, though separate from Yahweh the Father. (Gen 19:24, Zech 3:2, Jude 1:9 – quoting an earlier work) These all point clearly to the fact that this “Angel” is no mere creation. In the Joshua 5 passage, we find that not only is He called “Captain of Yahweh’s Host,” but that He also received worship from Israel’s leader. (verses 14, 15) In the encounter with Abraham, this Angel spoke for – and as – Elohim: “And the Angel of Yahweh called unto him out of heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham,’ and he said, ‘Here am I.’ And He said, ‘Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” (Gen 22:11, 12) Though described as an Angel, this Being was one of the Godhead, both receiving worship and speaking as “God.” Furthermore, since Isaac the patriarch describes Him as “The Angel which redeemed me from all evil,” we can be sure that in fact this refers to the second Person of the Godhead, for “when the fulness of the time was come, Yah sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4, 5) That the Son of Yahweh appears as both a man and an angel is no new doctrine, but both manifestations are recorded in the Scriptures. With what manner of being did Jacob wrestle before meeting with his brother Esau? Depending on who you ask, he wrestled with “a man,” (Gen 32:24) “the angel,” (Hos 12:4) and God under the pluralistic name Elohim. (Gen 32:30) Now, we are not certain how clearly the Old Testament saints understood the significance of the name Yahshua, which the Son would adopt as His incarnation. (Mat 1:21) In spite of this, we find the name “Michael” appearing in some interesting places of the Bible. The Bible says, “there is none like unto Yahweh our Almighty.” (Exodus 8:10) The reason is given by Yahweh Himself: “I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another. How should my name be polluted?” (Isa 42:8, 11b) There is none “like” Yahweh, because none can bear the glory of His Name. Now, with that in mind, let the reader understand that there is a Being, described as an Angel, of which it is said, “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.” (Exo 23:20, 21) I have deliberately left the capitalization as it exists in the KJV, to demonstrate that the translators also understood this to be an Angel (capital “A”) and not merely a creature. Furthermore, though the Bible distinctly says there is none “like” Yahweh the Almighty, the very name Michael means, “One Who is Like God.” Some, realizing what this name would mean, have sought to turn the name into a question, and a challenge, “Who is like God?” There is no reason given in the text or context for such a change. Additional evidence for the association of Michael with the “Angel of The Lord,” and thus with the

second Person of the Godhead, is copious. In the Joshua verse, the “Angel” who received worship from the prophet was called “Captain of Yahweh’s Host.” In the Book of Revelation we read that the angels were indeed placed under a Captain: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon.” (Rev 12:7) Daniel was told that Michael would “stand up,” (i.e. mediate) for his people in the end times. (Dan 12:1) In the end times, Daniel’s “people” are not merely Jews after the flesh, but the true Israel in Spirit, which is a distinct Body containing Gentiles also. (1Cor 10:18, Eph 2:11-17) Essentially, Daniel’s people in the end times are all the Redeemed men. If Michael “stands up” for these people, we may find new light in such verses as describe Christ as the “one Mediator between God and men.” (1Tim 2:5) In fact, when the Messiah returns, he is described as coming “with the voice of the Archangel.” (1Th 4:16) Michael is the only named archangel in Scripture, (Jude 1:9) although admittedly not the only being who bears that title. In Daniel He is called one of the “Chief Princes,” which corresponds to “Arch Angel;” even so, Christ is “one” of mankind through His incarnation, though distinct from all men. That He is one of a group bearing similar titles is not evidence against His unique characteristics. We find, then, an Angel in the Scriptures responsible for the redemption of men, who receives worship, and who commands the angels of Yahweh. His name is Michael, and we note with interest that after Christ was born in the flesh, we never hear about Michael again until Revelation, when John looks back to the time of Lucifer’s Rebellion. From Matthew 1 onward, with the singular exception of Daniel 8 and 9 – Gabriel becomes the link between humanity and the divine, filling a gap left mysteriously absent by the departure of Michael from the Heavenly Courts. Those who realize where the Scriptural evidence leads, however, find no mystery in this at all. Additional information about Michael may be found in the “Introductory Essays” for the book The Empyrean War. 22) What are demons? A) The Scriptures tell us that when one of the angels, identified by the names Lucifer, Satan, the Dragon, or simply “the Devil,” fell away, “his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.” (Rev 12:4) By this we understand that a third of the original number of divine servants were swept away in rebellion, and as the Scriptures say, “there was war in heaven; Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev 12:7-9) This event is decribed in various ways throughout Scripture. In Job we read, “Behold, He put no trust in His servants; and His angels He charged with folly.” (Job 4:18) In the New Testament it is said, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment [...] The

Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished.” (2Pet 2:4, 9) We read here of a separation made between the “angels that sinned,” and those who did not, just as there are two classes of humans: the “godly” who will be delivered out of temptations, and the “unjust who will be punished on the Day of Judgment. An important side note – the phrase “cast them down to hell” is a single word “tartaroo,” which means “cast downward.” This corresponds to the other verses like Rev 12:4 that says that they were cast “to the earth,” and Jude’s statement that they are “in everlasting chains under darkness,” (Jude 1:6) kept from wandering the heavens by their confinement to this sinful location in space. Though demons are fallen, they have not lost much of their power and intelligence they enjoyed in their “first estate.” They continue to be “subtle” enemies, (2Cor 11:3) against whom we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pet 5:8) Due to their rebellion against Yahweh, demons seek to justify man in his fallen, sinful state that they too may escape judgment. Since “there is no respect of persons with God,” if the Almighty is made to spare a single sinner in the Day of Judgment, the demons would claim a right to continued existence. This is why Yahweh, though merciful, must also be just for the sake of the continued peace of the created universe. Thus it is written, “Yahweh is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and [but] by no means clearing the guilty.” (Num 14:18) From the day Satan induced human beings to fall, he and his angels have sought to encourage men in their iniquity (Mark 1:13) and at the same time to find ways to preserve them in that state: in the beginning, they sought to have humans eat the fruits of both the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (a symbol of rebellion) and the Tree of Life (a symbol of everlasting life). Had this been done, there would have been immortal sinners, (Gen 3:22) and an eternity of misery for the creation. (Rom 8:22) In the very last days, Lucifer will attempt to get his followers to storm the New Jerusalem and (not coincidentally) within those walls are kept the very object of their obsession – not merely the Throne of Yahweh, (Rev 21:3) but also the very Tree of Life. (Rev 20:7-9; 22:2,14) For more on the nature and actions of demons, the reader may see the following articles: Traces of Creation (Chapter 7B: Angelology 102), Exorcism, Araphel. A more full picture of demons, and a Christian reaction to their presence and power, may be found in the book Tehom-At: Demonic History & The Rites of Exorcism.

CSDA/SDA Questions

1)

What is a Creation Seventh Day Adventist?

A) We are Bible believing Christians who hold the basic and original pillars of Adventism to be true. We believe in salvation by the grace of Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), which is grasped by faith. We believe in the continuing validity of the 10 Commandments, and keep them as they are worded in the Scripture. We believe in the soon return of our Lord, and the judgments of both the dead and the living that precede this great event. We believe that Ellen White was an inspired author; we hold her writings to be a gift of the Spirit, and thus apt for use in reinforcing doctrine – however, we teach (as did she) that any churchwide doctrine must be provable from the Bible, and the Bible only. We differ from mainstream Adventism (that which under the General Conference Corporation) in a few key areas: a) We believe in complete victory over all known sin. We affirm, in the words of John the Apostle, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” (1 John 5:18) A number of articles have been written on this subject: The Victory, The Two Pauls, A Study of 1 John, Victory Objections, Creation vs. Evolution. b) We are non-Trinitarian. While we hold to the complete divinity and Godhood of both Father and Son, we believe (as was uniformly held in primitive Adventism) that the Holy Spirit is not a third co-equal, co-eternal Entity of the Godhead, but rather the third person by virtue of being the life and presence of Christ (2 Cor 3:17). Ellen White wrote extensively on this topic in her life, and Trinitarian Adventists have commonly held to the idea that she came to embrace this view some time very late in her ministry... after she had ceased writing about the topic. Abundant evidence exists to the contrary: Adventist Pioneers on the Trinity Doctrine, and of course the Bible is the foundation of our position: Where Two or Three are Gathered. c) We are feast keepers. The Scriptures teach that not only the Sabbath, but also the monthly and annual feasts have a purpose beyond the Cross. We believe that the Feasts were designed as teaching tools for the people of Yah, to educate them about spiritual matters in a tangible way, and that these tools continue to have great value. It is only when type meets antitype that the physical observance of an occasion may cease, (1Cor 5:7) and some festal occasions, such as the Feast of Tabernacles and the New Moons, continue to be “a shadow of things to come.” Thus they should be kept by all Christians for their benefit, as Paul explains in Colossians 2 when this passage is rightly understood: Overview of The Feasts. d) We believe in the separation of Church and State. This is a most controversial point. While mainstream Adventism is also opposed to the union of Church and state on paper, when it comes to their practices outside observers have noted that the denomination has

the appearance of a lamb, but speaks like a dragon. In enacting a Trademark Law with the United States government, which Adventists concede is the second beast of Revelation, the leaders of the church have begun to use civil power to enforce ecclesiastical authority in violation of every relevant Scripture and a vast array of quotations from Ellen White’s pen. Creation Seventh Day Adventists consider this to be a work of great hypocrisy, and stand apart from our erring brethren in heartsick protest: The Five Towers, The 8th Note, Appearing To Fall, Fill Up The Measure. Other, more minor, differences can easily be discerned from the wording and tenor of the above articles, and from a sincere examination of our web pages. 2) What is the true Sabbath? A) Like all faithful Seventh Day Adventists, CSDAs believe that the 10 commandments, while given to Israel via Moses in a tangible form during the journey from Egypt, were well known to faithful humans from the beginning of the Creation: Before Sinai. Yet, while we keep the 7th day holy as specified in the commandment (Luke 23:56), we realize that the letter by itself kills, and the Spirit brings life. Those who crucified the Messiah were also Sabbathkeepers, and therefore if the 7th day does not lead one to a complete trust in the love and protection of Christ (on both an individual and a corporate level), the true Sabbath has not yet been experienced (Heb 4:4-11): The Sabbath Rest Principle, The Sabbath Rest Principle2, The Sabbath Rest Principle3 3) Yahweh? Yahshua? A) These are the names of the Father and Son respectively. In most English Scriptures, whenever the word LORD or GOD appears in full capitalization, it is the name “YHWH,” which is generally pronounced Yahweh or YAH for short. Names like “God,” and “Lord,” while not considered sinful, are merely titles for Him, and not the name by which He wishes to be known among His people. (Psa 68:4) This is not a point of contention between ourselves and other Christian groups, but CSDAs consider it a great privilege and blessing to speak of our Creator by name. (Gen 4:26) In similar fashion, the name “Jesus” cannot be properly pronounced in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek even today, since there is no native “J” sound in any of these languages, and names do not translate – they transliterate. As a Hebrew child, the Savior was given the Hebrew name Yahshua, which means “Yah is Salvation,” and we are now able to understand this passage more clearly: “thou shalt call his name YAHSHUA [Yah is Salvation]; for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Again, this is not a dogmatic position; yet just as the Father and Son know their people by name, so the reverse is also true. The Name

