Sabbathgate 1888

By Kerry Wynne

I am a third generation Seventh-day Adventist of over 50 years of sabbath Keeping, but thanks to the good work of the staff, researchers, and writers at, I am no longer a sabbatarian! Adventists are having a much more difficult time keeping the "TRUTH about the Adventist 'truth' " from its own members and prospective converts. No Seventh-day Adventist can ever have the assurance of salvation. It is "another gospel" because true Adventism is fundamentally a faith plus works concept. I have known of several Adventists who have committed suicide because the knowledge of their own sinfulness convinced them that they could never be saved. I spent over 50 years as a third generation Adventist living in constant fear of "which way the elevator would go" for me when I died, despite the fact that I committed my life to Jesus at a very early age. The problem is that I knew, deep in my heart, that God was not fooled by my outwardly obedient behavior. I sensed that even my best motives were entwined with selfishness. My search for truth began when I realized I could no longer believe in Ellen White. After a review of what was available on the Internet regarding the Sabbath versus Sunday question, I focused on the material at I spent a couple of weeks reading and re-reading the carefully prepared articles on Sabbatarianism and other Adventist teachings. Thanks in a huge way to the ministry, my wife and I began attending a Bible-only, full Gospel, non-denominational church on Sunday morning. That was about four years ago. Fear of God and His judgment has been replaced with ever-increasing love for Him, and as a result of that growing love, I have no interest in using the freedom of the Gospel to continue in sin. Adventism is a more dangerous cult than ever, thanks to the absurd Judaizing of Adventist beliefs by Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi's "New Sabbatarianism" and the despicable, blasphemous Clear Word "Bible" paraphrase that mixes the words and ideas of Ellen White with the words from the Bible to support aberrant SDA beliefs. Now that the Church has its own "Bible," it is a more dangerous cult than ever.

Kerry Wynne, October 6, 2009





What And When Adventist Leaders Knew

About the Impossibilities of the Sabbath, Ellen White

And the Investigative Judgment










Kerry B. Wynne

M.A., educational administration, Andrews University (1978)

In Association With

William H. Hohmann

B.A., theology, Ambassador College (1976)



Kerry Wynne is a former third generation Seventh-day Adventist. William Hohmann

is a former Worldwide Church of God member. Thus, their Sabbatarian "heritage"

goes back to exactly the same time and place, since these are "sister denominations"

in that they both diverged out of one group of Sabbath-keeping Millerites after The

Great Disappointment of 1844. They received their degrees at schools which host(ed) the

theological seminaries of their respective former denominations.






Version 12.1

Also published as LYING FOR GOD v12.1

Copyright 2009 by Amazing Lies Publications





(Chapters 1,2, and 3)



"But it is argued that as 'the sabbath days' of Col.2:16 'are a shadow of things to come' (verse 17), and the weekly Sabbath is a memorial of creation, pointing back to the beginning, therefore they cannot be the same; for the Sabbath could not point both ways. But is not this a mere assertion without any proof? How do we know that it cannot point both ways? The Passover was a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, and always pointed back to that event. Ex.12:11-17. Yet it was also a shadow of Christ. Col.2:16,17. 'Even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.' 1Cor.5:7. So all those annual feasts were types of Christ in some way, and yet all were memorials also of past events, as all know.... Paul says plainly that sabbath days are a shadow of things to come; and one plain statement of Inspiration is worth a thousand of our vain reasoning. This is in harmony with Paul's argument in Heb.4:1-11, that the seventh day is a type. For forty years we have tried to explain away this text, and to show that it really cannot mean what it says; but there it stands, and mocks all our theories. The Sabbath is a type, for Inspiration says so."


(D. M. Canright, Advocate of Oct. 1, 1887, (Quoted in the Seventh-day Adventist anti-Canright book, Replies to Canright, 1895 edition.)



The "Advent History of the Sabbath," edition of 1912, is compelled to admit that Sunday observance was in the Christian Church at the beginning of the second century. The author says: "The results of our investigation concerning the origin of Sunday [is] that it was not introduced into the Christian Church until the beginning of the second century" (page 450).



(D. M. Canright quoting a Seventh-day Adventist book in his own 1915 book, The Lord's Day From Neither Catholics Nor Pagans: An Answer To Seventh-day Adventism On This Subject.)




Dr. Bacchiocchi Opens Pandora's Box: 1977



The premise that Colossians 2:14-17 does not mean what it says has been worth billions and billions of dollars to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It has created a membership of over 12 million people who give, in most cases, 10% of their hard-earned money to the Church, supporting a huge network of schools, churches, publishing houses, and a huge top-heavy church bureaucracy of state conference, union conference, division, and General Conference officials whose salaries must be paid every month. My third-generation Adventist heritage had its sensibilities shocked when I discovered that, thanks to the labors of former Adventist D. M. Canright, the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church knew by 1888 that its Sabbath doctrine was biblically and historically impossible to the point of over-kill! Recently I was dumbfounded to discover that Adventist leaders had been struggling with this text for forty years prior to 1888 and knew that they had never been able to successfully explain it away.


Unless someone can explain it away, Adventists are in direct disobedience to the command of God, given through Paul, that Sabbath-keeping not be required of Christians any more than they are required to observe the Jewish dietary laws and annual sabbaths. Billions of dollars depend on the truth that Colossians 2:14-17 does not mean this, yet no one has ever been able to prove that this passage does not mean what it says. Adventist leaders have known the facts about this text and a host of other anti-Sabbatarian facts since 1888. Tragically, Adventist leaders have continued to "sell" their faulty and dangerous "other gospel" belief package to its members in exchange for 10% and more of their hard-earned money.


No one has proven better that Colossians 2:14-17 does mean what it says than the late Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, who was the most prominent Sabbath scholar in the history of Adventism. Dr. Bacchiocchi flat-out confirmed what D. M. Canright taught almost 100 years earlier by his direct testimony that the Sabbath of Colossians 2:14-17 was, indeed, a reference to the weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue, and that it could not possibly refer to anything else (From Sabbath to Sunday, p. 360). To make matters even worse, he proved that Canright was right when he proved to the Adventist leaders of his day that Christians abandoned Sabbath-keeping hundreds of years before there was a pope or a Roman Catholic Church! Adding insult to insult, Bacchiocchi conceded that he could not prove that the influence of sun worship influenced Christians to adopt Sunday as their day of worship, once again giving Canright a huge victory for being right and exposing the perfidy of the Adventist leaders of his day, who were shown these facts to the point of over-kill. All we have to do to see how much Adventist leaders knew about the impossible problems with the Sabbath is to read the written debates that transpired between them and Canright between 1888 and 1919.


It is because of the inadvertent, "hostile witness" to the truth of what D. M. Canright taught that I am no longer a Seventh-day Adventist. From the Adventist point of view, Dr. Bacchiocchi never should have published his Canright-supporting research, even though his conclusions were virtually self-evident and had been so even during the forty years prior to the 1888 Sabbath crisis precipitated by D. M. Canright.


It is no stretching of the truth that Dr. Bacchiocchi's inadvertent and "hostile witness" validation of Canright is ultimately responsible for destroying my belief in the concept that Christians must keep the Jewish Sabbath. After having my faith in the Sabbath shaken by my study of the anti-Sabbatarian research of former Adventists Robert D. Brinsmead, Dale Ratzlaff, and Robert K. Sanders, I turned to Dr. Bacchiocchi's books, From Sabbath to Sunday (1977) and Sabbath under Crossfire (1998), hoping to find that my belief in the Sabbath and my Adventist heritage could be salvaged. Instead, the more I read Bacchiocchi, the angrier I got. The more I compared Bacchiocchi's research, who wrote in favor of the Sabbath, with the writings of D. M. Canright, who wrote against the Sabbath, the more I realized that Bacchiocchi proved that Canright was "right" in one way or another. It was Bacchiocchi's validation of Canright that prompted me to dig deeply into the suppressed history of the greatest enemy of Adventism to ever walk the face of the Earth—D. M. Canright.


Here is what I now know about the REAL history of the Sabbath in the earliest years of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, thanks to Canright's writings and the Adventist publications of the Canright Era, which sought to provide rebuttals:


  1. The first leaders of the Advent movement struggled for 40 years to explain away Colossians 2:14-17, but never could do it and knew they could not do it. This takes us back to the very birthplace of Sabbatarian Adventism and even before the Advent believers organized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1863.

  3. By 1888 Adventist leaders had learned from Canright that Sabbatarianism was biblically and historically impossible, yet chose to continue teaching the Sabbath myth. Adventist leaders were confronted with virtually every anti-Sabbatarian argument known today except for the argument from Hebrew linguistics regarding the Creation story (to be discussed in detail later).

  5. The idea that the Church did not know about the plagiarism and failed prophecies of Ellen White until the 1980's and the research of Dr. Walter Rea is ridiculous. Canright confronted Adventist leaders with these facts almost 100 years before Dr. Rea published The White Lie in 1982!

  7. Canright's research was so watertight that not even the greatest Sabbath scholar the world has ever known, SDA theologian Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, could disprove what he taught.


  1. When Bacchiocchi did seek to show that Canright was "right" yet "wrong" about Colossians 2:14-17, he wreaked havoc with SDA doctrine. He insulted the prophetic claims of the Church's prophetess, Ellen G. White, and Judaized Christianity to the point that his teachings are just as unacceptable to historical Adventists as they are to Evangelicals.

  3. By 1888 SDA leaders knew that Christians abandoned Sabbath-keeping in the Second Century, hundreds of years before there was a Roman Catholic Church, proving that Ellen White lied when she said that God showed her the pope did it!

  5. By 1912 SDA leaders had acknowledged in print that Sunday observance had been adopted by Christians 200 years before there was a Roman Catholic Church, yet they continued their propaganda campaign to teach the Church and the world a theory of Sabbath abandonment they knew was impossible.


Here is the remarkable story that led me to discover that the Sabbath was in trouble 40 years prior to 1888 and in impossible trouble after 1888.


Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi's colossal failure to defend the Sabbath in a convincing manner in his 1977 book, From Sabbath to Sunday, ultimately focused attention on issues that lead to the shocking discovery that the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church knew its Sabbath doctrine was impossible by 1888. The highest profile Adventist leader to ever turn his back on Adventism was a man named D. M. Canright. He had worked shoulder to shoulder with Ellen White for years. In 1887 he left the Church and began to bombard Adventist leaders with a series of articles and papers that demonstrated from the Bible and the history of the Early Church that Sabbatarianism was impossible.


In 1888, Adventist leaders published the Church's first anti-Canright book, actually a large tract, Replies to Elder Canright, anticipating that he would release a full-length book shortly. Canright did publish his book, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, in 1889. Thanks to the Church jumping the gun, Canright was able to reference his rebuttals of their rebuttals by the actual page numbers in the SDA book. Thanks to love of the early Adventist leaders for putting everything in writing, we now have a record of what the Church knew and when they knew it about the serious problems with its Sabbath doctrine. Subsequently the Church published a full-length version of its anti-Canright book, Replies to Elder Canright's Attacks on Seventh-day Adventists (Review and Herald), in 1895. Canright revised his book several times between 1889 and 1914. (Source = 1914 ed., Seventh-day Adventism Renounced). We have a wealth of evidence, therefore, of the exchanges of arguments for and against the Sabbath between Canright and the Church leaders of his day, including his rebuke to those leaders for knowing that for forty years they had been unable to explain away the fatal-to-Sabbatarian implications of Colossians 2:14-17. He would know, because until 1887, he was a high ranking Seventh-day Adventist leader himself.


The significance of this written record cannot be grasped until one understands that Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, the Church's best known Sabbath scholar of the last 100 years, validates Canright on three key issues, either directly or by the total collapse of his efforts to provide a credible rebuttal. A comparison of the writings of Canright from the late 1800's and early 1900's and the 1977 and subsequent writings of Dr. Bacchiocchi with the anti-Sabbatarian publications of today proves that SDA leaders knew virtually all of the impossibilities of the Church's Sabbath doctrine by 1888 except for the argument from Hebrew linguistics regarding the Creation Story (to be discussed later in this book). Also, Canright only knew that Sabbath abandonment was prevalent in the Church by around 100 AD, whereas we now have discovered convincing evidence that this phenomenon was the case as early as 50-70 AD.


The Sabbath crisis of 1888 threatened the very foundation of Adventism. The Church has since made every possible effort to convey the impression that Canright was a mentally unbalanced man who sought only revenge on the Church for blocking his pathway to greater power. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever his mental health was, his scholarship was unanswerable and devastating. There is no evidence from non-SDA sources that he was mentally unbalanced. In fact he had a distinguished career as a minister serving in Sunday-keeping churches after he left Adventism.


The evidence is compelling that Bacchiocchi, in publishing his 1977 book, From Sabbath to Sunday, was attempting to refute Canright's teachings. Bacchiocchi almost certainly knew that no one had ever successfully challenged Canright on Colossians 2:14-17 or the significance of the history of the Early Church. Canright had proven that the Sabbath reference in Colossians 2:14-17 was unquestionably a reference to the weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue. Because there was no way to refute this self-evident fact, Bacchiocchi had to demonstrate that Colossians 2:14-17 did not actually classify the Sabbath, as it appeared to do, as one of the obsolete "shadows" that Paul taught had met its reality in Christ.


To accomplish this twisting of Scripture, Bacchiocchi proposed that Paul was condemning the abusive additional rules and regulations the Judaizers had created to make these ordinances more burdensome. Thus, in one of the greatest theological "feats" ever attempted, Bacchiocchi sought to demonstrate that by the act of condemning their abuses, Paul validated all of the Jewish ordinances he listed for continuation into the Christian disposition. What this ploy would mean, were it to be true, is that Christians must also keep the Jewish dietary laws, the Jewish annual sabbath feast days, and the Jewish monthly sabbath feast days! This is theology gone awry, and its super infusion of Judaism into Christianity is stranger to Evangelical thought than is the concept of Sabbatarianism itself! Not only that, if Bacchiocchi is right about this point, he has proved that Ellen White lied about being shown by God that all the "ceremonial" components of the LAW were nailed to the cross.


Any perceptive Adventist who reads Bacchiocchi recognizes that if he is correct, Adventism has been knocked right off of its foundation. If Bacchiocchi is right about the Sabbath of Colossians 2:14-17 being a reference to the weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue, Ellen White is proven to be a fraud and the Sanctuary Doctrine is destroyed as well. Bacchiocchi's work conclusively shows that Ellen White lied about being "shown" that the Roman Catholic Church "changed the day." If she lied about what she was "shown" about the Sabbath, she also may have lied about what she was "shown" about the Sanctuary Doctrine (Investigative Judgment) -- the central pillar of Adventism. Over a century of intense biblical studies by the Church have failed to build a credible case for this doctrine from the Bible alone, making Ellen White the only source for the single most important doctrine believed by Seventh-day Adventists. Adventism rises and falls on the TRUTH of this obscure doctrine. Without it, there is no proof that the Adventist Church is the church of Bible prophecy for the last days. In this book we will examine the parallel struggles of the Church to substantiate its teachings about the Sabbath, Ellen White, and the Sanctuary. We will explore how the impossibilities of all three of the Church's key teachings are intertwined and virtually inseparable when it comes to the unique Adventist version of Sabbatarianism.


If you have ever believed that sun worship and the Roman Catholic Church caused Christians to abandon Sabbath-keeping, you will soon see that you have been the victim of a deliberate, calculated propaganda campaign of misinformation-- one that the Church had no excuse for continuing after 1888. Canright proved the impossibilities of Ellen White's "conspiracy" theory of Sabbath abandonment during the 1888 Sabbath crisis, and Bacchiocchi came along almost a century later and proved in one way or another that Canright was right. Both authors conclusively demonstrated that Sabbath abandonment was universal hundreds of years before the Roman Catholic Church came into existence. Canright proved that sun worship in the Roman Empire had nothing to do with the adoption of Sunday as the day of worship for Christians, and Bacchiocchi conceded that he could not prove that sun worship had anything to do with it!


Sabbatarianism self-destructs if there is no conspiracy theory. No other possible explanation exists but that the First Christians had biblical reasons, or thought they had legitimate reasons, for abandoning the Sabbath. Bacchiocchi was painfully aware of this fact and realized that he must come up with a credible apostasy theory to replace the impossible Sun Worship/Roman Catholic Church idea taught by Ellen White. In its place, Dr. Bacchiocchi introduced the theory that Christians abandoned the Sabbath between 100 AD and 140 AD to escape persecution by the Romans, who were persecuting the Jews at this time for several rebellions against the Empire. Dr. Bacchiocchi assumes that Christians were still keeping the Sabbath on a widespread basis up until this time, and he proposes, based on his assumptions, that the Romans would persecute Christians because of their supposed associational link of the Sabbath. Later, we will discuss his Jewish persecution theory in detail, and you will see that this idea is more than a day late and more than a dollar short to support his Jewish persecution theory.

The fathers of the Early Church documented an almost immediate abandonment of Sabbath-keeping by Christians, but both early Adventist leaders and Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi attempt to disparage the credibility of these first Christian writers. In D. M. Canright's day, the early Adventist leaders reacted to the many statements in these early Christian writings that discussed Sabbath abandonment as evidence that the apostasy began very early. The Epistle of Barnabas was dismissed as a forgery, and accused of being a strange kind of ploy, in order to detract attention from the fact that whether it was considered to be worthy of inclusion in the Canon or not, it still documents the FACT that Christians were not keeping the Sabbath hundreds of years before there was a pope or a Roman Catholic Church. Both the Adventist leaders of Canright's day and Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi almost 100 years later dismissed these writer's comments as irrelevant to the issue because it was "obvious" that they were simply rationalizing away their duty and responsibility to keep the Sabbath that they had abandoned. This belies a mindset where it is believed the Sabbath must be true, and all evidence extant is made to conform somehow to the belief. It is reverse logic. The belief modifies the evidence instead of the evidence modifying the belief.


For the First Christians who wrote about the day of worship they chose, it wasn't just a theory. They were there! They simply recorded the facts! Seventh-day Adventists decline to accept the significance of the testimony of the early fathers because what really happened destroys the very foundation of Adventism. Christians abandoned Sabbath-keeping because of the inseparable link between circumcision and the Sabbath, the temporary reign of the TORAH, and the inspiration from God, through Paul, that the Gentiles not be required to keep the Sabbath as found in Colossians 2:14-17 and two other key passages from his writings. These facts will become painfully clear as we explore the impossibilities Bacchiocchi faced when he tried to explain away Colossians 2:14-17.


The Seventh-day Adventist Church's propaganda campaign to deceive the world about why Christians really abandoned Sabbath-keeping remained unchallenged between the death of Canright in 1919 and the aftermath of the 1977 publication of Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi's iconoclastic book, From Sabbath to Sunday. Here is the astonishing story about how this book ripped aside the curtain of deceit and proved that top Adventist leaders knew the impossibilities of Sabbatarianism by 1888. It is a story of deceit, lies, and propaganda campaign of disinformation to cover-up the TRUTH about the Sabbath, and the gospel, including the twisting of the significance of various historical dates to make it appear that the Roman Catholic Church was foretold by Bible prophecy to change the Sabbath.


The research of Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi poses the following road-blocks to Adventism's claim that the Sabbath is required of Christians:


  1. Proved that Adventist leaders have known the myth of Ellen White's "apostasy" theory of Sabbath abandonment since 1888 or even sooner.

  3. Proved Ellen White lied about God showing her that the Roman Catholic Church "changed the day" from Sabbath to Sunday.

  5. Proved by his concession that he could not prove that sun worship influenced Christians to abandon Sabbath-keeping and that Ellen White lied when she said that God showed her that sun worship had influenced Christians to abandon the Sabbath.

  7. Insulted Ellen White a second time by contradicting her testimony that God showed her that only the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross. (His teaching that Christians must keep the Jewish dietary laws and annual and monthly feast days.)

  9. Proved by his colossal failure to defend Colossians 2:14-17 in a convincing manner that D. M. Canright was correct that Colossians 2:14-17 does target the weekly Sabbath and does classify it with the other obsolete ordinances in the set, as a "shadow" that pointed forward to Christ.


