The Sabbath and Death as a Sleep. Two very important issues.

Not withstanding the emphasis on intercession in our articles here, upon which most Christians would be in agreement, this website differs from mainstream Seventh-day Adventism on one main doctrinal issue. It also differs from mainstream Protestantism on one main doctrinal issue.

The first one as it applies to Seventh-day Adventists is the Sabbath. It was providential that this church was raised up in the mid nineteenth century and directed to the fourth commandment – the Sabbath. Two very important reasons.

  1. It was at this time that the theory of evolution was taking root in the academic world. This has done much to undermine faith in the Bible. The Sabbath commandment upholds the story of a literal 6 day creation by the Creator. (Exodus 20:11) It upholds the belief in a ‘young earth’ not a ‘chemical reaction’ spanning billions of years and mere chance. The creation story embodied in the Sabbath commandment is laughed at by modern man but is what the world needs at this time.
  2. The second important reason was that this church was raised up to declare the fact that Christ’s Second Coming is imminent. That the hour of his judgement is come. (Rev.14:7) This has a lot to do with the fourth commandment – the Sabbath. But not in a way that has been traditionally taught. The article “A Message for Sabbath Keepers” addresses this. There is much more at stake here than going to church on Saturday instead of Sunday. Paul speaks clearly of this time. So we conclude that there is still a full and complete “rest” waiting for believers to experience. As we enter into God’s faith-rest life we cease from our own works, just as God celebrates his finished works and rests in them. Heb.4:9,10 The Passion Translation

So how do we differ on the Sabbath? The Sabbath is important but not in a legal sense. Paul’s advice is appropriate here. ….one person regards a certain day as more sacred than another, and another person regards them all alike. There is nothing wrong with having different personal convictions about such matters. Rom.14:5  The Passion Translation

Bible passages such as this should not be side stepped to fit in with some preconceived doctrinal tenet. I also use modern translations of the Bible because I believe God has given them for a clearer understanding of His inimitable truths.

Let’s be honest here. Most Christians go to church on Sunday as they say we are no longer under law but under grace and we keep Sunday as it is the day on which our Lord rose from the dead. Some Christians such as Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists keep Saturday. The words of Paul to Titus are appropriate here:

But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Titus 3:9 NKJV

Even in the Old Testament the Sabbath has a deeper meaning than simply an institution that has to be adhered to. Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. Eze.20:12

The Sabbath day was always a sign of our redemption and is recognised as such in the New Testament. Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] as festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ. Col.2:16,17 Amplified Bible This is Scripture in its beauty and simplicity to be believed and lived by. Just as it was given as a memorial of Christ’s original work of creation so in the New Testament it stands as the memorial of Christ’s finished work of redemption. Looking at the Sabbath as a legal institution proving them to be “commandment keepers” has left Seventh-day Adventists in a state of spiritual uncertainty. It was meant to teach greater lessons than trying to be good. The law lay dead in the tomb with Jesus on the Sabbath. It was about to herald the glorious resurrection morning. ….But now, we’ve been resurrected out of that “realm of death” never to return, for we are forever alive and forgiven of all our sins! He cancelled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all – our sins, our stained soul – he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved! Everything we once were in Adam has been placed upon his cross and nailed permanently there as a public display of cancellation. Col.2:13,14 The Passion Translation This new walk with Christ appears to be an everyday experience.

The keeping of the Sabbath, in reality, is demanding a much deeper level of surrender than has normally been kept by the church. It is showing the way of the true Sabbath rest that Paul talks about in the fourth chapter of Hebrews. So we conclude that there is still a full and complete “rest” waiting for believers to experience. As we enter into God’s faith-rest life we cease from our own works, just as God celebrates his finished works and rests in them. Heb.4:9,10 Passion Translation

It’s easy to perform an outward show of ‘doing’ or ‘not doing’ thinking that makes us “commandment keepers” but asking for a deeper commitment which has been described as “absolute surrender” is not on the popularity list of most preachers.

In the New Testament sin is portrayed as not abiding in Jesus. (Read the gospel of John chapters 15 and 16.)

In making the Sabbath a point of law Seventh-day Adventists have become the tail rather than the head in Christian endeavour. To this day they wrangle over points of theology. Meanwhile God has used their protestant brethren to proclaim the gospel with great power right throughout the world. Most of the great books written on surrender, prayer and intercession have been written by non Adventist authors.

The Sabbath is emblematic of the law of sin and death. (….ministration of death, written and engraven in stones…. 2 Cor.3:7) It is in the very heart of that law and cannot be separated from it. This is the law that is meant for one purpose – to reveal God’s anger towards sin. (…the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient … 1 Tim.1:9) It is for those who walk in rebellion against God. Not for those who willingly submit to Jesus Christ. To those who submit to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour the law has no more dominion over them. It’s been nailed to the cross. (…took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross… Col.2:14The Sabbath, wrongly presented as a point of law which will make us “commandment keepers” has kept generations in a state of bondage. This belief leads to futility, despair, and worse,  Pharisaism. We are not to wallow in legalism. The Sabbath, correctly understood, is important and was always a part of God’s plan for His people in the last days. It is not a point of law. That has been nailed to the cross. It is a sign of the complete rest we have in Christ through total surrender. That is what God is looking for in his people. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest. (Heb.4:11 emphasis supplied)

For “Hagar” represents the law given at Mt. Sinai in Arabia. The “Hagar” metaphor corresponds to the earthly Jerusalem of today who are currently in bondage. In contrast, there is a heavenly Jerusalem above us, which is our true “mother.” She is the freewoman, birthing children into freedom! Gal.4:25,26 The Passion Translation

God is waiting with infinite patience for his people to find genuine Sabbath rest in the context of correct theology. Which brings us to another stark truth.

This website differs from mainstream Protestantism on one main issue – the teaching of the immortality of the human soul and hellfire. Most Protestants subscribe to this view. This website then is out of favour with most Protestants with their belief in the inherent immortality of the human soul. To the honest in heart this depicts God as a cruel tyrant, punishing people for eternity in a cruel abyss of torment. I have endeavoured to do a study on this subject in the article, When we “Go to Sleep”.

I am a lay person, however the truth about this teaching is presented by others who have far greater ‘credentials’ than me. The following presentations illustrate this.

So it can be seen that not too many SDA’s nor too many Protestants will render accolades to this website. Much of what is presented flies in the face of beliefs many hold dear. However, truth has never been popular. That’s just how it is. God is not looking for those who follow the crowd. He is looking for those who seek truth and are prepared to follow it. ….willing to live in the risky faith-embrace of God’s action for them, the way Abraham lived…. Rom.4:12 The Message Bible

Surely these two errors must be addressed before Jesus comes. There has to be, Lord, one faith, one baptism; Eph.4:5

So it is interesting that what I have said about the Sabbath would be agreed upon by most Protestant Christians. And what I have said about the state of man in death would be agreed with by most Seventh-day Adventist Christians. Sincere good people on both sides of the divide. Correct these two errors and you may bridge the divide and create one powerful movement that will fulfill its divine purpose. The true body of Christ – the spiritual church without walls and without borders.

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  1. says:

    I cannot thank you enough for the blog. Much obliged.

  2. Patience says:

    Thank you for the deep spiritual truth that i have found here. May the Lord continue to use you.

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