4) How can you be sure of the CSDA message? A) Depending on who asks this question, we give different answers. To a non-Adventist we say, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12) We also add that we keep the commandments in both the letter (the 10 commandments) and the Spirit (love for Yahweh and our neighbor as ourselves). While most Christian groups claim this distinction, we find that except for this Church, they fall short in either the letter (by failing to keep the 7th day holy, for example) or the Spirit. They may fail to keep the Spirit either by claiming that we can be “saved” and yet continue to knowingly sin, or they may be involved in a governmental union that a true spirit of rest (the 4th commandment) would entirely forbid. As an organized Church (1Cor 14:40, Eph 4:11) therefore, the CSDA movement is unique. We also believe that the Remnant of Yah’s people will be gathered into one Body before the Son of Man returns, and we teach that a) we are that Body, and b) this Gathering has begun. (1 Cor 1:10, Eph 4:5, Mat 13:30, John 17:20 – 23) To a member of an Adventist group we would say this, “When the doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from defilement, bears fruit unto holiness, we may know that it is the truth of God.” [Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, page 146, paragraph 3] Because we have a living testimony, and we can say without pride or selfdeception, “I do not commit known sin, I do always those things that please my Father in Heaven,” we know we have the very testimony of Christ who lives in us by His Holy Spirit. We therefore know that we will stand any test of doctrine or character. This is the power once held by the prophets of old, the apostles in the days of the early Church, the reformers down through the ages, mainstream Adventists before their leaders joined arms with the kings of the earth, and that is now held by the Remnant through the continuing Spirit of Prophecy and the Faith of Yahshua. The Bride Reborn, Christian Unity. 5) What is the New Moon? A) According to the Scriptures, the New Moon (also called “the first day of the month” in some places) is a sacred time. On the New Moons, like 7th day Sabbaths, no work was done (Ezek 46:1). Similarly, like a 7th day Sabbath, no buying or selling was to be undertaken. (Amos 8:5 – 7) There has been some speculation as to exactly when the New Moon is to be considered. Is it when the moon is fully dark, or when the first crescent appears? Those who understand the spiritual significance of the occasion need not be misled, however. The New Moon represents our lives without the “sun of Righteousness.” Christ is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1:9) Once a month, when the moon is fully dark, we are reminded of our humble station: dead bodies reflecting the glorious brilliance of our Redeemer. In terms of our continuing observance of this occasion, we point Adventists to this verse: “And it shall come to pass, that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahweh.” (Isa 66:23) SDAs know well that this is the only Old Testament Scripture that points out the continuing

validity of the Sabbath in New Testament times with such clear language. Yet in some mainstream SDA publications, the verse is paraphrased, “And it shall come to pass, that [...] from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Where did the New Moon go? Adventists hold that it was nailed to the Cross, like Biblical feasts... the very thing that Sundaykeeping Christians contend happened to the 7th day Sabbath! Yet in Isa 66 and Col 2:16, the two best verses for showing the eternal nature of the weekly Sabbath, the New Moon appears with it. The Church, as the Bride of Christ, is a true Woman in the spiritual sense; she has a “cleansing” according to the time of the moon. On New Moons the Family of Yah gather as a people to rest “apart from the world.” We have our communion service at this time, and reaffirm our unity and express our love for one another as fellow children of the Almighty who have been saved from our own dark tendencies and sinful pasts. Details on this may be found here: The Cycle of The Moon, and transcripts of our online studies for these days can be read here. 6) What is Corporate Accountability, and why is it important? A) Corporate Accountability is the well-established Biblical principle that, particularly in spiritual things, the laity are responsible as a group (i.e. corporately) for the actions of their leaders. This may seem “unfair” at first glance, until you realize that we choose those to whom we wish to submit. The family of Korah, Dathan and Abiram submitted to their spiritual headship, and because of the sin of a few, many were destroyed – except for those who deliberately separated. (Num 16:25 – 35) By way of contrast Noah, because of his faith, saved his entire family, though Ham in particular was not a spiritually pure man. (Gen 7:1, 9:22 – 25) The prophet speaks to us in no uncertain terms: “The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” (Isa 9:15, 16) The protest has been made that “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deu 24:16) What those who take this position do not realize is that this Scripture does not nullify the many examples of the other verses! To remain under the headship of a sinful leader is an individual sin, and ignorance only pleads for the guilty up to a certain point, for Yah says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hos 4:6a) To neglect knowledge about the truth of one’s spiritual condition, fellowship and leadership is a great sin, and none need suffer the penalty of this neglect. Now, why is this important to the Gospel? It is particularly important for Adventists to understand, because CSDAs point out that the General Conference Corporation (the legal and spiritual “head” of the SDA Church in their own documents) has joined with the world in spiritual adultery by enacting a Trademark Law (see the entry above). In doing so, every faithful Adventist became responsible for the persecution of innocent Christians