The Bacchiocchi fiasco of the late 1970's and early 1980's ultimately led to a set of circumstances that resulted in The Worldwide Church of God to renounce Sabbatarianism in 1995. It took a few years to put the change into effect, and several factions broke away and continued to keep the Sabbath. Never-the-less, this amazing turn-around may be the single most astonishing event in this history of Modern Christianity. It has profound implications for Seventh-day Adventists. The Seventh-day Adventist Church and The Worldwide Church of God were truly "sister churches," in that they were one body of Sabbatarian believers immediately after the Great Disappointment of 1844. This group split over a debate about the Shut Door Doctrine. The group that retained its belief in this doctrine for a short period of time organized into the Seventh-day Adventists. The people who immediately rejected the Shut Door Doctrine organized into the Church of God, Seventh Day, from which The Worldwide Church of God developed still later. Thus, the Sabbatarian "roots" of both churches go back to exactly the same time and place.


It is also highly significant that the leaders of The Worldwide Church of God renounced Sabbatarianism after studying the research of two former Adventist authors. Robert D. Brinsmead, a controversial Adventist Australian theologian, was intrigued by Bacchiocchi's inadvertent validation of D. M. Canright's anti-Sabbatarian writings. Just four years after Dr. Bacchiocchi published From Sabbath to Sunday, Brinsmead published his classic "Sabbatarianism Re-evaluated" in 1981, followed by "A Digest of the Sabbath Question" in 1982. His first paper, "Sabbatarianism Re-evaluated," has become a classic of the anti-Sabbatarian movement because of the depth of the author's research and his gentle, yet persuasive logic. In 1981 an SDA pastor and Bible teacher by the name of Dale Ratzlaff studied his way out of Adventism because he could not find any biblical support for the Church's Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment. He kept the Sabbath for a good while after leaving the Adventist Church, but eventually got around to examining the Sabbath question. Among other authors, he studied Bridgehead's writings. As a result of this study he renounced Sabbatarianism, and in 1990 published his very complete study of the Sabbath question, Sabbath in Crisis. This book is now re-named Sabbath in Christ. It may possibly be the most complete treatment of the problems with Sabbatarian theology available today.


Why did the Seventh-day Adventist Church choose not to follow in the footsteps of their Worldwide Church of God sister church? You already have part of the answer. This book will tell you the rest of the story. To begin with we will look at what and when Adventist leaders knew about the impossibilities of the Sabbath doctrine and when. We will also examine what the Church knew about Ellen White and the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment. It is difficult to separate the Sabbath from Ellen White because she claimed that God showed her the Sabbath truth in a vision. The Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment is directly affected by Ellen White's credibility in regard to the Sabbath. With the exception of one obscure bible text, Daniel 8:14, there is no biblical support for the Sanctuary Doctrine.


In regard to the Church's Sabbath doctrine, we will explore how Dr. Bacchiocchi's research proves that the Church is actually ignoring a clear statement by the Apostle Paul that commanded the first Christians not to require the new Gentile believers to keep the Sabbath. Following our examination of Sabbath impossibilities, we will study the Sabbath theology of SDA Sabbath scholars Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi and Dr. Skip MacCarty. Dr. Bacchiocchi published From Sabbath to Sunday in 1977 and Sabbath under Crossfire in 1998. Dr. Skip MacCarty published In Granite or Ingrained? as an apparent 30-year follow-up to Dr. Bacchiocchi's From Sabbath to Sunday.


Unfortunately, Dr. MacCarty's new book swallows the absurdities of Dr. Bacchiocchi's approach hook, line, and sinker. His treatment of the subject discusses the "escape" concept that Paul was validating all four of the Jewish ordinances without spelling out to his readers that this means that Christians are obligated to observe ALL of the ordinances in the list-- not just the weekly Sabbath. It appears that MacCarty wants the benefits of "saving" this passage for the Sabbath without his readers thinking about the absurdities of his "solution."

Finally, we will look at the correlation between what Adventist leaders learned about the impossibilities of SDA doctrine in the 1970's and 1980's with the rising level of Church corruption and link it with the non-biblical tithing system developed, ironically, by D. M. Canright years before he apostatized, and validated by Ellen White, who was "shown" that it was the plan that God wanted for His remnant Church.











Early Church History Proves a Very Early

Abandonment of Sabbath-keeping



Our brains are very much like computers. Some time ago someone said, regarding computers, "Garbage in. Garbage out!" If you have all the wrong information, you cannot come to the right conclusions. In the next few chapters we will be taking a look at the highly damaging information that has deliberately been suppressed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in regard to the Sabbath, Ellen White, and the Sanctuary Doctrine. If you feed the correct information into your brain computer, it is impossible to come to the conclusion that Christians are required to keep the Jewish Sabbath. Thanks to the biblical and historical studies that resulted from the shocking inadequacies of Dr. Bacchiocchi's 1977 book, it is now a very simple matter to demonstrate the impossibilities of Sabbatarianism. After a review of the historical and biblical problems with Sabbatarianism, we will be ready to examine the merits of the "New Sabbatarianism" of Doctors Bacchiocchi and MacCarty on a statement by statement basis. I have labeled their theology "The New Sabbatarianism." Dr. Skip MacCarty has swallowed Bacchiocchi's disastrous theology completely. Unfortunately for his readers, MacCarty takes his readers on a theological wild goose chase of immense proportions and manages to detour widely away from the real questions that an informed person would be likely to ask about the Sabbath question.






There is no possible controversy over the fact that Christians abandoned Sabbath-keeping on a universal basis hundreds of years before there was a Roman Catholic Church. This fact is, perhaps, the greatest embarrassment of all times to Seventh-day Adventists. In Dr. Bacchiocchi's 1977 book, From Saturday to Sunday, Dr. Bacchiocchi concedes 140 AD as the latest date for the universal abandonment of Sabbath-keeping by Christians. This date is at least 200 years before there was a Roman Catholic Church or a pope. Bacchiocchi validated D. M. Canright's 1888 research which proved from a wealth of scholarly sources that Christians began abandoning the Sabbath before 100 AD, that Sabbath abandonment was wide-spread by 100 AD, and had become universal not long after that. By the time Dr. Bacchiocchi wrote From Sabbath to Sunday, historians had dated the Didache, which documents Christians worshiping on the first day of the week to as early as 50 AD and no later than 125 AD. More accurately, the Didache is a collection of the first Christian writings, and the section of the document that mentions Christians meeting on the first day of the week to worship God is believed by researchers to be around 70 AD. American scholars seem convinced that this section was probably written between 50 and 70 AD, whereas European scholars tend to think 70 AD to 125 AD.


Human experience shows us that it takes some highly significant events and a certain amount of time to influence a large group of people to change deeply ingrained behaviors. If Christian writers were discussing the meeting of Christians on Sunday to worship God by 70 AD, it is evident that there would have to have been a process already under way to get a significant number of Christians to abandon the Sabbath for Sunday. It is significant to note that St. Paul wrote his last epistle in 63 AD and was martyred somewhere between 64 and 67 AD. (Please study the Wikipedia articles on St. Paul and the Didache for support of these facts.)


What then needs to be taken into consideration is that the Gentile Christians never did, as a group, embrace the Sabbath to begin with, and that the Jewish Christians after one or two generations are the ones who were truly abandoning the last vestiges of the old covenant in favor of the new.






The sun has always had its worshipers throughout the world, especially in ancient times. For Bacchiocchi's theory to have credibility, he must prove two things beyond reasonable doubt. First, he must demonstrate that sun worship was popular enough in the Roman Empire between 100 and 140 AD to potentially have influenced Christianity in the choice of a day of worship on the basis of a perceived need for commonality. Second, he must provide adequate evidence to show a high degree of probability that it actually DID influence Christianity in this manner. The more incredible any available theory is, the greater demand there is for one's arguments to be strong.


In view of the extreme difficulties he has in supporting the first of these two requirements and a total lack of any solid evidence for the second requirement, logic requires us to give careful consideration to any other available theory. The Pauline Theory—the concept that Christians abandoned Sabbath keeping as a result of following Paul's counsels in Colossians 2:14-17 and other related passages of his writings-- appears to explain the facts without any requirement to "connect the dots." You have a command by Paul. The command is followed. The Council of Jerusalem determines that circumcision is not to be required of the new Gentile converts, and the Sabbath and the law cannot be kept without circumcision. Sabbath abandonment in Christianity appears to have happened about as rapidly as one could expect Paul's writings to be copied and distributed to all the Churches in the Roman Empire.


In Dr. Bacchiocchi's book, Sabbath under Crossfire (1998), Dr. Bacchiocchi spends nearly an entire chapter discussing the possibility that this sun cult or that sun cult was popular between 70 and 140 AD, but there is no consensus among his sources. Requirement #1, therefore, is nearly a total failure.


In the remainder of this same chapter, Dr. Bacchiocchi attempts to prove that the Romans were using a 7-day calendar that corresponded with the 7-day Jewish calendar. It is painfully evident to the reader that he is grasping at straws to show that a 7-day calendar had even limited use anywhere in the Roman Empire during this period of time. Most of the historical sources I could locate think that the Romans used an 8-day calendar and that the day named in honor of the sun was the second day of that 8-day week. These sources are fairly consistent in stating that so far as can be reconstructed, the Romans did not adopt a 7-day calendar until around 300 AD. There are some sources which see evidence that the Roman Empire might have adopted a 7-day week 100 years or more before the birth of Christ. In his book From Sabbath to Sunday, Dr. Bacchiocchi states that some historians believe that a 7-day calendar was in widespread use in the Roman Empire by the latter part of the Second Century (150-199 AD). The transition from Sabbath keeping to Sunday observance was universal by 140 AD. With the day named in honor of the sun only occasionally being the same 24 hour period as the first day of the Jewish calendar (Sunday), how could Christians have been tempted to adopt Sunday observance so the day of worship would be the same as that of the pagans they were trying to convert? On top of all these challenging questions, we must ask why this entire topic is worthy of discussion, since we have documented proof that Christians had significantly abandoned Sabbath keeping to at least a limited degree as early as 50 AD or 70 AD, and to a very great extent by 100-125 AD. The second requirement is, likewise, a total failure. There is no proof. Almost no amount of imagination can "connect the dots" to fulfill the second requirement demanded by logic.

Incredibly, Dr. Bacchiocchi concedes the following in regard to his theory of the influence of sun worship on Sabbath abandonment:


The association between the Christian Sunday and the pagan veneration of the day of the Sun is not explicit before the time of Eusebius (ca. A.D. 260-340)... From Sabbath to Sunday, p. 264.


Even Bacchiocchi himself concedes that the abandonment of Sabbath-keeping was universal by 140 A.D., at least over 100 years prior to the universal adoption of Sunday observance by Christians. By 260-340 there are definite traces in historical records to show that one or more sun worshiping cults held Sunday to be sacred. Prior to that time, however, it is extremely difficult to show any connection between sun cults and Sunday observance. As noted before, the Romans used an 8-day week with the day named in honor of the sun being the second day of that 8-day week. The 7-day week was by no means universal in these ancient cultures.


Finally, we must be willing to believe that the early church was so theologically bankrupt that they could so easily be swayed into the observation of a day solely based on its association with pagan sun worship, for the purpose of lowering the bar for pagans to enter into the Christian faith. It is an insult to the Christian faith, but not atypical for those of a false faith who seek to cast doubt through the use of accusations.







Dr. Bacchiocchi has conceded himself into a historical bind. He admits the early date of 140 AD for universal Sabbath abandonment and wisely refuses to suggest that the Roman Catholic Church changed the day. He has conceded that he cannot prove a link between sun worship and Sabbath abandonment before 140 AD. His last hope is to prove that the Roman Empire's persecution of the rebellious Jews between 100-140 AD caused the community of Christians at Rome to distance itself from Sabbath-keeping in order to escape the threat of persecution. Bacchiocchi presupposes that Christians believed they were still required to keep the Sabbath at that time-- something difficult to prove since Sunday observance as a day of worship was already widespread by 100 AD. He further theorizes that the Church at Rome used its influence over the Christians throughout the vast Roman Empire to distance them from Sabbath-keeping to escape the possibility of this persecution on the basis of this supposed common religious practice. There are all kinds of problems with Bacchiocchi's somewhat desperate theory, but it is really his only hope to explain Sabbath abandonment as a result of some kind of apostasy.


One obvious flaw with this kind of reasoning is that there were 50,000 Jewish Christians in Rome at this time. If the Jewish Christians in Rome were keeping the Sabbath because they thought it was required of them, it stretches the imagination beyond the limits of propriety to think that they would be willing to break one of God's holy laws just to save their necks. At the same time, it would seem that if the Jewish Christians understood that the Sabbath was no longer required, since circumcision was not required, and they were keeping the Sabbath as part of their Jewish heritage and culture only, they would be willing to give up Sabbath-keeping to avoid the persecution Dr. Bacchiocchi is suggesting. Furthermore, since Paul did not condemn Sabbath-keeping in and of itself, and he did not condemn the Church at Rome for keeping the Sabbath, it is entirely possible that many of the 50,000 Jewish Christians in Rome may have kept the Sabbath as a part of their cultural identity, rather than as a requirement of the Christian Faith, until 135 to 140 AD.


At the same time his "Jewish Persecution Theory" is highly improbable because the earliest Christian writings provide strong evidence that Christians began abandoning the Sabbath immediately, even being documented by Early Church writers possibly as early as 50 AD, primarily in the Gentile churches. Not even Robert Brinsmead sought to challenge Dr. Bacchiocchi's assertion that the Church at Jerusalem kept the Sabbath until the Second Siege in 135 AD. However, we can see, even in the New Testament writings that each time Christians got together, other than for a "missionary" trip to the local synagogue to witness to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, the record always mentions that they met on the first day of the week. This fact about the New Testament is not surprising because the focus of St. Paul's writings is on his labors among the Gentile churches. Direct verification of this particular fact is possible by simply reading the New Testament. By 100 AD Sabbath abandonment was widespread, although not yet universal. His creative explanation is a day late and a dollar short when the facts are understood. Let us examine the merits of his theory.


There were two major Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire between 100 and 140 AD. However, historians are divided in their assessment of the extent of the Empire's persecution of Christians during this period of time. The Wikipedia article, "Persecution of Early Christians During the Roman Empire," sums things up this way:




According to many historians, Jews and Christians were heavily persecuted toward the end of Domitian's reign. [17] The Book of Revelation is thought by many scholars to have been written during Domitian's reign. Other historians, however, have maintained that there was little or no persecution of Christians during Domitian's time. There is no historical consensus on the matter.





Between 109 and 111 AD, Pliny the Younger was sent by the emperor Trajan (r. 98-117) to the province of Bithynia as governor. During his tenure of office, Pliny encountered Christians, and he wrote to the emperor about them. The governor indicated that he had ordered the execution of several Christians, "for I held no question that whatever it was they admitted, in any case obstinacy and unbending perversity deserve to be punished." However, he was unsure what to do about those who said they were no longer Christians, and asked Trajan his advice. The emperor responded that Christians should not be sought out, anonymous tips should be rejected as "unworthy of our times," and if they recanted and "worshiped our gods," they were to be freed. Those who persisted, however, should be punished.



Domitian reigned from 81-96 AD (Wikipedia, "List of Roman Emperors").


Now, for comparison, let us review the Roman Empire's Jewish persecutions (Wikipedia article, "First Jewish-Roman War:

The first Jewish-Roman War (66-73), sometimes called The Great Revolt (Hebrew: המרד הגדול‎, ha-Mered Ha-Gadol), was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews of Iudaea Province against the Roman Empire (the second was the Kitos War in 115-117; the third was Bar Kokhba's revolt, 132-135).



There does not seem to be much of a correlation between the Roman Empire's persecution of Jews and the Roman Empire's persecution of Christians. Dr. Bacchiocchi's theory that Christians abandoned Sabbath-keeping by 140 AD due to the fear that the Sabbath link that Christians supposedly shared with the Jews is extremely difficult to defend. While these facts certainly do not absolutely preclude the possibility that Bacchiocchi's theory is correct, it would collapse if a better explanation could be offered.


There is no evidence that the Christians in the Early Church were persecuted for an unwillingness to work on the Sabbath. If the Early Church had maintained a Sabbath stance, the Romans would have made record of it. Supporting this idea is the fact that the Jews had such a bad reputation with the Romans for their Sabbath keeping that they were generally exempt from military service and were not valued for slaves, but this was not true for Christians. See Henry Chadwick, The Early Church (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1967), pp. 9-13. See also William Barclay, The Ten Commandments for Today (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1973), pp. 31-2; Werner Forster, Palestinian Judaism in New Testament Times (Edinburgh: (Oliver & Boyd, 1964), p. 72; Eduard Lohse, art. "Sabbath," Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 7:9. [Credit for this concept goes to Robert Brinsmead, and it is his references I have cited.]


Brinsmead, in his "A Digest of the Sabbath Question," provides this observation from a well-respected New Testament scholar:


"Whereas circumcision would have been practicable for Gentile converts, Sabbath observance simply was not. Unless they came inside the Jewish ghetto, where there was an ordered life adjusted to the cessation of work on the Sabbath, they could not earn their living or subsist while observing the Sabbath. If they were slaves, Gentile masters would not release them from work; and if they were independent and earning their own living, they would still have had to pursue their trade on a Sabbath. It was no doubt because circumcision was a practical possibility for Gentile Christians, as the Sabbath was not, that it was the centre of controversy" (Moule, Birth of the New Testament,1961, p. 49).


Dr. Bacchiocchi claims that the lack of a record of Christians being persecuted by the Romans for keeping the Sabbath is proof that his Jewish persecution theory is true. In view of the fact that historical support for this theory is extremely week to non-existent, it is more likely that Christians were not persecuted because they were not keeping the Sabbath in the first place. As you recall, there is strong evidence that Christians were observing Sunday as a day of communal worship in large numbers by 100 AD and that the process that led to that situation may have begun as early as 50 AD, if not immediately after the cross or after the Council of Jerusalem.







In Justin Martyr's "Dialogue with Trypho," he is discussing circumcision and the Sabbath with his Jewish friend, approaching him in a way that respected his friend's Jewish heritage. Notice that Martyr does not cite St. Paul as an authority that the Sabbath is not required of Christians. Trypho, being a Jew, would not have recognized Paul's authority. It is significant that Justin is able to prove that the Sabbath was for the Jews and the Jews only from Old Testament logic alone. Martyr was born in 100 AD and died in 165 AD. Here is what Martyr said in Chapter Nineteen:






"It is this about which we are at a loss, and with reason, because, while you endure such things, you do not observe all the other customs which we are now discussing." "This circumcision is not, however, necessary for all men, but for you alone, in order that, as I have already said, you may suffer these things which you now justly suffer.


Nor do we receive that useless baptism of cisterns, for it has nothing to do with this baptism of life. Wherefore also God has announced that you have forsaken Him, the living fountain, and digged for your selves broken cisterns which can hold no water.


Even you, who are the circumcised according to the flesh, have need of our circumcision; but we, having the latter, do not require the former.


For if it were necessary, as you suppose, God would not have made Adam uncircumcised; would not have had respect to the gifts of Abel when, being uncircumcised, he offered sacrifice and would not have been pleased with the uncircumcision of Enoch, who was not found, because God had translated him. Lot, being uncircumcised, was saved from Sodom, the angels themselves and the Lord sending him out. Noah was the beginning of our race; yet, uncircumcised, along with his children he went into the ark. Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High, was uncircumcised; to whom also Abraham the first who received circumcision after the flesh, gave tithes, and he blessed him: after whose order God declared, by the mouth of David, that He would establish the everlasting priest. Therefore to you alone this circumcision was necessary, in order that the people may be no people and the nation no nation; as also Hosea, one of the twelve prophets, declares.


Moreover, all those righteous men already mentioned, though they kept no Sabbaths, were pleasing to God; and after them Abraham with all his descendants until Moses, under whom your nation appeared unrighteous and ungrateful to God, making a calf in the wilderness: wherefore God, accommodating Himself to that nation, enjoined them also to offer sacrifices, as if to His name, in order that you might not serve idols. Which precept, however, you have not observed; nay, you sacrificed your children to demons.


See how God will destroy the nations to the beat of instruments of music as they also are BURNED.


And you were commanded to keep Sabbaths, that you might retain the memorial of God. For His word makes this announcement, saying, `That ye may know that I am God who redeemed you.'(Ezek. xx. 12.)


D. M. Canright confronted the Adventist leaders of his day with proof from Justin Martyr's early recorded observation about why Christians did not keep the Sabbath. It is fascinating to see the way these early SDA leaders dealt with this problem. Although a bit long, it is well worth your study. Here is an extended quote from the 1895 edition of Replies to Elder Canright's Attacks on Seventh-day Adventists, edited by Uriah Smith. As you study this passage, keep in mind that the entire passage is taken from Replies, 1895, an SDA book in which Uriah Smith is trying to show that Canright has taken J. N. Andrew's book, The Complete Testimony of the Fathers, and later, Andrews' earlier book, History of the Sabbath:


Eld. C. quotes from "The Complete Testimony of the Fathers" very unfairly, as a few extracts will show. In putting forth a historical argument to show that Sunday was called the Lord's day and was observed as a sacred day by the Christian church immediately after the days of the apostles, he says:


"The Lord's Day, then, is the day belonging to the Lord Jesus, as `he is Lord {of all'} (Acts 10:36), and `Head over all things' (Eph.1:22) in the gospel. We shall find this fact abundantly confirmed in the Fathers. I now quote from `The Complete Testimony of the Fathers,' by Eld. Andrews:


Justin's "Apology" was written at Rome about the year 140.' `He is the first person after the sacred writers that mentions the first day, and this at a distance of only forty-four years from the date of John's vision upon Patmos.' It does not appear that Justin, and those at Rome who held with him in the doctrine, paid the slightest regard to the ancient Sabbath. He speaks of it as abolished, and treats it with contempt.' (pp. 33, 36)


"This is the confession which even the historian of the Seventh-day Adventists is compelled to make. The Jewish Sabbath was wholly disregarded by Christians within forty-four years of the death of the last apostle. And this is proved by the testimony of the very first Christian writer who mentions the first day after the apostles. Does Eld. Andrews question the genuineness or truthfulness of this statement? - Not at all."


We have given these three paragraphs in full, that the reader may be able to see fully how Eld. C. can treat the writings of others to suit his purpose. We have expressed surprise at his efforts to pervert and garble testimony. "Garble" is defined to mean, "to pick out or select such parts as may serve a purpose." - Webster. This quotation from "The Testimony of the Fathers" is made, remember, to prove that the Sabbath was discarded, and that Sunday was recognized as the Lord's day by the Christians of that early time; and now let us see what Eld. Andrews does really say:


"`Justin's Apology' was written at Rome about the year 140 A.D. His `Dialogue with Trypho the Jew' was written some years later. In searching his works we shall see how much greater progress apostasy had made at Rome than in the countries where those lived whose writings we have been examining."



Thus Eld. Andrews's first reference to Justin is to show that Rome was far in advance of other bodies on the course of apostasy, and that Justin was himself a leader in that work. In proof of this he introduces testimony that he treated God's Sabbath with contempt, denied its origin at creation, taunted the Jews that it was given to them because of their wickedness, and denied the perpetuity of the Ten Commandments. Pages 33,34. As to the next sentence in Eld. C.'s quotation, let us give it entire from Eld. Andrews:


"And it is worthy of notice that though first-day writers assert that `Lord's day' was the familiar title of the first day of the week in the time of the Apocalypse, yet Justin, who is the first person after the sacred writers that mentions the first day, and this at a distance of only 44 years from the date of John's vision upon Patmos, does not call it by that title, but by the name it bore as a heathen festival. If it be said that the term was omitted because he was addressing a heathen emperor [just what Canright does now say],there still remains the fact that he mentions the day quite a number of times in his `Dialogue with Trypho,' and yet never calls it `Lord's day,' nor indeed does he call it by any name implying sacredness."



The quotation given from Justin on pp. 34,35 ("Testimony of the Fathers"), about meeting together on "the day called Sunday," etc., Eld. C. gives in full to show that Justin did regard Sunday as the Lord's day, though he gives it no such name, nor any title of sacredness. But on p. 37 Eld. A. gives a quotation from Justin's "Dialogue with Trypho," which shows that he regarded all days alike. He calls the gospel "the new law," and says: "The new law requires you to keep the perpetual Sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you; and if you eat unleavened bread you say the will of God has been fulfilled. The Lord our God does not take pleasure in such observances: if there is any perjured person or a thief among you, let him cease to be so; if any adulterer, let him repent; then he has kept the sweet and true Sabbaths of God." Upon which Eld. Andrews remarks: "This language plainly implies that Justin held all days alike, and did not observe any one day as a day of abstinence from labor." Yet the attempt is made by these misrepresentations to wheel Justin in as a witness for Sunday-keeping. Most astonishing to relate, Eld. C. quotes the epistle of Barnabas in favor of his position. Now he well knows that every critic pronounces that so-called epistle the work of a Jew of mean abilities and an absolute forgery. Yet, when reviewing Eld. Andrews in his notice of this work, he says:


"They [the early Fathers] lived early enough to have converse with the apostles themselves, while he [Eld. Andrews] lived eighteen hundred years later! Which would be apt to know best?"


Yes; but here is a man who claims to be a Father who was not; a man who was a fraud, an impostor, a forger. The question is, What do the Scriptures teach? And we have the Scriptures as fully as he. Now we ask, Who would be apt to give us the best exposition of Scripture? An old forger of the second century who wrote things too silly to be repeated, and too shameful to quote? Or a Christian scholar of the nineteenth? It will take no reader a great while to answer. Eld. Canright can take the forger if he prefers. In his fourth article in the Advocate, he says: "Let us see what Seventh-day Adventists say upon the sin of Sunday-keeping: `All who keep the first day for the Sabbath are pope's Sunday-keepers, and God's Sabbath-breakers.'- History of the Sabbath, p.502."


After studying the above extended quotation from the 1895 revision of the SDA book, Replies to Canright, it is difficult to see what the relevance was in their discussion to the issue at hand. It appears that the SDA leaders were trying to show that Canright failed to prove his point because Justin Martyr did not attach any sacredness in itself to Sunday and thus did not equate Sunday with the Lord's Day. The authors of Replies to Canright seem to feel that obfuscation will confuse the readers of their book enough to cause their readers to miss a variety of observations that beg to be made. Whether the Epistle of Barnabas was a forgery or not had nothing to do with the validity of Canright's point, which was that the writers of the Early Church documented the FACT that the first Christians abandoned the Sabbath astonishingly early, well before the existence of the Roman Catholic Church. I see the following things of significance from this quotation from 'Replies to Canright:


  1. The SDA leaders of Canright's Era knew that Sabbath abandonment was nearly universal by 140 AD, and hundreds of years before a pope or a Roman Catholic Church.

  3. They knew Ellen White said it was the pope and the Roman Catholic Church that "changed the day."

  5. They knew Ellen White lied when she said that the Roman Catholic Church changed the day because this change happened far too early for that to have been true.

  7. We see that the SDA leaders of Canright's Era were introduced to the concepts that at least some of the first Christians knew that the Sabbath did not begin at Creation and that there can be no Sabbath-keeping without circumcision.

  9. We see a mindset of the SDA leaders that the idea of no day being required as a forced day of rest or worship as being utterly foreign to their thinking. They possessed a legalistic paradigm.

We observe that these early SDA leaders could not answer Canright's arguments and that any reasonable person should have been able to see that there was no satisfactory rebuttal to his point that Sabbath abandonment took place too early to have validated the explanation that Ellen White said was given to her in a vision from God.


Almost 100 years later, Dr. Bacchiocchi is still faced with the problem that Sabbath "abandonment" by Christians was almost immediate. He theorizes that Justin Martyr is rationalizing the Sabbath requirement away, looking for an excuse to justify the fact that he and other Christians were not keeping the Sabbath like they were supposed to. This is circular reasoning because is presupposes that Christians were required to keep the Sabbath. Bacchiocchi and the contributors to the 1895 edition version of Replies to Canright miss the point completely. Whether Justin Martyr was rationalizing or not, he documented the fact that many Christians were not keeping the Sabbath at this time. He was born in 100 AD and died in 165 AD. Whoever wrote the Epistle of Barnabas, it was written very early, hundreds of years before the Roman Catholic Church came into existence, and it documented the fact that Christians were predominantly worshiping on Sunday at the time the document was authored. Whether the epistle attributed to him was written by the person who bears its name is not at all relevant to the issue.







A variety of Early Christian writers documented that Christians chose to worship on Sunday, beginning in 70 AD and continuing until the Roman Catholic Church came into existence hundreds of years after Sabbath abandonment was universal (140 AD). Here are some of those excerpts:


1. The Didache [A.D. 70]


But every Lord's day . . . gather yourselves together and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned" (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).


2. The Letter of Barnabas [A.D. 74]

"We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead" (Letter of Barnabas 15:6-8 [A.D. 74]).


3. Ignatius of Antioch [A.D. 110]

[T]hose who were brought up in the ancient order of things [i.e. Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death" (Letter to the Magnesians 8 [A.D. 110]).


4. Justin Martyr [A.D. 155]

"[W]e too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined [on] you―namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your heart. . . . [H]au is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us― I speak of fleshly circumcision and sabbaths and feasts? . . . God enjoined you to keep the sabbath, and impose on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness and that of your fathers" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 18, 21 [A.D. 155]).


5. Tertullian [A.D. 203]

"[L]et him who contends that the sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day . . . teach us that, for the time past, righteous men kept the sabbath or practiced circumcision, and were thus rendered 'friends of God.' For if circumcision purges a man, since God made Adam uncircumcised, why did he not circumcise him, even after his sinning, if circumcision purges? . . . Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering him sacrifices, unci
rcumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, was by him [God] commended [Gen. 4:1-7, Heb. 9:4]. . . . Noah also, uncircumcised― yes, and unobservant of the sabbath― God freed from the deluge. For Enoch too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and unobservant of the sabbath, he translated from this world, who did not first taste death in order that, being a candidate for eternal life, he might show us that we also may, without the burden of the law of Moses, please God" (An Answer to the Jews 2 [A.D. 203]).


6. The Didascalia [A.D. 225]

"The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation, because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and on the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven" (Didascalia 2 [A.D. 225]).


7. Origen [A.D. 229]

"Hence it is not possible that the [day of] rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh [day] of our God. On the contrary, it is our Savior who, after the pattern of his own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of his death, and hence also of his resurrection" (Commentary on John 2:28 [A.D. 229]).


8. Victorinus [A.D. 300]

"The sixth day [Friday] is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. . . . On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God or a fast. On the seventh day he rested from all his works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord's Day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews . . . which Sabbath he [Christ] in his body abolished" (The Creation of the World [A.D. 300]).


9. Eusebius of Caesarea [A.D. 312]

"They [the early saints of the Old Testament] did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we [Christians]. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things" (Church History 1:4:8 [A.D. 312]).


10. Eusebius of Caesarea [A.D. 319]


"[T]he day of his [Christ's] light . . . was the day of his resurrection from the dead, which they say, as being the one and only truly holy day and the Lord's day, is better than any number of days as we ordinarily understand them, and better than the days set apart by the Mosaic Law for feasts, new moons, and sabbaths, which the Apostle [Paul] teaches are the shadow of days and not days in reality" (Proof of the Gospel 4:16:186 [A.D. 319]).


11. Athanasius [A.D. 345]

"The sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord's day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord's day as being the memorial of the new creation" (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3 [A.D. 345]).


12. Cyril of Jerusalem [A.D. 350]


"Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans or into Judaism, for Jesus Christ has henceforth ransomed you. Stand aloof from all observance of sabbaths and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean" (Catechetical Lectures 4:37 [A.D. 350]).


13. Council of Laodicea [A.D. 360]


"Christians should not Judaize and should not be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord's Day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians" (canon 29 [A.D. 360]).


14. John Chrysostom [A.D. 387]

"[W]hen he said, 'You shall not kill' . . . he did not add, 'because murder is a wicked thing.' The reason was that conscience had taught this before hand, and he speaks thus, as to those who know and understand the point. Wherefore when he speaks to us of another commandment, not known to us by the dictate of conscience, he not only prohibits, but adds the re
ason. When, for instance, he gave commandment concerning the sabbath―'On the seventh day you shall do no work'―he subjoined also the reason for this cessation. What was this? 'Because on the seventh day God rested from all his works which he had begun to make' [Ex. 20:10]. And again: 'Because you were a servant in the land of Egypt' [Deut. 21:18]. For what purpose then, I ask, did he add a reason respecting the sabbath, but did no such thing in regard to murder? Because this commandment was not one of the leading ones. It was not one of those which were accurately defined of our conscience, but a kind of partial and temporary one, and for this reason it was abolished afterward. But those which are necessary and uphold our life are the following: 'You shall not kill . . . You shall not commit adultery . . . You shall not steal.' On this account he adds no reason in this case, nor enters into any instruction on the matter, but is content with the bare prohibition" (Homilies on the Statues 12:9 [A.D. 387]).


15. John Chrysostom [A.D. 395]


"You have put on Christ, you have become a member of the Lord and been enrolled in the heavenly city, and you still grovel in the Law [of Moses]? How is it possible for you to obtain the kingdom? Listen to Paul's words, that the observance of the Law overthrows the gospel, and learn, if you will, how this comes to pass, and tremble, and shun this pitfall. Why do you keep the Sabbath and fast with the Jews?" (Homilies on Galatians 2:17 [A.D. 395]).


16. The Apostolic Constitutions [A.D. 400]

"And on the day of our Lord's resurrection, which is the Lord's day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent him to us, and condescended to let him suffer, and raised him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day . . . in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food" (Apostolic Constitutions 2:7:60 [A.D. 400]).


17. John Chrysostom [A.D. 402]

"The rite of circumcision was venerable in the Jews' account, forasmuch as the Law itself gave way thereto, and the Sabbath was less esteemed than circumcision. For that circumcision might be performed, the Sabbath was broken; but that the Sabbath might be kept, circumcision was never broken; and mark, I pray, the dispensation of God. This is found to be even more solemn that the Sabbath, as not being omitted at certain times. When then it is done away, much more is the Sabbath" (Homilies on Philippians 10 [A.D. 402]).


18. Augustine [A.D. 412]

"Well, now, I should like to be told what there is in these Ten Commandments, except the observance of the sabbath, which ought not to be kept by a Christian . . . Which of these commandments would anyone say that the Christian ought not to keep? It is possible to contend that it is not the Law which was written on those two tables that the Apostle Paul describes as 'the letter that kills' [2 Cor. 3:6], but the law of circumcision and the other sacred rites which are now abolished" (The Spirit and the Letter 24 [A.D. 412]).


Notice the theology in these statements. Some writers gave better reasons for the abandonment of the Sabbath by Christians than others, but the point is that Christians themselves documented the fact that the Sabbath was not being observed from almost the very beginning of the Christian Faith. It is arrogant of today's Sabbatarians to conclude that they understand Christianity and the Old Testament better than the first Christians.







By the 1960's, historical research had clearly demonstrated that the Jewish Churches which clung to Sabbath keeping quickly got into serious heresies and were lost to Christianity, whereas the primarily Gentile churches that abandoned Sabbath-keeping flourished and supplied mainstream Christianity with a population of Christians who maintained orthodox beliefs. By 2007, when the Church published Skip MacCarty's In Granite or Ingrained? these facts are so well known that the Seventh-day Adventist "conspiracy theory" of Sabbath abandonment has long been known to be nothing more than an imaginative fairy tale. Sabbath- keepers were not the heroes of the Early Church. They were the ones who were seduced into following "another gospel." One excellent example is the history of the Ebionites, who kept the Sabbath but vilified the Apostle Paul, recognizing James as their spiritual leader. In his brilliant anti-Sabbatarian essay, "Sabbatarianism Re-examined," (former) SDA theologian Robert D. Brinsmead explains what happened to the Sabbath-keeping Jewish Christians:

The picture emerges of Jewish Christianity which, having lost its influence on the predominately Gentile Church became increasingly isolated. It lost vital contact with Gentile Christianity, so that Gentile Christianity was largely cut off from its Jerusalem roots. This has been a tragedy for both branches of the church.

By the time of Irenaeus (in the late second century) Jewish Christianity was regarded as real heresy. Some Jewish Christians were called Ebionites ("the poor ones"), while others were called Nazarenes. They kept the Sabbath and persevered in a Jewish way of life. They were generally vegetarian. Some even refused to eat e...[text unclear] Their hero was James; their archenemy was Paul.

The most serious heresy of the Ebionites was failure to confess Christ's full divinity. Furthermore, although they believed Jesus was sinless, they taught that he possessed sinful human nature like the rest of Mankind. Yet it is a remarkable fact that the heretical Ebionites traced their lineage back to the original Jewish Christians and claim to be their true successors.

The fact that there have frequently been small enclaves of Christians who kept the Sabbath is not proof of any kind that such groups held on to "truth" while everyone else apostatized. We have seen that the Jewish Christians who clung to Sabbath-keeping soon forsook orthodox Christianity, got into heresy, and virtually disappeared from significance. Throughout history the error or Sabbatarianism has been rediscovered and resurrected. These groups simply fell into biblical error are not to be commended for their errors of judgment and their failure to follow God's command, given through St. Paul, that Sabbath-keeping was not to be required of the new Gentile converts coming into the Church.



SECTION I (Continued)




Biblical Sabbath Impossibilities And

Common Objections Answered







Dr. Bacchiocchi may not have known about the problem posed for Sabbatarianism by the Hebrew linguistics of the Creation Story in 1977. This discovery was apparently not made until the 1970's, and Brinsmead's scholarly references regarding the Hebrew linguistics of the Creation Story were published in 1970 and 1979, respectively. However, by the time he published his second book in 1998, Sabbath under Crossfire, he was without excuse for ignoring this key issue. In 2007 it was down-right "criminal" for Dr. Skip MacCarty to completely ignore this argument in his new book, In Granite or Ingrained?


Perhaps Dr. MacCarty did not bring up the subject since there is no possible defense against it. The very mention of this subject would call attention to an issue he desperately hoped would not be raised. This particular fact of Hebrew linguistics comes close to providing irrefutable evidence that the Sabbath did not start at Creation. If you combine this argument from Hebrew linguistics with the fact that the Bible does not mention the Sabbath until the time of the Exodus, and add the fact that Moses specifically stated that the covenant which contained the Sabbath commandment was not made with the ancestors of the Exodus generation of Israelites, we have nearly water-tight proof that the Sabbath was given to Israel, and to Israel only, at the time of the Exodus. As this book will demonstrate, the keeping of the Sabbath was given to Israel as a "sign" that would set them apart from all other peoples of the world as God's chosen people. God designed that the Sabbath would be a special sign that distinguished Israel from all the other peoples of the world as His chosen nation. If everyone in the world is obligated to keep the Sabbath, as Seventh-day Adventists teach, God could not possibly have used it as a sign to distinguish His people from all the other peoples of the world.


Anyone who has taken a foreign language quickly learns that there are some words, and even some ideas, that cannot be translated from that language into English in any truly satisfactory manner. It should come as no surprise, then, that there are some things that exist within the Hebrew language that cannot be translated successfully into English. There are a number of writing conventions that have helped us to understand the Hebrew language. One example is the extensive use of parallelism-- stating the same thing twice, but in different ways. Interestingly, Moses used an important Hebrew writing convention in his wording of the Creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 that no experience with the English language would prepare us to recognize. When discussing the scope of events associated with the mention of a day in time, the Hebrews governed the "scope" of the application of that day's significance by the presence or absence, in the text, of a suffix consisting of the words, "And the evening and the morning [made up that day]."


Notice that in Moses' account of the days of Creation in Genesis 1 & 2, every day ends with this suffix indicator except the 7th day. The fact that the 7th day is the only day that does not have this suffix clause after it is packed with significance.


The reader would not expect any repetitive pattern in regard to the first six days of Creation because of the very nature of the events of those days. There is the POSSIBILITY that you could rest on a repetitive pattern to memorialize the events of the 7th day, but there is no chance that we would be likely to see God creating the same things over and over on a repetitive pattern in regard to the events of days like He did on days 1-6. This possibility of two meanings in connection with the nature of the events of the 7th day is the very reason why Moses was forced to utilize some kind of device to clarify his discussion of the events of the 7th day. As an inspired Bible writer, Moses' wording of this passage was certainly directed by God Himself. Let's apply the science of logic to this situation by examining all the concepts that could possibly need clarification and limitation in arriving at an accurate translation of the Hebrew into English with its real meaning:


  1. It could stop the day itself from cycling every 7 days. This cannot possibility be the meaning intended, since the Jews have always had a 7-day week.