when those who wished to a) remain Adventists and b) dissent from the Conference’s false teachings and worldly methods of advancement were dragged before civil courts for their beliefs. One of the most striking examples of this teaching in the Bible occurs in the New Testament just after the death of Christ. Although only the “chief priests and scribes” (the legal and spiritual “head” of the Jewish Church in their own documents and traditions) had the Messiah put to death, the Apostle Peter told every attentive Hebrew, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that Yahweh hath made that same Yahshua, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) When the faithful Jews heard this, they neither pled ignorance nor argued with the plain truth of the matter... they knew that they had become guilty of the blood of Christ by the actions of their leaders. They knew the Scriptures and the relevant principles better than most do today. They said, with aching hearts, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “ Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua the Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:37, 38) Today, the Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church merely repeats this tried-and-true message to the members of a church in which, like the Jewish Nation, the actions of a few have caused the tragic guilt of many. 7) Why not change your name? A) The question is often asked of us: “If you know you may be sued by the General Conference for continuing to call yourselves “Adventists” despite the law they have made with the government, why not just change your name and avoid the trouble? Are you just trying to draw attention to yourselves and cause confusion?” The less polite will phrase it in other terms: “Haven’t you made an idol of the name ‘Adventist?’ After all, it is the faith that is important, no matter what you call it.” While those who claim it is the “faith” and not the “name” that is important make a good point, the truth is... our “faith” forbids us from worshipping idols. How does this apply? We see the actions of the General Conference in much the same way the three Hebrew youths saw Nebuchadnezzar’s construction of a golden image. (Dan 3) One standing by may well have asked the youths, “Why not just bow to the statue? We know that you worship the God of Heaven, and you don’t really believe the statute is a god... but why not just do what the law says and avoid the trouble?” The matter is this: If we change our Church’s name because a human law says we must, we would acknowledge that men have the authority to legislate religious observances. Adventists believe that Yahweh Himself gave us that name, and He has given us no instruction to alter it. In fact, as we view Ellen White’s writings as inspired, we can reinforce this belief with her words: “As to the name Seventh-day Adventists: I was shown in regard to the remnant people of God taking a name. . . . No name which we can take will be appropriate but that which accords with our profession and expresses our faith and marks us a peculiar people. The name Seventh-day Adventist is a standing

rebuke to the Protestant world. . . . The name Seventh-day Adventist carries the true features of our faith in front, and will convict the inquiring mind.” [The Early Years Volume 1, p.438] “We are Seventh-day Adventists. Are we ashamed of our name? We answer, ‘No, no! We are not. It is the name the Lord has given us. It points out the truth that is to be the test of the churches.’” [Selected Messages, Book 2, 384] Most significantly: “A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner or sign which makes us a distinctive people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed it was not the best policy in securing success to our institutions. This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the close of probation.” [Selected Messages 2, p. 385] As we believe Yah intends for us to have this name, the question of the title “Adventist” becomes an inherently religious matter. Whether it be the Sabbath itself, or our name (SDA), we cannot surrender to human forces anything that sets us apart as the people of God... this would be idolatry. We can do not other than this in good conscience, and we rest in the assurance that Christ will protect His people; we are not concerned with what man may do to us. “The God of my rock; in Him will I trust: He is my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my high Tower, and my Refuge, my Saviour; thou savest me from violence.” (2Sam 22:3) 8) Can you be sure about the dates you use? A) All the dates in the lunar calendar, by which we reckon the time for our feasts, begin at a single point. If we can determine the date of the religious New Year in the Hebrew calendar, we can extrapolate all the other times from there. For example, the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the 15th day of the first month, the Feast of Tabernacles begins the 15th day of the 7th month, etc. The first thing to keep in mind is that a month in the Hebrew calendar always begins with a New Moon (see the entry on New Moons above). By the time of Christ, it was established that the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox determined the new year, and therefore Passover would occur 14 days after that point (on or about the time of the full moon). Evidence for this exists in the records of the early Church, and is set forth during a discussion of the well-known “Quartodeciman Controversy.” This arose when the Roman authorities over the early church proposed changing the times for the celebration of Christian events (see the article on Feasts above); yet those who were faithful to Apostolic tradition wished to continue observing the appointed times in accordance with what they had learned. Going with the practices that were common in the Church before Roman interference, it is easily seen that once we fix the time of the new year, the other dates may be quickly calculated based on the relevant Scriptures. (Lev 23:5 – 44; Acts 18:21, 20:6) a) Times and days: The objection is often raised, “Galatians 4:10 and 11 shows us that Paul criticized converts for observing Jewish festivals, saying, ‘Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in