  3. It could differentiate the fact that the 7th day did not involve any creating, but the other six days did. This is an interesting fact (not very interesting), but there is no need to differentiate in this case because this difference is self-evident.

  5. It could indicate that the memorialization represented by the reason given for the day's existence does not cycle every 7 days. This is the only possibility, since the day itself DOES cycle every six days thereafter.

  7. Since the discussion is about what God did and not what His people did or were supposed to do, the meaning of this passage must, by the constraints of logic and common sense, be limited to mean that the only day ever to stand as a memorial to Creation week is the 7th day of Creation week itself.


God's rest from creating was permanent and unbroken, beginning on the 7th day of Creation and up until this very moment. Therefore, the 7th day of the actual Creation Week itself is a memorial to God's rest that never ended, making it impossible that His rest would be suspended for six days of God's time and then resumed for 24 hours of His time.


If we were to follow God's "Sabbath" rest as a model for what we are to do, we would rest all the time. God is resting from His creative activity right now, and has been ever since that 7th day in Eden.


Once it is understood that Moses deliberately wrote his account of the days of Creation to make it impossible for a Hebrew reader to see a Sabbath commandment in his remarks about what happened on the 7th day of that week, the very foundation of Sabbatarianism is swept away. Since the Sabbath was given only to the Jews, it should come as no surprise that this shadowy ordinance would end when the Reality steps into full view at the cross. The brightness of the Messiah is so great that the shadow cannot be seen any longer.


The open-ended nature of the "rest" of Genesis 2:2, 3 is now widely acknowledged by biblical scholars. See G. C. D. Howley, gen. ed., A Bible Commentary for Today: Based on the Revised Standard Version (London: Pickering & Inglis, 1979), p. 136. See also D. Guthrie and J. A. Motyer, eds., The New Bible Commentary Revised (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1970), p. 83.


Cherry Brandstater, in a well-written article posted on her blog spot, Gently Broken, reminds us that there are three reasons God gave for giving Israel the Sabbath, two of which apply only to Israel. You can read her complete work at: .):


  1. To see if his Israelite Children would follow His commands. See Exodus 16:4.

  3. To remember that He ceased creating on the 7th day of the Creation week. See Exodus 20.

  5. To remind them that God had delivered them from slavery, where there was no rest for the weary, and given them a national identify. Brandstater says:


"Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day." Deut. 5:12-15 (NIV) Here the Sabbath represents a testimony to freedom and redemption because God, the creator of the world, is also the one who released Israel from Egyptian bondage. And he gave not only the Sabbath as a reminder of their redemption but also started their national calendar with that event as if time for them had not existed until then. On that day He became their Redeemer; therefore, they were to keep a calendar and a Holy Day in honor of Him for all the world to see.


It is certainly worth remembering, again, that the Sabbath was designed for the set of people of Israel apart from all other nations of the world, and the sign of that differentiation was the Sabbath. It is impossible to use something everyone is supposed to do, to make part of that subset of peoples of the world separate from all the others. No Christian has been brought out of Egyptian slavery, so there is no reason for me, as a Christian, to keep this purely Jewish ordinance.




It is astonishing that Sabbatarians have never considered that the Sabbath and circumcision cannot be separated from each other. Neither Jews nor Gentiles (if they are to live in the Israelite community) are permitted to keep the Sabbath without first being circumcised. The Council of Jerusalem decided not to impose circumcision on the Gentile converts, thus ending the Sabbath question forever. Bacchiocchi teaches that the exemption for circumcision was for the Gentiles only and was still required for the Jewish Christians. (See Bacchiocchi's essay, "How Did Sabbath Keeping Begin," in the section titled, 'Attachment to the Law.' If the issue involved here is truly a moral one, God could not make a distinction between what Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians were required to do. This argument is clearly grasping at straws. Furthermore, it is inconsistent with what the Bible teaches about God, Who is known not to be a "respecter of persons." The biblical understanding of circumcision as taught in Scripture and Jewish rabbinical teachings is close to absolute proof that Sabbath-keeping ended on the cross and was officially put to rest at the Council of Jerusalem. The key to understanding Jewish thought regarding Gentiles and the Sabbath is based on the Jewish belief that the Sabbath was not given to Adam and Eve at the Creation. Understanding their own Hebrew language, they clearly understood that Moses worded his account of the events of the 7th day of Creation in such a way as to make certain his Hebrew readers could not possibly see a Sabbath commandment in what he said.


The Jews understood that the Sabbath commandment was given to Israel and to Israel only. The Jews recognized two different sets of laws-- the Noachian laws which were given to everyone at the beginning of the world, and the TORAH laws that were given to Israel at the time of the Exodus. Please study these quotations from the Jewish Encyclopedia carefully:


The Seven Laws.


Laws which were supposed by the Rabbis to have been binding upon mankind at large even before the revelation at Sinai, and which are still binding upon non-Jews. The term 'Noachian' indicates the universality of these ordinances, since the whole human race was supposed to be descended from the three sons of Noah, who alone survived the Flood. Although only those laws which are found in the earlier chapters of the Pentateuch, before the record of the revelation at Sinai, should, it would seem, be binding upon all mankind, yet the Rabbis discarded some and, by hermeneutic rules or in accordance with some tradition (see Judah ha-Levi, "Cuzari," iii. 73), introduced others which are not found there. Basing their views on the passage in Gen. ii. 16, they declared that the following six commandments were enjoined upon Adam: (1) not to worship idols; (2) not to blaspheme the name of God; (3) to establish courts of justice; (4) not to kill; (5) not to commit adultery; and (6) not to rob (Gen. R. xvi. 9, xxiv. 5; Cant. R. i. 16; comp. Seder 'Olam Rabbah, ed. Ratner, ch. v. and notes, Wilna, 1897; Maimonides, "Yad," Melakim, ix. 1). A seventh commandment was added after the Flood—not to eat flesh that had been cut from a living animal (Gen. ix. 4). Thus, the Talmud frequently speaks of "the seven laws of the sons of Noah," which were regarded as obligatory upon all mankind, in contradistinction to those that were binding upon Israelites only (Tosef., 'Ab. Zarah, ix. 4; Sanh. 56a et seq.).


He who observed the seven Noachian laws was regarded as a domiciled alien (, 'Ab. Zarah 64b; see Proselyte), as one of the pious of the Gentiles, and was assured of a portion in the world to come (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 1; Sanh. 105a; comp. ib. 91b; "Yad," l.c. viii. 11).


Here is a more extensive quote from the Jewish Encyclopedia which supports the concept that the Jews are very serious about their belief that the Sabbath was given to Israel alone. This passage is particularly interesting because it has a direct bearing on the Sabbath question for Christians as viewed by the Jews (Jewish Encyclopedia, article, "Gentile," section "Gentiles May Not Be Taught the Torah"):


Resh Laish (d. 278) said, "A Gentile observing the Sabbath deserves death" (Sanh. 58b). This refers to a Gentile who accepted the seven laws of the Noachidæ, inasmuch as "the Sabbath is a sign between God and Israel alone," and it was probably directed against the Christian Jews, who disregarded the Mosaic laws and yet at that time kept up the observance of the Jewish Sabbath. Rabbina, who lived about 150 years after the Christians had changed the day of rest to Sunday, could not quite understand the principle underlying Resh Laish's law, and, commenting upon it, added: "not even on Mondays [is the Gentile allowed to rest]"; intimating that the mandate given to the Noachidæ that "day and night shall not cease" (="have no rest ") should be taken in a literal sense (Gen. viii. 22)—probably to discourage general idleness (ib. Rashi), or for the more plausible reason advanced by Maimonides, who says: "The principle is, one is not permitted to make innovations in religion or to create new commandments. He has the privilege to become a true proselyte by accepting the whole Law" ("Yad," Melakim, x. 9). R. Emden (). In a remarkable apology for Christianity contained in his appendix to "Seder 'Olam" (pp. 32b-34b, Hamburg, 1752), gives it as his opinion that the original intention of Jesus, and especially of Paul, was to convert only the Gentiles to the seven moral laws of Noah and to let the Jews follow the Mosaic law—which explains the apparent contradictions in the New Testament regarding the laws of Moses and the Sabbath.


There are a number of amazing concepts we can learn from a combination of Jewish traditional theology and the Bible itself that impacts the Sabbath and its implications for Christians:


  1. The Jews knew the Sabbath didn't begin at Creation.

  3. The Jews believed the Sabbath was given to Israel and Israel alone.

  5. The Jews, who are known to be excellent historians, knew that Christians abandoned the Sabbath almost immediately, and the most extreme of the rabbis in the early Christian era taught that Christians and others who kept the Sabbath should be stoned to death.

  7. The Gentiles could not keep the Law of Moses until they had become circumcised. (Lev. 24:22)

  9. Similarly, the gateway to keeping the TORAH, even for an Israelite, was circumcision. Circumcision represents the bondage of an Israelite to the Torah.

  11. The Sabbath was not part of Noachian Law.

  13. God sent his prophets to rebuke many Gentile nations, but there is no record in the Bible that God ever rebuked them for Sabbath -breaking.

  15. Jesus viewed both the Sabbath and circumcision to be ceremonial in nature. He did not condemn the Jews for breaking the Sabbath to circumcise a child on the 8th day following his birth according to the laws of Moses:

    John 7:21-23 (NIV) - 21 Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath?


  17. The Weekly Sabbath is listed in Leviticus 23 as one of many ceremonial ordinances.


At the Council of Jerusalem, the Apostle Paul, through the help of the Holy Spirit, was able to persuade the other Early Church leaders to avoid saddling the new Gentile converts with a burden that neither they nor their Jewish fathers were able to bear. Once the decision was made not to require the Gentile converts to be circumcised, the Sabbath question was settled forever. There was no chance for the Sabbath question to surface again without first reviving the practice of required circumcision. This understanding helps us to see why the requirement to keep the Jewish Sabbath was never indicated in any Scripture that post-dated this historic council.


The link between circumcision, the TORAH, and the Sabbath is clear. Acts 15:4 - Acts 15:5 (NIV):


Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses.


Both Christians and Jews understood that TORAH law was designed to keep Jews and Gentiles separate. The TORAH, with the Sabbath and its dietary laws, had to come to an end before the Gospel could include the Gentiles. While it may not matter what day Christians choose to worship God, choosing to retain the Sabbath as a day of rest is like rebuilding the same wall of separation that cost God so much to tear down. Here is how Paul talks about this concept in Ephesians Chapter 2:


Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)― 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For He himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. (NIV)


Jews and Christians can now eat together and worship together. The barrier erected by the Jewish ordinances of the Sabbath, the Jewish dietary laws, and circumcision have been destroyed by what happened at the cross.


It should be clear, now, that the Adventist interpretation that only the "ceremonial" laws were nailed to the cross is not possible for a number of reasons. The Sabbath was a ceremonial law designed to keep Israel and the Gentiles separate, and that barrier must come down if Jews and Gentiles are to be united in the Gospel. The Old Testament, as well as Jewish traditional theology, views the TORAH as absolutely inseparable.






Jesus' statement that the Sabbath was made for man looks like a possible defense for Sabbatarianism if you isolate the statement from everything else we know about the Bible. The Sabbath did not begin in Eden. It was given to the Jews as a sign to distinguish Israel from all the other peoples of the world. Sabbath-keeping requires circumcision, which was given only to Israel. The Jews have always believed that the Sabbath was given to Israel and Israel alone. This statement of Jesus' is open to a degree of interpretation. Yes, the Sabbath was "given" to "man", but at what time and under what circumstances? A former member of The Worldwide Church of God explains why the Pharisees would have been very upset if they had interpreted Jesus' statement to mean that the Sabbath was given to all nations. There is no indication in the Gospels that the Pharisees were upset by what Jesus said. Here is an excellent commentary on this question from this former World Wide Church of God writer:




After the Pharisees criticized Jesus for allowing his disciples to pick some grain on the Sabbath day, Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). Was he saying that God made the Sabbath for both Jews and gentiles—all human beings?


No, that was not the point. Jesus did not say that the Sabbath was made for all people. The Pharisees believed that the Sabbath was for Jews only. If Jesus had said that the Sabbath was made for gentiles, it would have created another controversy.


The Pharisees were concerned about the behavior of the disciples, not the gentiles. If Jesus responded by teaching that the Sabbath was made for everyone, it would have supported the Pharisees' concerns instead of refuting them.


The Pharisees were overestimating the importance of Sabbath restrictions. Jesus responded to them not by expanding the Sabbath, but by reducing it.


We can see what Jesus meant by looking at the next phrase: "and not man for the Sabbath." His point was that the Sabbath was made to serve people, instead of people being created to serve the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a servant, not a master. He was addressing the relative importance of the Sabbath, not which specific people were given the Sabbath.


We could just as easily say, "Circumcision was made for humans, not for angels." This statement is true, but we should not focus on the first half as if it meant that circumcision was made for all humans. It was given to Israel only, not the rest of the world.


Similarly, Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for humans, but he did not say, nor did he mean, that it was made for all humans.


Michael Morrison


You can reference this quotation at the following web address:






Robert Brinsmead's intense research prior to the publication of his 1981 essay, "Sabbatarianism Re-examined, uncovered the fact that the 10 Commandments were modeled after the Hittite treaties of the time. (See "Law and "Covenant in Israel and the Ancient Near East," George E. Mendenhall, 1954; and "The Two Tables of the Covenant," Meridith Kline, Westminster Theological Journal 22 (1960) 133-46 , both available on the Web). Brinsmead says:

The ceremonial nature of the Sabbath law has been confirmed by Mendenhall's 1954 discovery that the Ten Commandments conform to the structure of treaties between Hittite kings and their vassals. Annexed to the stipulations of a Hittite treaty was a provision for a periodic ceremony to rehearse the treaty between the lord and the vassal. Meredith Kline beautifully demonstrates that the Sabbath law in the middle of the Ten Commandments is the counterpart of a Hittite treaty memorial celebration with respect to its provision for the rehearsal of God's covenant. The Sabbath law, therefore, was a law requiring a ceremony of covenantal rehearsal.



The evidence is that the Sabbath was a ceremonial rite given to Israel to help the Chosen People remember that God was the One responsible for bringing them out of the slavery of Egypt into the rest and freedom that having their own nation provided. It would be so very much like God to communicate His plan for them in the context of their contemporary culture because the people could understand this concept more easily. Moses, in Leviticus 23, lists the weekly Sabbath as one of the many ceremonial festivals given to the Israelite nation to be observed, labeling them "appointed feasts." The evidence in this section combines with the fact that a study of the Hebrew linguistics of the Creation Story proves that God did not give the Sabbath commandment to the people of the world in the Garden of Eden.




It is interesting to note that in discussions of right and wrong for Christians, the New Testament writers comment about sins that are related to all of the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue with the exception of the 4th Commandment—the Sabbath. While arguments from silence are among the weakest form of evidence and fail to qualify as "proof," it is never-the-less an interesting observation. Why do we note the mention of sins related to all of the Ten Commandments except the Sabbath?


It is entirely reasonable to suppose that the new Gentile converts coming into the Church would need some kind of "official" guidance in regard to the Sabbath if indeed Sabbath observance were required of them. Many such converts may have been attending the Jewish synagogues where Paul had preached and might have a degree of familiarity with the Sabbath concept already. However, other Gentile converts may have come directly out of heathenism. The apostles, and especially Paul, gave them instructions in almost everything else, including whether they could eat meat sacrificed to idols or not. Paul instructed Christians not to use their freedom from the LAW to fall into sin, and in one passage he gives a list of 23 examples of the kind of sins that a person who lives by the Spirit will not be found to be practicing. The emphasis of the true Gospel of Jesus, as articulated by the Apostle Paul, is that Christians are not guided by principles of any set of laws, but rather by the Holy Spirit in the heart.


Without exception, every time the New Testament mentions Christians getting together as Christians, they met on the first day of the week-- never on the Jewish Sabbath.

Christians went to the Jewish synagogues to witness to their Jewish brethren that Jesus was the Messiah. There is no indication they went there for any other purpose.


Sabbatarians teach that the reference to "The Lord's Day" in the Book of Revelation is a reference to the Sabbath (See Rev. 1:9.). However, this concept is not in keeping with linguistics and word usage studies. There is abundant evidence that the term "The Lord's Day" was consistently a reference to Sunday, the first day of the week. In regard to the Sabbatarian idea that it was a reference to the Jewish Sabbath, Wikipedia has this to say in the article, "The Lord's Day:"


Some seventh-day Sabbatarian writers have argued that because Jesus identified himself as "Lord even of the Sabbath day" (cf. Matt. 12:8), kyriake hemera in Rev. 1:10 should be interpreted as a reference to seventh-day Sabbath. However, in almost every other instance where kyriake hemera or kyriake is used, the unambiguous meaning is Sunday, but there are no early witnesses to the use of kyriake hemera as a name for Saturday.


The Wikipedia article does not provide an authoritative citation for this fact. Note that the researchers at the Encyclopedia Britannica have concluded that the reference to the Lord's Day in Revelation is to Sunday and that the Lord's Day is to be equated with Sunday (See the Encyclopedia Britannica's Web entry for "Lord's Day."):


First day of the week; in Christianity, the Lord's Day, the weekly memorial of Jesus Christ's Resurrection from the dead. The practice of Christians gathering together for worship on Sunday dates back to apostolic times, but details of the actual development of the custom are not clear. Before the end of the 1st century ad, the author of Revelation gave the first day its name of the "Lord's Day" (Rev. 1:10). Saint Justin Martyr (c. 100-c. 165), philosopher and defender of the Christian faith, in his writings described the Christians gathered together for worship on the Lord's Day: the gospels or the Old Testament was read, the presiding minister preached a sermon, and the group prayed together and celebrated the Lord's Supper.


A "Sabbath" (Gr. sabbatismos; God's rest") is mentioned in Hebrews 4 to explain the rest that Christians find in God and Christ. The apostles went to the synagogues to witness to the Jews on Sabbaths. However, when there is a reference to Christians meeting with other Christians, their meetings always occur on Sunday.


Sabbatarians point to the fact that Jesus kept the Sabbath, and He is our Example. Jesus was also living under the terms of the Mosaic Covenant at that time. The TORAH had not been nailed to the Cross. Jesus didn't marry and he raised the dead. Are we to follow Jesus' example in these things also? If He had wanted Christians to keep the Sabbath, He would not have instructed Paul, through the Holy Spirit, to write Colossians 2:14-17, which forbids the enforcement of Sabbath-keeping on the Gentile converts. Greg Taylor in his book "Discovering the New Covenant: Why I Am No Longer a Seventh-day Adventist", makes an excellent case that Jesus was preparing His followers for Colossians 2:14-17 by breaking the Sabbath Himself and citing examples of others who had broken the Sabbath and also were guiltless.


By the 1960's, the Sabbatarian teaching that sun worship had seduced Christians to worship on Sunday was invalidated by an ever-increasing body of scholarship. It was discovered that the heathen didn't rest from work on Sunday.


"In the early centuries of the Church's history down to the time of the Emperor Constantine it would, in any case, not have been practical for Christians to observe Sunday as a day of rest, on which they were obliged, for the sake of principle, to abstain from work. The reason for this was simply that no one in the entire Roman Empire, neither Jews, nor Greeks, nor Romans, stopped work on Sunday" (Willy Rordorf, Sunday: The History of the Day of Rest and Worship in the Earliest Centuries of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1968, pp. 154-155).


Pliny's famous letter to Trajan (c. A.D. 111-112) is also clear evidence that early Christians had no free day of rest. They met for worship early in the morning (probably on the first day of the week), and then they went to work. (See Bruce, New Testament History, pp. 423-24.) There are numerous statements in the writings of the Early Church of the first and second centuries that discuss the reasons for Christians worshiping on Sunday and the forsaking of the Jewish Sabbath. This is readily accessible historical information, but the Seventh-day Adventist Church does its best to keep this information from its members. Since the Church is the only source of information about the Sabbath for the vast majority of its membership, these amazing excerpts from Christian writers of the first and second centuries are, to these members, as if they never existed. Some of these excerpts will be presented, with comment, a little later.


Adventists cite Isaiah 66 as proof that the Sabbath will be kept in Heaven. See the excellent study on the Sabbath by Robert K. Sanders in Appendix I for a good treatment of the serious problems with this interpretation. While there may be more than one way to interpret this passage, it cannot mean that the Sabbath will be kept in the New Earth. What about all the dead bodies lying on the ground? What about the fact that this passage, if it could be interpreted in this manner, would also indicate that the annual and monthly sabbath feast days would also be kept there? Even from an Adventist perspective, Seventh-day Adventists believe that all the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross, and the annual and monthly sabbath feast days are viewed by Adventists as ceremonial. Furthermore, their Church prophetess, Ellen White, said that God showed her that all the ceremonial parts of the law were nailed to the cross.


Additionally, Adventists cite the fact that Jesus instructed his disciples to pray that the future siege of Jerusalem would not take place on the Sabbath day, thus "proving" that the Sabbath should be kept way into the future. This argument does not stand up to scrutiny. Jewish law required that the gates of Jerusalem be locked for the Sabbath. Whether or not the Jews were doing this at the time Jesus spoke these words is not particularly important. The gates were supposed to be locked for the duration of the Sabbath, and if those gates were locked, His followers would find escape from the city much more difficult than if the gates were open.





As we studied earlier, an interpretation of Moses' account of the events of the 7th day of Creation in Hebrew shows that he went out of his way to indicate to his Hebrew readers that the recurring Sabbath rest did not start in Eden. None of the patriarchs kept the Sabbath, and they are eternally saved. Why, then, is it so difficult to understand the concept that Christians are not required to keep it now?


Moses stated that the Covenant was not given before Sinai: Their fathers prior to Egypt did not keep the Sabbath: Deut. 5:2-3:


"The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today."


God gave them the Sabbath law at Sinai. He did not remind them about it: Nehemiah 9:13-14:


"You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them just ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments. You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses Your servant."


It is clear that the Sabbath command did not exist before the Exodus.


In other chapters we will study more about the temporary nature of the TORAH. Colossians 2:14-17 tells us when the reign of TORAH law ended.





In the 1895 version of Replies to Canright, we have proof that Adventist leaders of his time knew that they could not substantiate their arguments against what he said about Colossians 2:14-17. This book quotes the following passage from Canright's book. Instead of addressing his key argument at his foundational point, they show that just a year or two earlier, he argued in favor of a Sabbatarian interpretation of this key passage. They list his own arguments for a Sabbatarian-friendly reading of the passage and attempt to make him appear to flip-flop back and forth to prove that his thinking is inconsistent. Here is a portion of what Canright said about Colossians 2:14-17. His basic premise is not addressed by his critics:



"But it is argued that as 'the sabbath days' of Col.2:16 'are a shadow of things to come' (verse 17), and the weekly Sabbath is a memorial of creation, pointing back to the beginning, therefore they cannot be the same; for the Sabbath could not point both ways. But is not this a mere assertion without any proof? How do we know that it cannot point both ways? The Passover was a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, and always pointed back to that event. Ex.12:11-17. Yet it was also a shadow of Christ. Col.2:16,17. 'Even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.' 1Cor.5:7. So all those annual feasts were types of Christ in some way, and yet all were memorials also of past events, as all know.... Paul says plainly that sabbath days are a shadow of things to come; and one plain statement of Inspiration is worth a thousand of our vain reasonings. This is in harmony with Paul's argument in Heb.4:1-11, that the seventh day is a type. For forty years we have tried to explain away this text, and to show that it really cannot mean what it says; but there it stands, and mocks all our theories. The Sabbath is a type, for Inspiration says so. "-Canright in Advocate of Oct. 1, 1887.


To today's observer of the Canright Sabbath crisis of 1888, it is compelling to note that Canright knew all the cheap arguments that he himself had used in arguing for the Sabbath, saw that they were cheap, and was willing to face the truth that he had been wrong when the evidence against his former position confronted him as a result of his independent study. Since Canright had been a top leader of the Adventist Movement, he was in a better position to know the struggles the Church had experienced in trying to explain away this devastating anti-Sabbatarian passage of Scripture. His terse comments are proof that early Adventist leaders knew there was a serious problem with the text and knew that they did not have any satisfactory answers for it.


By leaving the employment of the Church, Canright was able to practice the truth without any further fear of losing his Church employment. This unwillingness to make a stand for the truth when it comes down to the fear of losing a Church job has haunted Adventism from its very beginning. Here is what we now know about the impossibilities of the traditional Adventist defense of Colossians 2:14-17. I am not suggesting that Canright knew all of these arguments. They are the facts as we know them today, which have been researched from the time of Canright down to our own time:


  1. Sabbatarians attempt to discredit the fact that the third reference in the passage is a reference to the Weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue by saying that Paul used the plural form of the word, which would signify it was one of the other kind of ceremonial sabbaths. This attempt to evade the plain meaning of the passage doesn't work because there are about 20 other places in Scripture where the plural form of the word Sabbath, Sabbaton, is used where context demands the meaning be the weekly Sabbath. The Greeks didn't have the same concern over plural versus singular forms of words that is found in the English language.

  3. The sentence structure FESTIVAL, NEW MOON, SABBATH is a phrase used in the Hebrew to imply the three aspects of Jewish festival structure and designates the order of ANNUAL, MONTHLY, WEEKLY. This same annual, monthly and weekly sequence appears five times in the Septuagint― i.e., 2 Chron. 2:4; 31:3; Neh. 10:33; Ezek. 45:17; Hosea 2:11. All through the history of the Israelites we have Annual Sabbaths, Monthly Sabbaths, and Weekly Sabbaths. If the word Sabbath as used here means monthly Sabbaths, the sentence would read, "Annual Sabbaths, Monthly Sabbaths, and Monthly Sabbaths." If it were an annual Sabbath Paul meant here, the sentence would read, "Annual Sabbaths, Monthly Sabbaths, and Annual Sabbaths.

  5. Whenever the Old Testament links the New Moon celebration with the Sabbath, as in Colossians 2:16, it is referring to the Weekly Sabbath (2 Kings 4:23, 1 Chron. 23:31, 2 Chron. 2:4; Neh. 10:33; Isa.. 1:13; 66:23; Ezek. 45:17; 46.1: Hosea 2:11: Amos 8:5).

  7. In the Old Testament, annual Sabbaths are always called "a Sabbath of rest" in the Septuagint. This Greek version of the Old Testament always, or nearly always, translates this as Sabbata Sabbaton― not simply Sabbaton― as here in Colossians 2:14-17.

  9. Paul clearly states that these four things ―diet, annual feasts, monthly feasts, and the Weekly Sabbath ―are not to be made a test of Christian belief and practice because they are merely shadows of things that were to come, whereas Christ is the Reality. To try to salvage Sabbatarianism, the Adventists say that Paul could not possibly have meant a weekly Sabbath here because the Sabbath was a memorial pointing backwards to Creation. This SDA approach fails miserably because the most significant Jewish memorials pointed both backward and forward at the same time. In Colossians, prior to this passage, Paul refers to Adam as a symbol of Christ. In fact it is possible that all the major Jewish ordinances point both backward and forward at the same time.

  11. Paul was a Jew, and the Jews, for thousands of years, have used the Sabbath as a symbol of the rest that will come in the after-life. This fact is well-documented in Jewish literature, both ancient and modern.

  13. Since the Jews viewed the TORAH as 613 equally important, inseparable laws, it is impossible that St. Paul meant that only the "ceremonial" laws were nailed to the cross. Before Dr. Bacchiocchi, Adventists taught that if the Sabbath mentioned by Paul in Colossians 2:14-17 was a reference to the weekly Sabbath, it was different than the other items in Paul's list of several Jewish ordinances because it was an eternal, moral principle. Note that Dr. Bacchiocchi refused to use this argument because the Jewish concept of TORAH law will not permit it, and the sentence structure of the passage requires that the Sabbath mentioned in the list is the weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue.


From, we have an interesting linguistic study that provides strong evidence that the Sabbath was not given to Adam and Even in the Garden. The concept is compelling:


  1. The first time any Jewish holy day is mentioned in scripture, it always lacks the definite article (a Sabbath).

  3. All the Jewish holy days are never introduced the first time in Scripture with the definite article "the" but with the indefinite "a" or "an".

  5. The indefinite article is used both before and after something has been instituted, but the definite article, as in (the Sabbath) is never used the first time something is introduced.

  7. This powerful argument proves that the weekly Sabbath did not exist before Ex 16:23.

  9. What makes it irrefutable is the fact that every Jewish Holy Day follows this same pattern!

  11. FIRST TIME: tomorrow is a Sabbath: Ex 16:23
  12. SUBSEQUENT MENTION: "the" Lord has given you the Sabbath: Ex 16:29

  14. FIRST TIME: A solemn rest "a" holy Sabbath: Ex 17:22; Lev. 16:25
  15. SUBSEQUENT MENTION: "the" Sabbath: Ex 20:11

  17. FIRST TIME: "a" memorial: Lev. 12:30
  18. SUBSEQUENT MENTION: afterwards, the Lord's Passover

  20. FIRST TIME; "an" holy convocation: Lev 23:21
  21. SUBSEQUENT MENTION: the day of Pentecost: Acts 2:1

  23. FIRST TIME; Unleavened bread: "a" feast: Ex 12:40
  24. SUBSEQUENT MENTION: afterward, the feast: Lev. 23:6

  26. FIRST MENTION: "an" altar Gen. 8:20
  27. SUBSEQUENT MENTION: the altar: Gen. 8:20

  29. This pattern may only be totally consistent in texts of the original language-- Greek and Hebrew.


Now read this passage again with the understanding that the Sabbath referenced in this text cannot be anything else but the Weekly Sabbath. The text is from the NIV:


COLOSSI ANS 2:16-17 - Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.


A deeper study of Colossians 2:14-17, along with two other anti-Sabbatarian passages from the writings of St. Paul, is included in Chapters Five and Six.






If you assume Sabbatarianism to be true, Hebrews 4 looks, on the surface, like a great proof-text to use in defense of the Sabbath. However, a careful analysis of Hebrews 1-11, using the most elementary principles of literary interpretation, reveals that the author of Hebrews is using the Sabbath rest as a symbol of the rest that the Christian finds in the truth of the Gospel. It is also interesting to note that the writer's emphasis on the events of the 7th day of Creation is what God did—not what Man was supposed to do. My analysis of this passage strongly suggests that the Sabbath is used here as a symbol of the rest the Gospel brings to the Christian with the assurance of salvation as taught by the author of Hebrews. (While many biblical scholars think Paul may have written this book, there is no proof that he did, and some scholars point out some style characteristics of this book that do not seem characteristic of Paul.) Read this passage carefully, paying special attention to the symbolism utilized by the writer:



1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." 5 And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest." 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. (NIV-Bible )


Despite the fact that God gave Israel the Sabbath, they never enjoyed the rest that God had intended for them because of their unbelief. By contrast, the belief of the Christian in the assurance of salvation they find in Jesus provides the rest that God intended Israel to have. This text says nothing that can be construed to support the requirement that Christians observe the ceremony of the weekly Sabbath.





Both Sabbatarians and their anti-Sabbatarian antagonists try to use Matthew 5:17-19 to support their points of view. My assessment of this situation suggests that it is impossible for Sabbatarians to use it for their purposes and next-to-impossible for anti-Sabbatarians to use it. This passage says nothing definite about the Sabbath question. According to Paul Roll (Worldwide Church of God), the original Greek text for this passage is very difficult to translate into English, making interpretation difficult:


17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." (Matt 5:17-19 NIV)


Sabbatarians say this text proves that the 10 Commandments will last until Heaven and Earth disappear, which takes the end of the Law and the Prophets to way beyond the cross. Since the Sabbath is a part of the 10 Commandments, this passage supposedly teaches that the Sabbath was not nailed to the cross and its observance is required of Christians today.


This meaning is impossible because the law set here is the TORAH, the entire set of the books of Moses, and it contains 613 moral and ceremonial laws which the Jews would never think could be divided. If none of these laws were nailed to the cross, Christians would have to do ceremonial washings and keep all the Jewish feasts.


Paul Kroll explains the problem and possible solutions in the following Internet article, "The 'Law' of Matthew 5:17-19." A Google search will provide you with access to the entire paper, which is well-worth reading:


The meaning of "until everything is accomplished" has several possibilities. It is suggested by the Tyndale New Testament Commentary that the translation: "Until what it [the Law] looks forward to arrives" gives the best sense of this phrase. This links the thought with the idea of "fulfillment" in verse 17. This also seems to be the thrust of Paul's comments regarding the relationship of the Law and Jesus' earthly ministry (Galatians 3:19, 23-25).

The Tyndale New Testament Commentary expresses the interpretation of "accomplished" in these words:

"The law remains valid until it reaches its intended culmination; this it is now doing in the ministry and teaching of Jesus. This verse does not state, therefore, as it is sometimes interpreted, that every regulation in the Old Testament law remains binding after the coming of Jesus. The law is unalterable, but that does not justify its application beyond the purpose for which it was intended" (page 115).

The Tyndale commentary also makes the same point in these words:

"This passage does not therefore state that every Old Testament regulation is eternally valid. This view is not found anywhere in the New Testament, which consistently sees Jesus as introducing a new situation, for which the law prepared (Galatians 3:24), but which now transcends it. The focus is now on Jesus and his teaching, and in this light the validity of Old Testament rules must now be examined. Some will be found to have fulfilled their role, and be no longer applicable...others will be reinterpreted" (page 117).

This explanation must be the correct one, or else the early Christian church and the apostles violated Matthew 5:17-19 by telling gentile Christians that circumcision and keeping the Law of Moses was not necessary. The book of Galatians would also have been in error on this point. And the book of Hebrews would have been in extraordinary violation of Jesus' words, too, since it states that the entire sacrificial system, the temple worship and Levitical priesthood had been annulled.


Paul said that Christ is the end of TORAH law: Rom.10:4 (NIV): "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Under the New Covenant, the "law" is written on the hearts of the people.


What is overlooked by Sabbatarians in Mt. 5:17-19 is that Jesus refers to the Law and Prophets, and not just "the Law." In this context, it is what is found in the law (the first 5 books of the Bible) and Prophets (that which is written by them) that has the potential to be fulfilled or destroyed, and there are no laws or discussions of the legalities of the law, codified in the Prophets. The only thing written in the law and prophets with the potential to be fulfilled or destroyed are prophesies, and Jesus declared he came to fulfill that which was written of him in the law. The statement regarding "till heaven and earth pass" is in relation to those prophesies found in the law and prophets that are eschatological in nature that have their fulfillment later. To conclude this is about the legalities of the law ignores the later context of the same chapter where Jesus proceeds to alter points of that law way beyond jots and tittles.







As long as Adventists believe in the validity of the Church's interpretation of Bible prophecy that supposedly proves that the Roman Catholic Church was destined to change the Sabbath, an insurmountable barrier to being able to see the specious error of Sabbatarianism exists. It is a shocking revelation of discouragement when an Adventist comes to realize that the Adventist leaders of long ago manipulated the significance of the historical events to make the key prophetic dates to develop their "proofs" that the Roman Catholic Church would change God's laws, which, of course, is supposed to mean that it would change the Sabbath to Sunday. At the same time it should not come as a shock to any Adventist that these early SDA leaders could do such a thing once the facts of their deceptions in regard to the history of the Early Church are grasped.


I encourage my readers to conduct their own study regarding the problems with SDA prophetic theories about the Roman Catholic Church. The key date of 457 BC in the Adventist prophetic scheme of things is unusable since nothing of significance happened on that date. No one really bothered to check these supposed prophetic dates out carefully until the anti-Sabbatarian movement of recent development triggered inquiring minds to question all the claims of the Church in regard to things relating to the Sabbath.


The key prophetic date of 1798, which was supposed to end 1,260 days of papal oppression is unusable. While it is true that the pope was taken captive in 1798 by France, popes had been taken into captivity a number of times before. Most importantly, however, is that papal power continued until decades later. The fact is that it did not receive its so-called "fatal wound" in 1798.


In 1933, New Zealand Adventist critic, Vowless, called attention to the dishonest use of these prophetic dates, yet Adventist evangelists continued to use them up through at least the 1970's and perhaps even till today. Listen to Vowless's observations:


And why were William Miller's and Mrs. White's divinely endorsed dates of 508-538, 1798 and 1844, been altered by the Conference Committee at Washington to 503, 533, 1793 and 1838? It is true that 1798 and 1844 are still carried, possibly as a sop to conservatives, but these new dates are a part of the diagram. This never occurred before--why now? Start asking your good elders questions about these dates and you will find them doing similar to the good elder Stevens, of Detroit, who went limping from the platform when someone put such questions to him. If this proves too embarrassing for them to answer, then write a line to Washington asking them to send you the Committee report, and turn to page 265 and see for yourselves. R. Vowless, "The White Elephant of Adventism," New Plymouth, New Zealand, P. F. Burrows Ltd., Eliot Street, New Plymouth, p.23. Access this fascinating document at:


For a collection of scholarly papers on the impossibilities of the prophetic dates used by Seventh-day Adventists to prove the Investigative Judgment and the papacy's destiny to be the diabolical force that was to "change the day," visit Robert K. Sander's web-site, TRUTH OR FABLES, at:






SECTION II (Chapters 4-10)


The History of Adventism's

Long War Against Truth



The Seventh-day Adventist Church has everything to gain by keeping the truth about its developmental history masked behind a cloak of deceit and lies. Beginning in the 1970's, a series of blockbuster revelations ripped the veil of this curtain of deception from the bottom to the top, exposing the lies upon which Adventism is based. How could a faith need the support of so many lies be true? By around 1983, enough proof was available to demonstrate, even to the Adventist leaders of the time, that there is no biblical or historical support for the Sabbath and Investigative Judgment doctrines. Proof that Ellen White was a fraud had been known by top Adventist leaders of the time since the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes were discovered in 1974/1975. Here is an event log of the real history of Adventism along with some of my observations about the significance of these events. This history is gleaned from a variety of sources, but I owe special thanks to Dirk Anderson at {,} Tom Norris at, Walter Rea's unpublished book, Pirates of Privilege, and the collection of early Adventist writings at Robert K. Sander's web-site, Truth or Fables (






THE COVER-UP 1844 TO 1899





This period in the history of Adventism reflects the beginning of a new religious system based entirely on a comedy of errors. As the early years go by, various individuals recognize that Ellen White's visions are not from God, leave the Church, and write about their observations. The absence of mass communications makes it possible for the Whites to move from place to place as her fraudulent claims are unmasked. The Whites cover up the fact that Ellen taught the Shut Door Doctrine for years beyond what she claimed, but even the discovery of this lying deception is not enough to deter Adventist leaders from using her to keep the Church financially strong. A few decades later, they are also faced with undeniable evidence that the Sabbath doctrine is impossible, but it is too late to turn back. Reform would destroy the Church and cut off the supply of the tithe money needed to run the Church's operations. There is growing evidence that Ellen White's prophecies are usually failures, but this fact is ignored by leaders who apparently see her as a tool to use to solidify the view that God is personally at the helm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Sabbath Crisis of 1888, precipitated by D. M. Canright, threatens the very existence of the Church. However, the slow communications of the age limit the damage. By the end of the century, Ellen White has reached an income level that would easily classify her as wealthy, enabling her to travel the world, but she has caused so much trouble within the Church that the General Conference exiles her to Australia.


1844 - Jesus doesn't return as Miller had predicted. Later Ellen White, the Church's prophetess, claims that God put His hand over the Bible truths that would have prevented this mistake in order to test His people. A few Advent believers stick together, searching for the meaning of what has happened. An Advent believer by the name of Hiram Edison claims he was shown a vision in his cornfield that the sanctuary that was to be "cleansed" in 1844 was in Heaven-- not the Earth. The small Advent flock continues to believe that the "door" to salvation is closed to those who rejected the message that Jesus was to return to Earth in 1844. The foundation of the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment is created by Church prophetess, Ellen G. White, who, amazingly, snatches victory out of the jaws of defeat with bizarre theological gymnastics. However, she will borrow the actual doctrine from another Advent believer by the name of O.R.L Crosier, who articulated it, promoted it for a short while, and later repudiated it. Ellen White claimed later to have been shown that William Miller's failed prophetic chart was accurate and exactly the way God would have it read (Early Writings, p. 64, 1882 edition). Even a cursory reading of William Miller's prophetic interpretations demonstrates the absurdity of his methods. In writing like this, Ellen White insults the integrity and omnipotence of God, Who she makes to look as if He is unable to understand His own Bible and interpret it with any kind of sensibility. (For an explanation of William Miller's prophetic methodology, see Dale Ratzlaff's book, Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists.) Here is an outline of five of Miller's crazy calculations as furnished by E. F. Ballinger in his (circa) 1950 book, Facts about Seventh-day Adventists:



Miller had a fertile mind in selecting time prophecies that he thought terminated in 1843. He presented at least five.