vain.’ Also, the Bible teaches, ‘One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.’ (Rom 14:5) How do you justify keeping the annual feasts in light of these statements?” This is a good question, yet the answer is simply found and easily understood. To respond to the quote from Galatians, it is necessary only to read the two verses that comes before those statements. The full thought runs therefore as follows: “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of [i.e. for] you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” (Gal 4:8 – 11) Now it should become clear. Paul is not talking about the “days... and times” appointed by Yahweh, but the festivals in honor of the pagan gods that were rampant in the society of his day. The appointed times of Yah are not in honor of “them which ... are no gods,” or having to do with a worship of nature or the elements. But perhaps the most clear argument that Galatians 4 is talking about heathen feasts and not sacred times comes from the fact that Paul was a feastkeeper himself. (see Acts 18:21 again) He was not such a hypocrite to command converts not to observe the Biblical feasts while at the same time saying “I must by all means” keep them himself. Similarly, Romans 14 speaks about days for fasting or individual devotional meetings. Just like the matter of avoiding meats that might have been offered to idols, this was not a matter of Church doctrine, but individual choice. Of the food issue Paul writes: “For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.” (Rom 14:2, 3) There were two issues going on here: days for special observance, and eating food that may have been offered to idols.(see also 1Cor 8:10 – 13) None of these passages have to do with the appointed times of Yah (and no evidence in the passage even hints at this) for, as we pointed out, Paul both observed these occasions and encouraged others to imitate him in his manner of life and worship. (1Cor 11:1) To claim that the apostle to the Gentiles is saying in Romans 14 that these events do not matter would be to impose an artificial contradiction on the Word of God. A final note: regarding Paul’s statement “let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind,” that applies in a very special way here. Although Yahweh once commanded His people to appear before Him for feasts, (Exo 23:17, Deu 16:16) He quickly gave provisions for the hardness of their hearts. (Deu 14:24) Christ, who kept every point of the Law, did not feel compelled to attend every feast either. (John 7:8 – although He did go later on in verse 10) Our position on the matter is that the feasts are a great blessing, and many important issues are discussed which are beneficial to conversion and evangelism. But then again, the most simple reason of all may be the best: if we are all of one family, what prevents us from having the same mind Paul did when he said, “I must by all means keep this feast,” and gathering with our brothers and sisters?

9) What did EGW say about the Victory? A) Briefly: much. The most important thing to remember when reading Mrs. White’s writings on the victory over sin is that she, like the Bible, places a line of distinction between deliberate (willful) sin and sins committed in ignorance or innocence. (Num 15:27 – 30, Lev 5:5) To make an error in judgment is not the same as to deliberately trangress a known commandment of Yahweh. Some quotes that point this out include: “We are all sinful, and of ourselves are unable to do the words of Christ. But God has made provision whereby the condemned sinner may be freed from spot and stain. ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ But while Christ saves the sinner, he does not do away with the law which condemns the sinner. It is the work of redemption to exalt that law, and Christ’s great sacrifice was made in order that man might be a doer of that law.” [The Signs of the Times, September 24] Many stop at the phrase, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,” but never let their hearts proceed to the next few words, “and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” More pointed quotations point out the great error of doing so: “While God can be just, and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicing known sins, or neglecting known duties.” [The Faith I Live By, page 115, paragraph 4 – emphasis added] “Your only safety is in coming to Christ, and ceasing from sin this very moment. The sweet voice of mercy is sounding in your ears today, but who can tell if it will sound tomorrow.” [ST August 29, 1892] Perhaps the most clear expression of Mrs. White’s mind on this matter is found here, as it leaves no room for controversy: “The principles of righteousness must be implanted in the soul. The faith must grasp the power of Jesus Christ, else there is no safety. Licentious practices are getting to be as common as in the days before the flood. Not one should be buried with Christ by baptism unless they are critically examined whether they have ceased to sin, whether they have fixed moral principles, whether they know what sin is, whether they have moral defilement which God abhors. Find out by close questioning if these persons are really ceasing to sin, if with David they can say, I hate sin with a perfect hatred. My burden is that ministers of the gospel shall preach the truth as to what constitutes true conversion. They are not to lead down into the water souls who are not converted. The church is becoming composed of men and women who have never realized how sinful sin is.” [Manuscript Releases Volume Six, page 165] While this is a broad topic, and the writings of Ellen White are prolific, these few quotes serve as an outline for all else she wrote. There is not one place in which she attributed known sins to converted individuals... and she would often tell individuals in willful sin (even members of the Church who had been baptized by the careless ministers she mentioned in MS6) that they needed to be “converted.” Though the Biblical heroes in the past often erred and fell into transgression we are warned, “Infidels and lovers of sin