The 2300 Days

His most important date was the 2300 days of Dan. 8:14, which he started from 457 BC, at the time of the beginning of the 70 weeks of Dan. 9:24.

SDA's retain only the 2300 days of Miller's five periods, even though Mrs. White mentions "periods" (plural) eleven times in Early Writings.

The Earth 6000 Years Old in 1843..

The earth would be 6000 years old in 1843. Then the seventh 1000, or millennium, would begin.

The 2520 Years

"I will punish you seen times more for your sins." Lev. 26:18. This he interpreted to mean seven prophetic years of 360 days of 2520 literal years. This period had to begin when Manasseh was taken captive to Babylon, in 677 BC.

The 50th Jubilee

The Jews had a special celebration every fiftieth year, called a Jubilee. The last one they held, according to Miller, was in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, 607 BC. The fiftieth Jubilee of Jubilees would be held in 1843. That is 49 Jubilees had been missed, a period of 2450 years, and the coming of the Lord would introduce this fiftieth Jubilee.

The 1335 Days

Miller had the 1335 days of Dan. 12:12 begin in 508 AD and terminate in 1843.

In Early Writings Mrs. White no less than eleven times speaks of "prophetic periods" (plural) as terminating in 1844, yet the denomination retains only one of these periods -- the 2300 days.


1845 - The Trial of Israel Dammon takes place, exposing the shocking fanatical behavior of Ellen White and the other members in attendance at a brawling "Pentecostal" meeting that includes men and women in questionable positioning with one another, so-called amazing manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and an arrest of the host of the meeting, Israel Dammon, for disorderly conduct. Ellen White's testimony of the account, which supposedly demonstrated the power of God, totally contradicts that of the police and other witnesses. (See 1986.)

1846 - Ellen White receives a vision of the planets at Topsham, Maine in the house of a Mr. Curtis. An influential man by the name of Captain Joseph Bates is present. She is "shown" that Jupiter has four moons. Then she describes a planet with 8 moons, which Bates took to mean Saturn, and then she was "shown" a vision of Uranus with six moons. This scientific "accuracy" of this vision and the fact that Bates believed Ellen White had no knowledge whatsoever of astronomy convinces him that Ellen's visions are from God. Bates then lends his full support to the Whites and her visions. (See 1892.)


1847 - Ellen White writes a letter to Joseph Bates affirming her belief and teaching that the door to salvation is closed for those who rejected William Miller's 1844 message. This teaching is referred to as the Doctrine of the Shut Door. Adventist leaders have denied that Mrs. White taught this perverted doctrine until a General Conference photographer, Skip Baker, photographed the letter in 1980 and subsequently published the photos. (See Skip Baker's article, "The Secret Letter," in Adventist Currents, July 1984). Photos of this letter are available, as well as the text of the letter at:


1847 - James and Ellen White publish their pamphlet, "A Word to the Little Flock." This paper clearly teaches the doctrine of the Shut Door. Several years later the White's begin to cover-up the fact that they had written in favor of the Shut Door doctrine in this paper. They lie about the contents of the pamphlet until their deception is unmasked by A. C. Long in 1882. (See 1882.)

1848 - The Present Truth, a periodical published by James White, teaches the Shut Door Doctrine—the belief that salvation was closed to everyone except the post-1844 Adventists! See 1950. Down through the years copies of these original, suppressed writings have surfaced, proving this fact. E. F. Ballinger in his circa 1950 publication, Facts about Seventh-day Adventists, proves Adventist leaders have lied in their attempt to cover-up this fact that disproves Ellen White's visions were from God.


1850 - Ellen White predicts Jesus will come within a few months. (See Early Writings, p. 58.)


1850 - Ellen White predicts the City of Jerusalem will never be re-built. (Today it has been built up well beyond the boundaries of the city in 1850.)


1854 - In December H. L. Hastings publishes The Great Controversy between God and Man-- Its Origin Progress and End. There is powerful evidence that Ellen White copied large portions of Hastings. The similarities of sequence, subject matter, and theological interpretation are striking. (See 1974 to learn how researchers later discovered her apparently blatant plagiarism.)

. L


1856 - Ellen White predicts that there will be at least one or more persons in the group to which she is speaking who will be alive when Jesus returns. There is nothing "conditional" implied in her words: "I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: 'Some food for worms, some subject to the last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus' (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 131)." All these people have since died.


1858 (CIRCA) - J. N. Andrews thinks he sees great similarities between John Milton's Paradise Lost and Ellen White's account of a vision she "received" in March regarding the appearance of Satan in the context of the battle between good and evil in the Universe. Ellen denies having read Milton's book before she had the vision. Her grandson, Arthur White, explained it away like this:


He [J. N. Andrews] told her some of the things she had said were much like a book he had read. Then he asked if she had read Paradise Lost. She replied in the negative. He told her that he thought she would be interested in reading it.

Ellen White forgot about the conversation, but a few days later Elder Andrews came to the home with a copy of Paradise Lost and offered it to her. She took the book, hardly knowing just what to do with it. She did not open it, but took it into the kitchen and put it up on a high shelf, determined that if there was anything in that book like what God had shown her in vision, she would not read it until after she had written out what the Lord revealed to her. (See The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, cited in "Ellen White's Habit," By Douglas Hackleman, Free Inquiry, Fall 1984, posted at

Back in the early years of Ellen White's ministry it might have been possible to believe such an excuse, especially if critical judgment is suspended. Today, in the context of everything we know about her track record of prevarication, there is little doubt but that she told a bold-faced lie in this case.

1859 - The Advent believers adopt a business model for the financial support of their work based on a concept called "Systematic Benevolence." James White developed the concept, and Ellen White was "shown" that it was the model God wanted for them. "Systematic Benevolence" did not work very well. If this "testimony" actually did come from God, He apparently must have been mistaken about what His little flock actually needed.

"The plan of Systematic Benevolence is pleasing to God. . . God is leading his people in the plan of Systematic Benevolence" (pp. 190, 191). "Systematic Benevolence looks to you as needless; you overlook the fact that it originated with God, whose wisdom is unerring. This plan he ordained" (Testimonies for the Church, p. 545, cited in Canright, Life of Mrs. E.G. White).


CIRCA 1859-1963 - Ellen White predicts that England will join the South and fight against the North in the Civil War. This did not happen, of course. There is nothing conditional in this prophecy, although Adventist apologists try to explain it away by saying that one word in the statement can have an alternative meaning that would change the prophecy into a conditional one. (See Testimonies, Vol.1, p.259.)


CIRCA 1859-1863 - Ellen White states the Civil War is being fought, not to abolish slavery, but to preserve it. Slavery was not preserved. (See Testimonies, Vol. 1, pp. 254, 258.)


1862 - Ellen White predicts that Moses Hull, who is about to leave Adventism, would suffer a terrible catastrophe as a result. The implication was that he would die, but she couches her words in general terms: "If you proceed in the way you have started, misery and woe are before you. God's hand will arrest you in a manner that will not suit you. His wrath will not slumber." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I., pp. 430, 431) Hull leaves Adventism and becomes a Spiritualist. He leads such an immoral life that even the leaders of the Spiritualist movement are anxious to distance themselves from him. He dies at a ripe old age after enjoying the pleasures of sin for many additional decades. (The Life of Ellen White, D.M. Canright, Chapter 15 - "Her Prophecies Fail.")


1863 - The Seventh-day Adventist Church officially organizes. By this time it has been a while since the group of faithful Adventist believers split into two groups over the issue of the Shut Door Doctrine. The group that held on to the Shut Door Doctrine for a number of additional years was the one that organized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The other group, rejecting the Shut Door Doctrine almost immediately, organized into the Church Of God Seventh-day. Later a group split away from the Church of God Seventh-day and became The Worldwide Church of God. This developmental history makes Seventh-day Adventists and The Worldwide Church of God "sister churches."


1866 - Two Iowa Conference leaders apostatize and expose a whole string of Ellen White's failed prophecies and doctrinal absurdities: The Visions of E.G. White Not of God, Introduction by Snook and Brinkerhoff, 1866. At this early date these SDA leaders did not seem to know that Ellen White was a plagiarist. They document the fact that Ellen White continued to teach the Shut Door Doctrine for a lot longer than the Church would admit. These authors prove that Ellen and James White covered up the fact that they had taught the Shut Door Doctrine for several more years than they would admit and discuss her failed prophecies. You can access their book at:


1867 - Adventist leaders plan to build a building in Battle Creek for the new Health Reform Institute (Sanitarium) and need God's blessing on the project. They approach Ellen White, who then has a vision. Ellen says, "Here, I was shown, was a worthy enterprise for God's people to engage in. Other people should have an institution of their own. Especially should those who have means to invest in this enterprise (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 492,494)." James White, her husband, is away at the time. When he returns to Battle Creek, he is enraged because he had not been consulted. The first story of the building is already completed. He has the building dismantled and put up again according to his design at a loss of $11,000 of money, which in today's terms would represent the squandering of over $1,000,000. (Cited in Canright, "Life of Mrs. E. G. White") After her husband's return, James demands another testimony to repudiate the first one. Here is that second "testimony:"


"What appeared in Testimony No. 11 concerning the Health Institute should not have been given until I was able to write out all I had seen in regard to it. . . They [the officials at Battle Creek] therefore wrote to me that the influence of my testimony in regard to the institute was needed immediately to move the brethren upon the subject. Under these circumstances I yielded my judgment to that of others, and wrote what appeared in No. 11 in regard to the Health Institute. . . In this I did wrong" (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 563)


It is evident that James White, her own husband, knew that her visions were not from God, or he would not have dared to go against what he otherwise would have considered to be the revealed will of God.

1868 - James White claims that his wife's books contain many things that are not in any other books and presents this as evidence that her visions are inspired. Douglas Hackleman in his article, "Ellen White's Habit," has the following observations about this outrageous claim:

James White, who served as his wife's editor most of the time until his death in 1881, also made claims and denials. In his autobiographical Life Incidents (published by Steam Press, Battle Creek Michigan, in 1868) he argued that Ellen's writings contained "many things... which cannot be found in other books" (p. 328). In his next sentence James provides as an example "her favorite theme, God in nature." But Mrs. White's best-known passage on God in nature is a close paraphrase of an apologetic digression against naturalism from a sermon by nineteenth-century Anglican clergyman Henry Melville.

James White dug a deeper hole for himself and Ellen in his next paragraph:

If commentators and theological writer generally had seen these gems of thought...and had been brought out in print, all ministers in the land could have read them. These men gather thoughts from books, and as Mrs. W. has written and spoken a hundred things, as they are beautiful and harmonious, which cannot be found in the writings of others, they are new to the most intelligent readers and hearers. ... She could not have learned from books, from the fact that they do not contain such thoughts. [p. 328, 329].

The discovery in recent years by a variety of Adventist researchers that Ellen White and her editorial assistants wove the writings of scores of authors into testimonies, articles, and books published over her byline calls into a question the integrity of both Ellen and James White. The White Estate recently made available for purchase on request a document comparing eighty-five pages of parallel passages between Mrs. White and Henry Melville alone.

1868 - Uriah Smith seeks to accomplish damage control for Ellen White by publishing his book, Visions of Mrs. E. G. White—Manifestations of Spiritual Gifts According to the Scriptures (Battle Creek: Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association,1868). Even at this early date there is wide-spread suspicion that the White's are covering up the fact that in one of her earliest visions she was supposedly shown the "truth" of the Shut Door Doctrine by God. Later research by the critics of E. G. White have conclusively demonstrated that it is highly probable that the account of the Camden Vision which teaches the Shut Door Doctrine is authentic, despite the fact that the only record of this vision was made by a witness who later became one of her critics. The White Estate does not have anything written by Ellen White herself that gives her account of this vision.

1869 - Dr. William Russell examines Ellen White and determines that her visions are "the result of a diseased organization or condition of the brain or nervous system." (See Canright, Life of Mrs. E.G. White.) (Note that the White Estate has done a good job of discrediting the credentials of this doctor, but he was a practicing physician.)

1870 - H.E. Carver. Carver publishes his book, Mrs. White's Claim to Divine Inspiration Examined, describing among other stumbling blocks to his faith, "two instances in which she claimed to see in vision things that I had communicated to her myself." (See Douglas Hackleman, "Ellen White's Habit," Free Inquiry, Fall 1984, posted at


1873 - The Church publishes Testimony of the Fathers of the First Three Centuries Concerning the Sabbath and the First Day by Elder J. N. Andrews (Steam Press, Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Assoc, 1873). This author quotes many of the same Early Church writings as Canright did later, but uses them to "prove" that the apostasy from the Sabbath developed very early. Andrews appears to completely miss the significance of the information with which he is working. He transgresses the principles of the science of logic by assuming the truth of the Sabbath doctrine he is trying to prove. He ignores evidence that many of these works document the fact of the early abandonment of the Sabbath by Christians, and he misses the point that he has just found out that the Sabbath was abandoned more than 200 years too soon to agree with what God supposedly showed Ellen White in vision about how the so-called "change of day" was perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church. Here we have proof that Adventists were struggling to justify their Sabbath teachings and doing a very poor job of it more than a decade before the Canright Sabbath Crisis of 1888.


1874 - Isaac Welcome publishes his History of the Second Adventist Message. This several volume set documents the strange fanaticism of the Whites, and their stand, later denied by them, on the Shut Door Doctrine, plus the additional covering up by the Whites of a number of their earlier theologically errant statements. (A Google search will provide extensive sections of this book for your study, and it is available from Andrews University in a reproduction as well, indicated by one of the Google links.)


1876 - Ellen White predicts that Swedish publishing house manager, Charles Lee, who was very ill, would live. He died a few days later.


1876 - The "Systematic Benevolence" financial model is discarded in favor of the 10% model developed by D. M. Canright. Ellen White is "shown" in vision that this is the method God wants to support His little flock, which is growing larger. If Ellen White's testimony were really from God, it would appear that God did not know what was best for Seventh-day Adventists, and He had to learn by experience what His people really needed. Time after time, Ellen's claim that God has showed her things that He did not show her impinge on God's character and power, making Him look bad. This is a form of White collar blasphemy that has occurred over and over up until this point and will continue to happen as long as Ellen White lives. Robert Sanders writes:


Dudley M. Canright: in a series of articles in 1876, emphasized Malachi 3:8-11 as "the Bible plan of supporting the Ministry." He urged Adventists to adopt this plan to glorify God...." R&H, February 17, 1876, p.50, 51, see also Spectrum 1986, Adventist Tithepaying-- The Untold Story, p. 139. [Cited in Sanders, "Tithing Not a Law for Christians," posted at his web-site, Truth or Fables.]


1882 - Ellen White and the Church publish a book called Early Writings, which claims to be a reprint of her first writings, including the pamphlet, "A Word to the Little Flock." The White's had claimed that there were no significant changes to the text and no deletions. (See Canright, Life of Mrs. E. G. White.)


1882 - SDA pastor A. C. Long, who had retained a copy of "A Word to the Little Flock" from years ago publishes a pamphlet entitled "Comparison of the Early Writings of Mrs. White with Later Publications." In this 16-page tract, he places the original text along side of the altered new text, proving that Ellen White had deleted all the key words and phrases that would have betrayed that she taught the Shut Door doctrine long after she claimed to have abandoned it. Again, we see a deceitful, lying prophet who claims to be directly inspired by God.

(See Canright, Life of Mrs. E. G. White.)


1882 - Ellen White is "shown" that the wrong man committed a great mistake. Here is the account from D. M. Canright's book, Life of Mrs. E. G. White:

Rebuked the Wrong Man

About the year 1882, two Adventists ministers, E.P. Daniels and E.R. Jones, were laboring together in Michigan. In giving a health talk one of them had made some remarks quite offensive to esthetic tastes.

Not long afterward Elder Daniels received a testimony from Mrs. White, rebuking him for the offense, which she said took place at Parma, Michigan. But, as the event turned out, she rebuked the wrong man, and the incident did not occur at Parma, but at another place.

Instead of Mrs. White acknowledging her mistake, Elder Daniels, the man wrongly accused, was induced to make the following statement:

"Through a misunderstanding, I happened to be the person rebuked, in the place of the one for whom the rebuke was intended, and who justly merited it. Were all the facts known, it would leave no room for even the slightest disrespect for the motives that influenced her, as she has, as she supposed, the best of reasons for believing that her informant had told her the truth. And, indeed, he had, but he made a mistake in the name of the person. All that he had said was true of another, though the incident did not occur at Parma" (Review and Herald Supplement, Aug. 14, 1883, p. 10).

1883 - Ellen White publishes a book for which she claimed divine inspiration-- Sketches From the Life of Paul. Later it was discovered to have been lifted almost entirely from a book published earlier in England. The point is that Ellen White LIED about her source for the book. Compared to her lying, the issue of plagiarism is a much less serious evil. (See The Life of Ellen White-- Seventh-day Adventist Prophet-- Her False Claims Refuted, by D.M. Canright, Chapter 10 - "A Great Plagiarist").

1883 - Uriah Smith in a letter dated March 22, 1883, reveals that he does not believe in the visions of Ellen White. The "stunners" he is talking about refer to a situation where Ellen White, who sought a reputation as one to whom God reveals the secret sins of others, knew nothing about the fact that the denomination's foremost evangelist was having sexual relationships with numerous women in one of the SDA churches on the East Coast. She had stayed in the home of this prominent minister and his wife when she visited his community. E. F. Ballinger tells the story in his circa 1950 book, Facts about Seventh-day Adventists:


Elder Uriah Smith was connected with the editorial staff of the RH for fifty years, most of the time as editor in chief. His works on the prophecies are still considered standard in the denomination.

In a letter written March 22, 1883, he said:

It seems to me that the Testimonies, practically, have come into that shape, that it is not of any use to try to defend the erroneous claims that are now put forth for them.... Bro. Littlejohn has preached on the subject here treating it mostly from a theoretical standpoint. But that does not touch the question at issue among us at all. I presume you noticed in the Review of March 13, Bro. Waggoner's extinguisher of the Mormon gifts. But, if the same reasoning will not apply somewhat to our own experience, I cannot see straight. The cases of F----, C----, and S---- S---- are stunners to me.

If all the brethren were willing to investigate this matter candidly and broadly, I believe some consistent common ground for all to stand upon could be found. But some, of the rule or ruin spirit, are so dogmatical and stubborn that I suppose that any effort in that direction would only lead to a rupture of the body.

Elder Smith was editor of the R. & H. for thirty years before he discovered that any omissions had been made from the early visions in Early Writings. We have a letter in his own handwriting stating this fact.

The three people referred to above were all prominent workers in the Advent cause, associated with James White and his wife; but were very immoral in their conduct; yet Mrs. White never knew of their immorality until the women who were involved confessed their sin. The fact that she did not know of their vileness was a "stunner" to Elder Smith. It is a sad fact, however, that Elder Smith after writing these things smothered his conscience and attempted to defend the inspiration (?) of Mrs. White.


1887 - A powerful SDA leader, D. M. Canright, apostatizes from the Church and begins writing articles and papers against Adventism, including proof from historical and biblical sources that the Sabbath doctrine is impossible. By this time Canright is well aware of Ellen White's plagiarism, in addition to her failed prophecies and aberrant teachings.


1888 - Fearing that Canright was about to release an anti-Sabbatarianism, anti-Adventist book soon, Adventist leaders attempt to beat him to the draw by publishing Replies To Elder Canright's Attacks on Seventh-day Adventists. This action turns out to have been unwise, since the following year Canright was able to refute their flimsy arguments and reference them by the Adventist book's page numbers.


1889 - Arch Apostate, D. M. Canright, publishes his classic Seventh-day Adventism Renounced. He presents encyclopedic evidence from reliable scholarly sources that prove Sabbatarianism is biblically and historically impossible. He refutes SDA leaders point-by-point and page number by page number, referencing the Church's 1888 book, Replies To Elder Canright's Attacks on Seventh-day Adventists.


1889 - The Healdsburg, California Enterprise publishes a remarkable story, March 20, 1889, exposing Ellen White's plagiarism. The article compares five passages from her writings side by side with the passages from the author she had copied. The reporter concluded that she was, indeed, a plagiarist. This is an interesting fact, since Adventist leaders try to say that back in Ellen White's day there was no well-defined concept of what constituted plagiarism. (You can do an Internet search to read the article from the California Enterprise for yourself.)

1892 - Astronomer Bernard at Lick Observatory discovers the 5th moon of Jupiter, proving that the source of her visions must have been a god who didn't remember what he or she had done when our solar system was created. (See 1905.)

1892 - Elder Loughborough publishes Rise and Progress of Seventh-day Adventists. His publishers have the audacity to change Ellen White's works in regard to the moon of Jupiter to, "I see eight moons." This is absolute proof that the author and his publishers knew Ellen White was a fraud. Their actions are inexcusable. If the Church were not a religious business, their false "product" claims would be illegal.

1892 - In his 1892 book, Rise and Progress of Seventh-day Adventists, Loughborough exalts Ellen White's predictions about the Civil War as evidence that her visions are from God without bothering to mention the fact that she predicted that England would fight with the South against the North. Instead he tells the story of how at a certain believer's home, she predicted that the sons of some of the people present in that room would die in battle. In a REAL history, Loughborough would have had no choice but to give the account of Ellen White's disastrous prognostication in this regard. It is no wonder that the Wikipedia article on Adventist Studies says that Loughborough's book is now regarded as down-right dishonest Adventist propaganda, rather than genuine history (Roelf J. Poehler, unpublished paper on the shut-door era. Quoted in "Early Adventures in Maine", letter to the editor by Donald E. Casebolt. Spectrum 18:2 (1987), p. 63). To read Loughborough's 1892 book, you must down-load the DjVu reader from Lizard Technologies and then go to this SDA web-site:



1893 - The General Conference exiles Ellen White to Australia. From what the 1919 Bible Conference minutes reveal about what Adventist leaders knew about her, and from what we know they knew about her as early as 1863 from the paper by Snook and Brinkerhoff, there is circumstantial evidence that the Church was aware of the fact that their prophetess was causing a lot of trouble for Adventism at the time. My evidence for this is speculative, but there is evidence for this likely possibility. According to Arthur L. White, (Ellen G. White: The Australian Years, Review & Herald, 1983, p. 16), she sailed September 9, 1891. (The facts for this event, but not the interpretation of this incident, came from the paper, "When the Visions Led: an Adventist Anomaly" by Douglas Hackleman, March 25, 2006).


1895 - The Church publishes a more complete version of Replies to Canright. The book's contributors reference Canright's 1889 book by the page number. This publication proves SDA leaders had to know that their Sabbatarian arguments were impossible. The best they are able to do is to obfuscate the issue in hopes that their readers will lose their focus on the importance of what Canright proved. They grapple poorly with the fact that the first Christian writers documented the extensive abandonment of Sabbath-keeping by Christians before the end of the First Century and attempt to use this evidence, which is highly damaging to their own position, as evidence that their preconceived notion of an "apostasy" began very early. They fail to acknowledge the fact that the angel "lied" to Ellen White about the Roman Catholic Church "changing the day," since they were trying to explain away proof that Christians abandoned Sabbath-keeping hundreds of years before there was a pope or a Catholic Church. Their attempted rebuttal of Canright on Colossians 2:14-17 is proven to be equally reprehensible. It does not address Canright's central point at all, and their quotation of Canright's exact words from his 1889 book prove that these early Adventist leaders had been struggling, without success, to explain away this devastating-to-Sabbatarianism passage from Paul's writings from almost the very beginning of the Advent movement.


1899 - Ellen White writes to Dr. Harvey Kellogg accusing him of erecting some buildings in Chicago with funds diverted from the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Dr. Kellogg and the Battle Creek Sanitarium represent the last road-block to the consolidation of power at the General Conference, which was newly locating to Washington DC. Ellen White's son, Willie, conceded his mother was "shown" that the buildings were built but that, indeed, the buildings were not built. However, he tries to explain it away. See Ellen White's son's Willie White's attempted rebuttal of this fiasco at:


Compare that against the specific testimony of Dr. Kellogg by searching for "The Kellogg File.") You can also reference the mention of the date of 1899 for this event in the "Letter from Dr. Charles Stewart to Ellen G. White," dated May 8, 1907 at .

1899 - Astronomer Professor W. H. Pickering discovers the 9th moon of Saturn. Adventist leaders should have realized that something smelled fishy in the fish market in regard to Ellen White's claims that her visions came from God. Surely these leaders could use their brains to reason that the True God would know how many moons He created for Saturn.






THE COVER-UP 1900 TO 1919





Ellen White and the General Conference prevail in their power struggle with Dr. Kellogg's Battle Creek "Empire," destroying his influence within the culture of Adventism. The General Conference moves to Washington, DC, and takes complete control of the Church. The Sanctuary Doctrine comes under fire and Adventist leaders realize that Ellen White is a fraud. However, they continue to use her, like a pawn at times, to achieve their own agenda. Her case is discussed in a top-secret meeting in 1919. No decision is reached about the fraudulent claims of Ellen White, so by default, a cover-up plan is put into place. The Sabbath Doctrine is continuously assailed by D. M. Canright, but little permanent damage is done by his attacks. Canright dies in 1919 and his personal attacks cease. Questions about Canright's teachings persist to a degree because his writings continue to circulate.


1902 - Dr. J. H. Kellogg finishes preparation on the book, The Living Temple. Ellen White has a book of her own she wants to sell to the Church that teaches principles that are similar to those taught by Dr. Kellogg. She accuses him of being a Pantheist and teaching pantheistic ideas in his book. Dr. Kellogg denies being a pantheist, but agrees not to publish the book. (An extensive comparison study between the books of these two authors indicated to me that both authors made statements that if stretched and taken out of context might possibly suggest a slight bent towards a hint of Pantheism. My research could not substantiate Ellen White's charges of Pantheism against Kellogg.) Access "The Kellogg Files" with an Internet search.


1904 - A group of key physicians associated with Dr. J. H. Kellogg at the Battle Creek Sanitarium find numerous contradictions in the testimonies of Ellen White and begin questioning whether she was inspired of God or not.


1905 - A. F. Ballinger, a prominent SDA leader in England, discovers there is no biblical support for the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment. Furthermore, he finds that the doctrine is squarely against what the Bible teaches about the concept of judgment and the Gospel. He writes of his concerns to Ellen White. Soon he is on trial at the General Conference, and he is defrocked. During his presentation he is bombarded with questions from the "jury" from the writings of Ellen White, but no one can provide Bible proof for the doctrine. He is deprived of his SDA income; he is forced to live in near poverty as he attempts to find a way to feed his family back on the farm. (See "On Trial for Heresy--The A.F. Ballenger Story," by D. Anderson at Ellen White Exposed:


1905 (MARCH) - Ellen White is distressed by the questionings of the Battle Creek physicians and is "shown" that she is to instruct them to write out their difficulties regarding her writings and send them to her, promising to respond to each concern. Here is her "testimony," dated March 30, 1906:


Recently in the visions of the night I stood in a large company of people. . . I was directed by the Lord to request them, and any others who have perplexities and grievous things in their minds regarding the testimonies that I have borne, to specify what their objections and criticisms are. The Lord will help me to answer these objections, and make plain that which seems to be intricate. . . Let it all be written out, and submitted to those who desire to remove the perplexities. . . They should certainly do this, if they are loyal to the directions God has given.


Note: This statement of Mrs. White is dated to March 30, 1906 by A.T. Jones in a letter to Ellen White dated April 26, 1909 as posted on the Web. D. M. Canright credits it to March 30, 1905 in his book, Life of Mrs. E.G. White. Since either source could contain a typographical error, I am not sure which year is correct.

1905 - Continuing the deliberate deception in regard to how long Mrs. White taught the Shut Door Doctrine, J. N. Loughborough publishes The Great Second Advent Movement. On page 263 of the 1905 edition, he quotes the very early Adventist publication of James and Ellen White, "A Word to the Little Flock" (1847) as this:

"I believe the work [of Mrs. White] is of God, and is given to comfort and strengthen his scattered, torn and peeled people, since the closing up of our work. . . in October, 1844."

Note those three little dots? They mean that something was left out of the passage quoted. What was it? Just THREE SHORT WORDS! We will insert those words omitted from the lines quoted and indicate them [in uppercase letters]. Here they are:

"since the closing up of our work FOR THE WORLD in October, 1844."

These three words reveal the fact that Bates and Elder White, who published the tract in 1847, believed that their work for the world closed up in October, 1844."

1905 - Astronomer Perrine at Lick Observatory discovers the 6th and 7th moon of Jupiter, again proving that the god who gave her the astronomy vision in 1846 was either very forgetful or was a liar who deceived her to make her look foolish later on. (See 1908.)

1905 - Astronomer W. H. Pickering discovers the 10th moon of Saturn, once again showing that the god who showed Ellen White the vision of the solar system had been out to lunch when the solar system was created.

1905 - Elder Loughborough revises his 1894 book, Rise and Progress of Seventh-day Adventists and publishes it under the title of The Great Second Advent Movement. On page 258 of that book, there is a foot note that says, "More moons to both Jupiter and Saturn have since been discovered." Perhaps he and his publishers thought God might have created some additional moons for these planets after Ellen White's vision in 1846. How embarrassing! Absolute proof that SDA leaders knew her claim that her visions were from God was fraudulent! Imagine participating in a crime like this deception! (See D. M. Canright, Life of Mrs. E. G. White for the basic uncomplimentary information about the falsification of her visions. See the article, "J. N. Loughborough," at The Narrow Way Ministries web-site for documentation of the re-naming of the book, which Canright does not indicate. Note that The Narrow Way Ministries is strongly Pro SDA and I use this source only for the purpose of getting the name change of Loughborough's book correct.)



1906 (APRIL) - Dr. William Sadler, in a letter dated April 26, 1906, writes a letter to Ellen White in response to her 1905 testimony that those who are perplexed by things they find in her writings should put a list of their concerns together and send them to her for explanation. Among other things, he asks Ellen White to explain how God could have shown her that Dr. Kellogg built buildings in Chicago when, indeed, he did not.


1906 (APRIL) - Many days after the San Francisco Earthquake took place on April 18th, Ellen White reports that an angel had shown her a vision of great buildings falling and awful destruction in a large city and that this had happened two days before the San Francisco earthquake. She claimed that these events had been shown to her in two sessions, one the night of April 16th and one the night of April 17th. She wrote that she did not announce that these visions had taken place until many days later because it had taken her so long to write out the extensive information the angel had shown her. As D. M. Canright observes in Life of Mrs. E. G. White, she had learned to be cautious about naming dates and places until after the events had occurred due to her previous failures at foretelling the future.


1906 (JUNE) In a communication dated June 3, 1906, Ellen White is "shown" that God has apparently changed His mind about whether she should try to answer all the questions raised by the Battle Creek physicians. Now, Ellen says God does not want her to answer these questions. Her "testimony," quoted in A. T. Jones letter of 1909, is as follows:


Sabbath night, a week ago, after I had been prayerfully studying over these things, I had a vision, in which I was speaking before a large company, where many questions were asked concerning my work and writings.


I was directed by a messenger from Heaven not to take the burden of picking up and answering all the saying and doubts that are being put into many minds.


1907 - Dr. Stewart of the Battle Creek Sanitarium publishes an 89-page pamphlet which places Ellen White's plagiarisms of Conybeare and Howson's book, Life and Epistles of the Apostle Paul, side-by-side with the sections she copied into her book, Sketches from the Life of Paul. This pamphlet was prepared in response to Mrs. White's request in 1905 to those who had puzzling questions about things in her writings to submit them to her for answers. Dr. Stewart's booklet points out an extensive variety of evidence that would prove that she was not inspired by God. Ellen White never bothered to reply to Dr. Stewart's charges. You can read his entire booklet, "A Response to an Urgent Testimony from Mrs. E. G. White," at Robert K. Sander's web-site, Truth or Fables at this Web address:


Note that as of the writing of this book, the Ellen White propaganda web-site,, tries to defend her plagiarism by arguing that the Conybeare and Howson book was in the public domain and that copyright laws were different in her day. This propaganda outlet fails to disclose that the real problem with Ellen White in this instance is that she claimed to have gotten this information from God in vision, making her a liar and committing a white-collar type of blasphemy.


1907 - Two General Conference officials visit Dr. Kellogg in his home. He is disfellowshipped. He denies being a Pantheist, notes how Ellen White herself had earlier read his transcript for The Living Temple and had nothing significant to say about it. He confronts the leaders with the fact that he did not build any buildings in Chicago-- a fact by this time-- and questions how God could have shown Ellen something that was not true.

1908 - Astronomer Malotte at the Greenwich Observatory discovers the 8th moon of Jupiter, again proving Ellen's 1846 astronomy vision to be either faked or Satanic. (See 1914.)


1909 - A.T. Jones, a partner to Elder Waggoner in the 1888 righteousness by faith movement that was squelched by the Church, finds out that Ellen White now offers (March of 1906) to answer any questions people might have about the problems they have with things she has written. He writes Ellen that by now he has heard about the second "testimony" she was "shown" that she was not to answer the questions that her first "testimony" had told her to answer. He confronts her with the fact that Dr. Sadler and Dr. Paulson had written to her on June 3rd, 1906 and she had not answered their questions. Furthermore, he tells her that it is impossible for her to answer their questions because there are no answers:

For if the writings were really the word of God -

a. They need no explanation.

b. If the writings to be explained were not the word of God, then I would not want any explanation of them; for I would not care anymore for them than for any other writings that were not the word of' God.

Further I knew that the things that could be written, you simply could not explain; and that any explanation would be worse than no explanation. And the event has fully justified this view. (Cited in the letter Jones to White, April 26, 1909)


1909 - A. F. Ballinger publishes his classic Cast out for the Cross of Christ, which represents a very complete debunking of the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment. He wrote this book after he moved to California to promote the truth that he has learned about the Gospel. The book includes a presentation of the letter he wrote to Ellen White explaining, point-by-point, her errors placed side-by-side with the Bible statements that show that what she teaches conflicts with Scripture. (See D. Anderson, "On Trial for Heresy—the A. F. Ballinger Story," at :


1909 - At the last General Conference Mrs. White attended, a certain minister was asked to read one of her unpublished testimonies. As he read it, he recognized that it was his own production. Since he had been taught all his life that Ellen received her testimonies from God, his faith in her was shaken. (See Canright, Life of Mrs. E. G. White.)


1911 - The Church spends $3,000 to revise Ellen White's book, The Great Controversy, due to anger over the fact that she had plagiarized extensively. The revisions were demanded by Church leaders because she had copied from so many sources without giving credit to the original authors while she, in general, claimed that her work was directly inspired by God. Dr. Stewart had done extensive research on Ellen's plagiarism for his 1907 booklet, which placed her plagiarisms along side of the original sources she had not credited. Until Walter Rea discovered extensive plagiarism in the writings of Ellen White in the early 1980's, Seventh-day Adventist leaders denied any knowledge of significant or extensive plagiarism by her as late as 1979. This deception is incredible in view of the fact that it was an official Church action, taken under extreme public pressure, to correct her blatant copying in the single most important book to Adventism, The Great Controversy. (See Canright, Life of Mrs. E. G. White.)


1912 - Adventist leaders publish the 1912 edition of Advent History of the Sabbath, which concedes, again, that Christians abandoned Sabbath-keeping in the Second Century. Amazingly the Church continues to print books by Ellen White that teach Sunday worship was accomplished by the Roman Catholic Church, despite the fact that its top leaders have known since 1873 or earlier that Christians had abandoned Sabbath-keeping by the Second Century. In fact you may recall that this fact was argued in Testimony of the Fathers of the First Three Centuries Concerning the Sabbath and the First Day by Elder J. N. Andrews, which was published in 1873, and presented as evidence that the so-called "apostasy" began very early. In doing so they demonstrate a willingness to drag God's name in the mud rather than embarrass their own prophetess, since Ellen White credited God for the idea that sun worship and the Roman Catholic Church influenced Christians to abandon Sabbath-keeping.


1914 - D. M. Canright publishes his last revision of Seventh-day Adventism Renounced. Adventist leaders are confronted with virtually all the fundamental, fatal-to-Sabbatarian arguments that the new-Sabbatarian movement of today uses with the exception of the argument from Hebrew linguistics in regard to the Creation Story and the stronger evidence from the Didache that Sabbath abandonment probably began prior to 70 AD. He disproves the theory that sun worship had any possible influence on Sabbath abandonment to the point of over-kill, and reminds his Adventist "brethren" of what they have known since 1873, when J. N. Andrews published his book on the history of the Sabbath, that Sabbath abandonment was well under way by the Second Century.

1914 - Astronomer Nickolson at Lick Observatory discovers the 9th moon of Jupiter. By this time there is no excuse for Adventist leaders not to repudiate the prophetic claims of Ellen White. The biblical requirement for a true prophet is to be right 100% of the time in matters for which it is claimed God is responsible for communicating. This is a major disgrace! Her false claims would appear to "embarrass" God terribly, making Him look like He couldn't keep track of His own moons. This is why Ellen White's false claim that her visions came from God represent a type of "White Collar" blasphemy.


1915 - D. M. Canright publishes The Lord's Day from Neither Catholics nor Pagans: An Answer to Seventh-day Adventism on This subject. This book utilizes a wide variety of scholarly sources that not only prove that the Roman Catholic Church could not have possibly had anything to do with the abandonment of Sabbath-keeping by Christians, but also that the idea that sun worship had any such influence is preposterous. With evidence this powerful, it is no wonder that much later, in 1977, Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi essentially confirmed that Canright was right, since he conceded that Sabbath abandonment was universal by 140 AD, hundreds of years before there was a Catholic Church or a pope and additionally conceded that he could not prove a link between the influence of sun worship on the Christian abandonment of Sabbath-keeping. Read this for yourself at:'s_Canright.htm


1916 - D. M. Canright publishes The Complete Testimony of the Early Fathers Proving the Universal Observance of Sunday in the first Century. This booklet confronts Adventist leaders of the day with every imaginable proof that Sunday observance was close to universal by the early part of the second century. He uses biblical evidence, discusses the meaning of various Greek words, and observes restrained scholarship in his claims. For example, he gives 125 AD as the accepted date for the testimony of the Didache's documentation of Christians worshiping on the first day of the week, but adds that some authorities even date that part of this collection of the first Christian writings to 80 AD. By the 1980's, scholars, using a variety of analytical approaches, had dated the Didache to as early as 50 AD and no later than 125 AD. The Wikipedia article, Didache, indicates that American biblical scholars are willing to date this document to as early as 50 AD. This booklet makes very interesting reading. It can be found at:


It is in the form of a complete photocopy of the original pamphlet showing both sides of the page. Its contents should have moved Adventist leaders to abandon their apostasy theory of Sabbath abandonment and to cease their reprehensible propaganda campaign.

1916 - Continuing the Shut Door fraud, Elder G. I. Butler wrote about the same subject, quoted the same passage, and suppressed the same three words as did his predecessor in that cover-up crime; J. N. Loughborough. (See 1905.) See also Canright, The Life of Mrs. E. G. White.


1919 - D. M. Canright publishes his book, Life of Mrs. E.G. White Seventh-day Adventist Prophet: Her False Claims Refuted. In this book he thoroughly treats her plagiarism. It is amazing that in the early 1980's, the secretary of the White Estate at that time, Dr. Robert Olson, stated that the charge of significant plagiarism on the part of Ellen White was unfamiliar to him. Canright's book is easy to find with an Internet search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing.


1919 - Top Adventist leaders meet secretly for several days at the 1919 Bible Conference to discuss their growing realization that Ellen White is a fraud. They discuss her failed prophecies, historical errors, and her plagiarism, as well as other problems. They discuss whether to tell the truth about her at the time or to cover-up the whole thing. Special concern is expressed as to how to keep the truth about Ellen White from the Church's seminary students. You can access the complete transcript at the following Web address:


The stenographer's transcript of these meetings is ordered by General Conference president, A. G. Daniells, to be locked up in the vault and made inaccessible for 50 years. It will later be discovered in 1974.