excuse their crimes by citing the wickedness of men to whom God gave authority in olden times. They argue that since these holy men yielded to temptation and committed sins, it should excite no wonder that they too are guilty of wrong-doing. More than this, they even intimate that they are not so bad, after all, since such illustrious examples of iniquity are placed before them.” [Testimonies for the Church Volume Four, page 11, par 2 & 3 – emphasis added] The grace of Christ has now been fully revealed, and now the faith and holy lives that were once held in part by the men of the Old Testament are “made perfect” in the followers of the Messiah. (Heb 11:40) Just like the Bible (Phl 3:12), Ellen White pointed out that none can claim to be completely without sin (for we are temptable, and have things to learn until Christ returns) – “Those who claim to be without sin, give evidence that they are far from holy.” [The Spirit of Prophecy Volume Four, page 302] Yet just like the Bible (Phl 3:15, 16 – speaking of what we have already attained), we can claim to be completely without known sins and transgression – “All who claim to be Sabbath-keeping Adventists, and yet continue in sin, are liars in God’s sight. Their sinful course is counterworking the work of God. They are leading others into sin.” [Manuscript Releases Volume Nineteen, page 177, paragraph 1] Especially for those who believe we will see Yahshua return with our own eyes, we have a higher standard than those who did not pass into Heaven without seeing death, such as David and even Moses – we have the standard of Christ Himself before us, and His grace is sufficient for us to accomplish this task. 10) What is the 1888 Message? A) The 1888 message was known as “Righteousness by Faith,” and proposed by two Adventist pioneers E.J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones. Simply put, if we have the “faith of Jesus,” (Rev 14:12) we will perform His works on the earth. Paul writes, “[the Father hath made [the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2Cor 5:21) When we have the faith of Yahshua, that being both faith in Him and the faith He Himself possessed, this becomes true for us: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12) Unfortunately for mainstream Adventism, the leaders of the church rejected this teaching, of which Mrs. White said, “The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders [E.J.] Waggoner and [A. T.] Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.” [Last Day Events, page 200] She wrote of this rejection both by implication (i.e. the message was to bring the truth home), and explicitly: “Elders Jones and Waggoner presented precious light to the people, but prejudice and unbelief, jealousy and evil-surmising barred the door of their hearts that nothing from this source should find entrance to their hearts.” [Letter 14,

1889] “The Lord has been appealing to His people in warnings, in reproofs, in counsels; but their ears have been deaf to the words of Jesus. Some have said, ‘If this message that Brother A. T. Jones has been giving to the church is the truth, why is it that Brother Smith and Brother Butler have not received it, and have not united with him in heralding it? These good intelligent men would surely know if this was the message of truth.’” [The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, page 417, paragraph 1] While some today claim that the Adventist church accepted the message of Righteousness by Faith after this initial rejection, the current condition of SDA doctrines speaks loudly to the contrary. Adventist theologians point to their fundamental beliefs, which state that Christ died for our sins, and that we may be justified by faith in Him – yet the 1888 message was more clear, more explicit, more powerful than this alone. The message of Righteousness by Faith is that those who have genuine faith reflect the righteousness of Christ always, not merely sometimes. They obey the Commandments in letter and Spirit unceasingly, as Christ did. Current SDA theology teaches that even a converted Christian may occasionally fall into known sin, but that he/she may “improve” over time. This is different from the Christian idea of “growth,” which is always from “young” to “mature,” not from “bad” to “good.” The idea that Christians can get better at performing good works they already know to be good is termed “spiritual evolution,” and A.T. Jones, one of the pioneers who presented the message in 1888, is eloquent on his own behalf against this compromised and fatally flawed doctrine: Creation vs. Evolution. 11) What did EGW say about Church/State unions? A) As with the Victory over known sins, Mrs. White had much to say about this topic. Now it should be stated clearly that the government, in and of itself, is not a wicked thing. Some governments may be wicked, and some may be more righteous, but the institution as a principle is in line with Scriptural teachings. (1Pet 2:13 – 17) Appealing to the government for defense if one is wronged is not necessarily a bad thing, for the government’s purpose is to maintain order. (Acts 25:11) Where the line of distinction must be drawn is in two chief areas: a) The government has no authority to legislate religious observances at the request of an ecclesiastical institution. The apostles clearly taught that if the Word of Yah is in conflict with a law of man, the Word of Yah takes precedence. “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’” (Acts 5:29) Mrs. White teaches us much the same: “To punish those who were supposed to be evildoers, the church has had recourse to the civil power. Those who differed from the established doctrines have been imprisoned, put to torture and death, at the instigation of men who claimed to be acting under the sanction of Christ. But it is the spirit of Satan, not the Spirit of Christ, that inspires such acts. This is Satan’s own method of bringing the world under his dominion. God has been misrepresented through the church by this way of dealing with those supposed to be heretics.” [Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 74]

“During the course of His trial Jesus said, ‘If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.’ It is only when Christians mistakenly come to believe that Christ’s kingdom is of this world that they resort to force in defending what they take to be its interests. [SDA Bible Commentary, Vol.5, p. 527] “The ‘image to the beast’ represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. [Great Controversy, p. 445] We see that the last great enemy of Christianity will come about because a Church seeks to impose its will upon dissenters using the aid of civil government – and there is no greater evil than this described in the Scriptures, or no greater punishment outlined for those who not only initiate this action, but participate in it even passively. (Rev 14:9 – 11) b) Neither an individual Christian nor a Church claiming to be a Christian organization has the right to bring lawsuits upon others for civil disputes. This is true particularly in regard to other Christians, but the Bible’s teachings on this matter apply to all men, whom we are to love as ourselves. It is written, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” (1Cor 6:1, 5 – 8) Mrs. White reinforces this teaching: “When troubles arise in the church we should not go for help to lawyers not of our faith. God does not desire us to open church difficulties before those who do not fear Him. He would not have us depend for help on those who do not obey His requirements. Those who trust in such counselors show that they have not faith in God. By their lack of faith the Lord is greatly dishonored, and their course works great injury to themselves. In appealing to unbelievers to settle difficulties in the church they are biting and devouring one another, to be “consumed one of another” (Gal. 5:15). These men cast aside the counsel God has given, and do the very things He has bidden them not to do. They show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and in heaven their names are registered as one with unbelievers. Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame.” [Selected Messages Book 3, page 299] “God will deal with the unworthy church member who defrauds his brother or the cause of God; the Christian need not contend for his rights. God will deal with the one who violates these rights. ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.’ Romans 12:19. An account is kept of all these matters, and for all the Lord declares that He will avenge. He will bring every work into judgment.” [Selected Messages Book 3, page 300, paragraph 1] “The world and unconverted church members are in sympathy. Some when God reproves them for wanting their own way, make the world their confidence, and bring church matters before the world for decision. Then there is collision and strife, and Christ is

crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Those church members who appeal to the courts of the world show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and their names are registered in heaven as one with unbelievers. How eagerly the world seizes the statements of those who betray sacred trusts!” [Selected Messages Book 3, page 302, paragraph 3 ] “This action, of appealing to human courts, never before entered into by Seventh-day Adventists, has now been done. God has permitted this that you who have been deceived may understand what power is controlling those who have had entrusted to them great responsibilities. Where are God’s sentinels? Where are the men who will stand shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, with the truth, present truth for this time, in possession of the heart?” [Manuscript 64, 1898.] “I call upon you in the name of Christ to withdraw the suit that you have begun and never bring another into court [...] I tell you solemnly that if you take the action which you now purpose to take, you will never recover from the result of it.” [Selected Messages Book 3, page 304, paragraphs 1-2] “With the other priests [Caiaphas] instructed the people to choose Barabbas instead of Christ. They cried out for the crucifixion of Christ and, as representatives of the Jewish nation, placed themselves under the Roman jurisdiction, which they despised, by saying, “We have no king but Caesar.” When they said this, they unchurched themselves. [Manuscript Releases Volume Twelve, page 388, paragraph 1] “Christ is, therefore, the Protector and Defender of His Churches; but whenever the Church allows some one else to protect and rule over her she acts just as a woman who leaves her husband and seeks protection of some other man. In a union of the Church and State the Church becomes married as it were, to the State.” [Letter 51a, 1898] This is but a small fraction of the writings Mrs. White penned regarding Christians (and Churches) involved in lawsuits over civil and religious matters. The Church in general realized that these things were not to be done by Christians in general, and in fact once taught (though the mainstream Adventist Church has lost sight of this truth): “I need not undertake to give a definition in detail of what the image of the beast is; we all know well that it is the church power using the government, the civil power, for church purposes... And of all Christians, Seventh-day Adventists cannot do it. The very keeping of the sabbath forbids it.” [General Conference Bulletin 1895, page 28] More may be read here: The Sabbath Rest Principle3, The Mark and The Seal. 12) Who are the 144,000? A) The Bible tells us: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev 14:1,4,5) From these verses we see that the 144,000 possess four main characteristics. a) They have their

Father’s name in their foreheads, b) they are not defiled with women, c) they follow the Lamb (Christ) perfectly, and d) they are without fault before the Throne of Yahweh. It is easiest to look at these four characteristics starting with the last two. Characteristics (c) and (d) are really two ways of saying the same thing. Christ taught, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be; if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:26) Those who follow Christ are honored by the Father, and will be found without “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” (Eph 5:27) Similarly, for those who serve Christ wholeheartedly, death will have no power over them; if they live a life of unbroken victory they need never see the grave. It is written, “the wages of sin is death,” (Rom 6:23) yet these are “without fault before the Throne.” In the 144,000 the words of Christ are literally fulfilled, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:26a) Like Enoch and Elijah, these faithful humans will pass into the heavens, being “clothed upon” rather than being “unclothed” in death at the return of Yahshua. (2Cor 5:4) It is therefore to these Paul refers when he says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Th 4:17) a) The 144,000 have the Father’s name in their foreheads. If you look at a parallel passage in Revelation 7 you find these words written, “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.’ And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev 7:2 – 4) It is apparent, therefore, that having the Father’s name in one’s forehead is the same as being “sealed” as the angel here describes it. So what is this “Sealing?” Ellen White describes it in this way, “There is a spirit of desperation, of war and bloodshed, and that spirit will increase until the very close of time. Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads -- it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved -- just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already; the judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming.” [Manuscript Releases Volume One, page 249] The Sealing, briefly explained, is a full conversion; it is a living testimony of a life free from known sin, and one that “cannot be moved” from its convictions of right and wrong. Yahweh seeks men such as these, who will triumph gloriously in the time of Jacob’s trouble. b) The 144,000 are not defiled with women. What does this mean? It is also significant that it says in Revelation 7, “there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” These two ideas are connected.

Yahweh has ever referred to His faithful people collectively as His “Bride.” (Jer 3:14, Ezek 16:8, 2Cor 11:2) We read a parable in the Old Testament as follows: “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, ‘We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.’” (Isa 4:1) Now, to understand this parable it is necessary to realize that in Biblical symbolism “apparel” or clothing is used to represent righteousness (Zech 3:3-5, Rev 3:18) “Bread” represents fellowship, closeness or intimacy. (Psa 41:9, Acts 2:42) We read that to eat the “bread of idleness” means to be idle, (Pro 31:27) and the “bread of adversity” signifies troubled times. (Isa 30:20) What we see in Isaiah 4, applying the passage prophetically, is a time when many “women” will approach the man (Christ, the Bridegroom) and say, “Let us have our own doctrines, and fellowship, and righteousness, but let us be called by your name.” A Church that is fragmented is the sign of a Church in crisis. Just as the Hebrew religious system reached its lowest point, during which they rejected and crucified the Messiah, they were fragmented into various sects such as the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essenes, the Zealots, and so on. It was during this time of confusion that the Savior appeared and drew His followers from these various denominations and made them His own. It was not until the worshippers of the true Creator were assembled as one that the Holy Spirit was sent and the Gospel could begin to go around the world. (Acts 2:1 – 4) In the last days, the same thing has taken place. The churches of Christendom are fragmented; they are broken along doctrinal lines, personal dispositions, and opinions on every point of belief. It is confusion or, as the Bible terms it, “Babylon.” Yet out of these confused and disharmonious bodies (and the House of Adventism is no exception), the Remnant is being drawn. The 144,000 will “come out from among them,” (2Cor 6:17) from the confusion that has resulted from pride, unbelief and personal prejudices in the forerunners of their various sects, and they will be united with the last work of reformation. The apostle Paul looked forward to such a day, (1Cor 1:10) and as the Scripture cannot be broken... this “ideal” will become a reality among those who perfectly reflect the meekness, humility and power of the Redeemer. Adventists know well enough that the New Testament Church composes the “Israel” of prophecy (see the entry on Israel in the “General Questions” page); but who are the twelve tribes? While we do not yet know the nature of each individual tribe, we believe that the initial members will be drawn from within the various sects of Adventism. Certainly, Gentiles may be “grafted in” (Rom 11:17) as they have ever been, but it is in the doctrines and oracles of the SDA movement that the last work of reformation will find its root. We read another parable: “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace and said unto them, ‘Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.’ And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did

likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, ‘Why stand ye here all the day idle?’ They say unto him, ‘Because no man hath hired us.’ He saith unto them, ‘Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.’ So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, ‘Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.’” (Mat 20:1 – 8) Ellen White tells us, “The man in the parable is represented as going out at different hours to engage workmen. Those who are hired at the earliest hours agree to work for a stated sum; those hired later leave their wages to the discretion of the householder [...] The householder’s dealing with the workers in his vineyard represents God’s dealing with the human family [...] The Jews had been first called into the Lord’s vineyard, and because of this they were proud and self-righteous. Their long years of service they regarded as entitling them to receive a larger reward than others. Nothing was more exasperating to them than an intimation that the Gentiles were to be admitted to equal privileges with themselves in the things of God.” [Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 396, 400] If it is established that the Jewish Nation was the set of workers called first, we need only trace the course of Christian history to determine the dispensation from which the 144,000 will be drawn. We may derive the following table: Workers Church Early Morning–Jewish Third Hour–Apostolic Sixth Hour–Reformation Ninth Hour–Adventist Eleventh Hour –144,000 As we can see from the parable, and as illustrated in greater detail in the article The Five Towers, the Adventist movement would fall under the 9th hour workers, and not the 11th – the last set. By the way, if there are 6 working days in the week (since the Sabbath is a day of rest), that amounts to 6 x 24 = 144 hours. The 144,000 are the 1000 (multitude) that labor in earth’s “last hour” of warning. The Twelve Tribes will be composed of these faithful workers. 13) Another SDA Church? Some have insisted that they (and we) must stick with the General Conference’s Seventhday Adventist Church because they feel it is the only SDA organization allowed to exist with God’s blessing. A common quote from Ellen White used to support this position is: “The Lord has declared that the history of the past shall be rehearsed as we enter upon the closing work. Every truth that He has given for these last days is to be proclaimed to the world. Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened. We cannot now [in 1905] step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now [in 1905] enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth.” [Selected Messages Vol. 2, p. 390.]

Yet Mrs. White explains the context of this statement a year earlier: “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 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. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power [such as protecting their corporate wealth with a trademark], which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.” [Selected Messages Vol. 1, pp. 204, 205] In every point listed, we find the General Conference’s organization guilty of such practices. We find therefore that it is the Conference that has established a “new” Adventist Church. The CSDAs merely continue to hold those original doctrines (e.g., the non-trinitarian view of the Godhead and the separation of Church and State) which have been cast along the wayside in the interest of “reformation” and “progress.”

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