Conservatives are anxious to cover-up the aftermath of the 1919 Bible Conference, so a "political purge" takes place. Ellen White is established as an honorable prophet in the minds of most SDA pastors and rank-and-file members, but the Sanctuary Doctrine continues to be challenged by thinking SDA leaders. Still, SDA damage control techniques keep the problems with the Sanctuary Doctrine / Investigative Judgment issue so quiet that few Adventists ever hear about it. The White Estate manipulates the writings of Ellen White to serve the conservative, non-Gospel agenda of top SDA leaders. Questions about the Sabbath and D. M. Canright still linger, prompting the Church to publish another book to counter his teachings.


1922 - At the 1922 General Conference session, Adventist leaders Holmes and Washburn, having heard about what happened at the 1919 Bible Conference from stories leaked out from some of the participants, work behind the scene to purge as many of the delegates as possible who were unsupportive of Ellen White. Since Ellen White had few supporters at the conference, but purge was a big one. A. G. Daniells loses his position as General Conference president. (See Wikipedia article, "1919 Bible Conference.")


1930 - William W. Fletcher, a distinguished SDA leader and Bible professor at Avondale College in Australia, voluntarily resigns from the Church because he cannot accept the traditional SDA teaching of the Sanctuary Doctrine. (See Raymond F. Cottrell, "The Sanctuary Doctrine: asset or liability.")


1930 - A. G. Daniells reveals to the young LeRoy Froom the existence of thousands of Ellen White documents relating to the Gospel versus legalism debate of 1888, conceding that he had had a part in covering up the fact of the existence of these manuscripts. He tells Froom that these documents paint a completely different picture of Adventist history and explains that the Church has misused her writings, manipulating her writings as they chose to further the legalistic goals of those leaders. He charges the young Froom to set the record straight with the Church after he is gone by releasing those writings. (See 1971.)


1931 - Louis R. Conradi, a key European Division leader, voluntarily separates himself from the Adventist Church and forfeits his ministerial credentials because he could not prove the traditional SDA Sanctuary Doctrine from the Bible. (Cottrell, "The Sanctuary Doctrine: asset or liability?").


1932 - William W. Fletcher publishes his paper, "Reasons for My Faith." Raymond F. Cottrell, who is conceded by many to be the greatest Seventh-day Adventist theologian of all time, stated years later that Fletcher's arguments were superior to those of his opponents. (Cottrell, "The Sanctuary Doctrine: asset or liability?").


1933 - In Defense of the Faith, the Truth about Seventh-day Adventists in a Reply to Canright, by William H. Branson (Review and Herald, 1933, 398 pages), is published. Branson attempts to refute Canright, but his basic arguments are disproved decades later, either by the direct testimony of, or by the inadvertent "hostile witness" of Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi in 1977. Branson seeks to prove that the Roman Catholic Church really did "change the day," but Bacchiocchi later proved that Sabbath abandonment was universal over 200 years before there was a Roman Catholic Church or a pope. Why Branson thought he could write a successful rebuttal of Canright is simply difficult to fathom. Andrews conceded that Sabbath abandonment took place in the Second Century back in 1873. Canright disproved even the possibility of the sun worship/Roman Catholic Church Sabbath
"apostasy" theory to the point of over-kill, and it was the writings of Canright that Branson wrote his book to refute! It helps to understand why he would attempt such an impossible task when we remember that his pay check came from the Church.


1933 - "The White Elephant of Seventh-Day-Adventism?" by R. Vowless (New Plymouth, New Zealand, P. F. Burrows Ltd., Eliot Street, New Plymouth, accessed at, is published, proving that Adventist leaders knew even as early as 1933 that Ellen White did lock, stock and barrel copying from other authors for her Conflict of the Ages series and other books. Here is a remarkable quotation from this pamphlet:


Turning to the Bible again, I read: "God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets," Hebrews 1:1; and " For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," 2 Peter, 1: 21.


I do not know how the S.D.A.'s interpret the above Scriptures; for, Mrs. White, the prophetess of the remnant church, is recognized, as, perhaps, one of the world's greatest plagiarists. Let anyone compare the "The Great Controversy," by Mrs. E. G. White, with book entitled "History of the Reformation," by D'Aubign'e; "The History of Protestantism," by J. A. Wylie; " History of the Waldenses," by Wylie; " History of the Sabbath," by Andrews; and "Sanctuary," by Smith. Then they will soon see where her inspirations came from. Also, it would be found interesting to compare her first edition of "The Great Controversy" with the last edition, a very marked difference will be found in thought and expression. The criticism was so strong against her plagiarism that she was forced to make the alterations.


"Patriarchs and Prophets" by Mrs. E. G. White, received some wonderful help from Adam Clarke's Commentaries as we cannot help but notice when comparing the different paragraphs. It is now becoming a well known fact that "Steps to Christ " was written by Miss Fanny Bolton, without any dictation or assistance whatever from Mrs. White—yet it carries Mrs. White's name. Is this in keeping with the eighth commandment? Some people think if they keep the fourth, it does not matter so much about the others.


Some of their pastors say that "all the critics of Mrs. White could not put together one chapter of "Desire of Ages" by the same author." No, perhaps not, and it is very evident that Mrs. White was not able to produce many of them, or, in fact, any of them. "Desire of Ages" was culled from other authors on the "Life of Christ," special mention may be made of Geikie's —Life of Christ." Again, it is interesting to compare her first edition of "Desire of Ages" with the latter and again notice the changes in thought and expression; and even as late as 1926, "Desire of Ages" was undergoing another revision. I trust that Mrs. White's critics are more honest than to copy the words of another author's pen in order to write a chapter of "Desire of Ages."


We hear so much about her Health Reform Teachings, but they do not mention that the teachings were taken from three other doctors' books written by Drs. Cole, Jackson, and Thrall.


In 1883 she published "Sketches from the Life of Paul," and in the preface there was found this statement: "The writer of this book, having received special help from the Spirit of God, is able to throw light upon the teachings of Paul and the application to our own time, as no other authors are prepared to do." This book was copied so strongly from "Life and Epistles of the Apostle Paul," by Conybeare and Howson, that Conybeare and Howson served notice upon "The Review and Herald Publishing Association," that, unless the book was taken off the market, they would bring a suit against them for plagiarism. Mr. H. W. Kellogg who was then manager of the Publishing House informed Mrs. White that they would not undertake to publish any more copies of such, unless she would stand for the responsibilities of meeting the threatened suit. Needless to say, no more have been printed and her order for a new edition, which had just been previously booked, was withdrawn. Dr. Stewart published a booklet of eighty-nine pages in which he arranged parallel columns of quotations taken from Mrs. White's book, 11 Sketches from the life of Paul," and the book by Conybeare and Howson just mentioned, and the quotations read like this: Conybeare and Howson's) " The judges sat in the open air, upon seats hewn out in rock, on a platform which was ascended by a flight of stone steps immediately from the Agora." (Mrs. White's) : "The judges sat in the open air, upon seats hewn out in the rock, on a platform which was ascended by a flight of stone steps from the valley below.


In the preface, where it is said ............ having received special help from the Spirit of God .......," why did they not speak the truth and write" ....... having received special help from Conybeare and Howson "?


As this is only an introduction to some of the things which I have found out, I shall not say more here about this wicked plagiarism which is put down as the "Precious rays of light shining from the throne of God." And I would never dare say or intimate that God was a plagiarist, would you?

This quote is astonishing in view of Dr. Robert Olson's denial of any knowledge of charges of serious plagiarism on the part of Ellen White as late as 1979. Walter Rea only discovered by 1982 what Vowless knew in 1933 and Canright knew in 1889. Since Canright represented the single greatest enemy of Adventism, and since the Church had published so much material to attempt to refute his arguments, it strains the imagination to think that Dr. Olson knew nothing about Ellen White's problem with plagiarism.


1934 - F. M. Wilcox's book, The Testimony of Jesus, is published by The Review and Herald Publishing Association, revealing inexcusable lying and deceit on the part of the author. If the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes had not been discovered in 1974, we could look back at the life and ministry of Wilcox and say he was an honest soul who was simply deceived by the claims of Ellen White. However, Wilcox was one of most outspoken critics of Ellen White in that secret meeting. Here is what he said in those Minutes:


I would like to ask, Brother Daniells, if it could be accepted as a sort of rule that Sister White might be mistaken in details, but in the general policy and instruction she was an authority. . . It seems to me I would have to accept what she says on some of those general policies or I would have to sweep away the whole thing. Either the lord has spoken through her or he has not spoken through her; and if it is a matter of deciding in my own judgment whether he has or has not, then I regard her books the same as every other book published. I think it is one thing for a man to stultify his conscience, and it is another thing to stultify his judgment. It is one thing for me to lay aside my conscience, and it is another thing for me to change my judgment over some view that I hold.


In his book on Ellen White, Wilcox stultifies his own conscience, presents himself as a staunch believer in her prophetic gift, and makes outrageous claims for her, like this one:

Are the writings of Mrs. White verbally inspired? Was she given the exact words in which her thoughts are expressed? She never made any such claim. Indeed, she states very positively that such was not the case. Nor did the pioneers in this movement ever believe or teach verbal inspiration for the writings of the messenger of the Lord.


It is amazing how much Wilcox "forgot" during the 14 years since the 1919 Bible Conference. He lies through his teeth, and this fact is painfully clear. Here are a couple of those statements Ellen White made that Wilcox "forgot:"


  1. "When writing these precious books, if I hesitated, the very word I wanted to express the idea was given to me" (Selected Messages, vol. 3, pp. 51, 52). 1907.

  3. ....yet the words l employ in describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to me by an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation" (Review and Herald, Oct.8,1867,quoted in Selected Messages, vol.1, p. 37).


Apparently Wilcox was willing to sell his soul and stultify his conscience for the sake of Adventism, his position, and his pay check.


1936 - A. G. Daniells, former General Conference President and one of the most vocal critics of Ellen White's claim to be directly inspired in the 1919 Bible Conference, publishes his defense of her inspiration, entitled The Abiding Gift of Prophecy. He seems to have forgotten that he knew Ellen White was a fraud back in 1919. Perhaps he was trying to redeem himself for the destructive role he played in the Conference. To see what he said about Ellen White in 1919, access the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes with a Google Search. (Cited in E. F. Ballenger, Facts about Seventh-day Adventists, posted at





THE COVER-UP 1940 TO 1959





The Sanctuary Doctrine continues to be a thorn in the side of Adventism, but most Adventists remain ignorant, as usual, of this problem. While leaders who oppose it are terminated, the Church secretly works very hard to find biblical support for it, but without success. The Golden Age of Adventism ensues. Ellen White and the Sabbath continue to reign virtually unchallenged in the thinking of almost all Adventists. This is a great time for Adventists to feel proud of their Church.


1945 - Harold E. Snide, Bible professor at Southern Junior College (now Southern Adventist University), discovers serious problems with the Church's Sanctuary Doctrine and goes to the General Conference in Washington, DC to dialogue with Adventist leaders. He withdraws from the Church in 1945. (See Cottrell, "Sanctuary Doctrine: asset or liability?")


1950 - E.F. Ballinger publishes Facts about Seventh-day Adventists. This book outlines the lies and deceptions of SDA leaders from the very beginning of the Advent Movement with a special emphasis on proving that the Whites covered up the fact that they taught the Shut Door Doctrine and did not work to save lost sinners for many years beyond what they claimed. Ballinger's book provides irrefutable evidence that after SDA leaders discovered the fact that the Whites had deceived the Church in regard to the cover-up, joined the Whites as active participants in the deception. In her suppressed very early writings, Ellen claimed to have received the principles of the Shut Door Doctrine in vision from God. Like a number of other anti-EGW writers down over the years, Ballinger discusses and documents the extensive plagiarism of Ellen White, complete with comparison studies. This book, or booklet, had to have been known to SDA leaders in the 1950's, since Ballinger published it as part of his anti-SDA, anti-EGW circulated publication, The Gathering Call, which he published for over 28 years. The information in this book was obtained through an extensive career in Adventist leadership than spanned decades before he discovered the deceptions of the Whites and the Church. That Adventist leaders were again confronted with the facts about the cover-up of the Shut Door teachings of the Whites in 1950 makes the White Estate's continued denials after 1950 appear to be down-right "criminal." You can access Ballinger's Facts about Seventh-day Adventists at


1951 - The Church publishes F. D. Nichol's book, Ellen G. white and Her Critics. This book represents the largest single collection of desperate attempts to explain away the failed prophecies of Ellen White and crazy things she said. Here is a classic example of Nichol's gift for explaining away the obvious:



From Chapter 24 of Ellen G. White and Her Critics (F. D. Nichol, 1951):


Mrs. White wrote: "When England does declare war, all nations will have an interest of their own to serve, and there will be general war, general confusion."—Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 259.


"England did not declare war." "Her prophecy was a complete failure."


Again we need the context in order to see what Mrs. White is setting forth:


England is studying whether it is best to take advantage of the present weak condition of our nation, and venture to make war upon her. She is weighing the matter, and trying to sound other nations. She fears, if she should commence war abroad, that she would be weak at home, and that other nations would take advantage of her weakness. Other nations are making quiet yet active preparations for war, and are hoping that England will make war with our nation, for then they would improve the opportunity to be revenged on her for the advantage she has taken of them in the past, and the injustice done them. A portion of the Queen's subjects are waiting a favorable opportunity to break their yoke; but if England thinks it will pay, she will not hesitate a moment to improve her opportunities to exercise her power, and humble our nation. When England does declare war, all nations will have an interest of their own to serve, and there will be general war, general confusion."—lbid., p. 259.


Note the conditional character of these statements: "She fears, if she should commence war abroad, that she would be weak at home." "But if England thinks it will pay." Then follows the sentence: "When England does declare war...." It is evident that Mrs. White is here using the word "when" as a synonym for "if," which is good English. In fact, if we do not thus understand the word "when" in this connection, we have an unusual situation— a series of problematical "ifs" is followed by a simple statement that England is going to declare war. Thus Mrs. White's last sentence would make pointless her preceding sentences.


A similar use of the word "when" is found on the preceding page in her work: "When our nation observes the fast which God has chosen, then will he accept their prayers as far as the war is concerned." No one, least of all the critic, will argue that the word "when" in this connection introduces a simple statement concerning a future fact that will undebatably happen.



1955 - Raymond F. Cottrell and a special committee attempt to prepare a chapter on the Sanctuary Doctrine for the new S.D.A. Bible Commentary. The committee finds no biblical support for the doctrine and is in a quandary about how to approach the task the General Conference has given them to explain what Adventists believe with support from the Bible.


1958 - The General Conference assigns Dr. Raymond F. Cottrell the task of revising the chapter on the Investigative Judgment (Sanctuary Doctrine) for the classic SDA book, Bible Readings. Here is Dr. Cottrell's explanation of what happened:


"In 1958 the Review and Herald Publishing Association needed new printing plates for the classic book, Bible Readings, and it was decided to revise it where necessary to agree with the Commentary. Coming again to the Book of Daniel I determined to try once more to find a way to be absolutely faithful to both Daniel and the traditional Adventist interpretation of 8:14, but again found it impossible. I then formulated six questions regarding the Hebrew text of the passage and its context, which I submitted to every college teacher versed in Hebrew and every head of the religion department in all of our North American colleges---all personal friends of mine. Without exception they replied that there is no linguistic or contextual basis for the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14.36" (See Cottrell, "The Sanctuary Doctrine: asset or liability?")

1959 - On May 5, 1959 a special issue of the Review & Herald showcases a beautiful painting and article which is designed to cover-up the fact that Ellen White taught the Shut Door Doctrine during her earliest years as a prophetess. It was created, specifically, to cover up the fact that while Ellen White was teaching the Shut Door from a vision she had received from God, the Church made no effort whatsoever to seek and save the lost souls of the world because, as this doctrine taught, the door of probation had closed for everyone except for the small band of Adventist believers. The painting shows Ellen White looking upward at a globe of light hovering over the Eastern U.S. and then shooting around the entire world. The article explains that the painting illustrates how God showed Ellen White that the Church should start the publishing work as a means to take the Gospel to the entire world. The truth was that after this vision given Ellen on November, 1848, James White responded by beginning to publish, in July of 1848, the Adventist publication called Present Truth, which taught the Shut Door doctrine!


On page 39 they have recorded an explanation of this painting.


Harry Anderson has sought, in this beautiful painting, to capture a scene in the early history of the Advent Movement. Mrs. E. G. White thus describes the scene she saw in her vision of the beginnings of the publishing work:

"At a meeting held in Dorchester, Mass., November, 1848, I had been given a view of the proclamation of the sealing message, and of the duty of the brethren to publish the light that was shining upon our pathway."

"After coming out of vision, I said to my husband: 'I have a message for you. You must begin to print a small paper and send it out to the people. Let it be small at first; but as the people read, they will send you means with which to print, and it will be a success from the first. From this small beginning it was shown to be like streams of light that went clear round the world.' "
-- Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 125.

It was in July, 1849, that James White responded to this vision by starting the publication of
Present Truth, which was shortly renamed Review and Herald. From this small beginning has indeed grown a world work, as Mrs. White forecast in vision.

In the background of this picture are shown James White and Joseph Bates taking notes.


We wrote to the Review & Herald Publishing House asking permission to reproduce this painting. They refused to grant our request.


The most important portion of this description of the cover is found also on page 5 from the pen of the editor. In addition to quoting that portion referring to light going around the world, the editor also says: "James White believed that he had present truth to present to the world." This statement is represented as being taken from one of Mrs. White's earliest visions which was given her at Dorchester, Mass., Nov. 1848. The vision from which this was taken has never appeared complete in any of Mrs. White's publications. We have a complete copy of this vision which we expect to reproduce in the next issue of the Gathering Call. The length of it prevents our using it in this issue. That portion which relates to seeing the lights going around the world is not in the Dorchester vision.


Joseph Bates wrote this vision while Mrs. White spoke it; and there is no reference whatsoever to light streaming clear around the world. It is a disgrace to any people to publish such illustrations or such statements in regard to the Dorchester vision.




The first time that Mrs. White gave utterance to seeing lights encircling the globe was when she was visiting Europe, in 1885 or 1886. It was first published in the RH July 26, 1887. If Mrs. White saw this in 1848, why was it not published until 1887, nearly 40 years later? In proof of this we reproduce her first publication of her seeing lights going clear around the world. It is found on page 379 of the old edition of Gospel Workers, published in 1892.


In my very girlhood the Lord saw fit to open before me the glories of heaven. I was in vision taken to heaven, and the angel said to me, "Look!" I looked to the world as it was in dense darkness. The agony that came over me was indescribable as I saw this darkness. Again the word came, "Look ye!" And again I looked intensely over the world, and I began to see jets of light like stars dotted all through this darkness; and then I saw another and another added light, and so all through this moral darkness the star like lights were increasing.


In this Dorchester vision Mrs. White saw that they should begin printing the message but she had no idea of printing the message for the world, for in that vision she stated that they had received the "shut door," which meant that they believed probation had closed.


Another illustration is presented in this Special on page 7. It represents James White and his wife together with other workers bowing around a stack of their first paper, the Present Truth, and asking God's blessing to go with it as they mailed it out to their friends. Present Truth was an 8-page paper which was edited by James White from July 1849 to November, 1850. The eleven issues were bound together and had a wide circulation in the early days. Mrs. White states that they bowed around very issue of this paper and asked God's blessing upon it. There was hardly a number of this paper that did not contain arguments trying to prove that probation had closed in 1844. One number is largely given to the shut door.


Mrs. White's Topsham vision given on Sabbath, March 24, 1849, contains the positive evidence that she believed and taught the "shut door." Those who have copies of this Present Truth will find the portion relating to the shut door at the bottom of col. 1, page 22. It is this portion of the Topsham vision that is omitted from all of Mrs. Whit's subsequent reproductions. James White, Mrs. White, Joseph Bates, Hiram Edson and others of the pioneers wrote for the Present Truth condemning the 1st-day Adventists and other churches for trying to save sinners, because God had rejected all of the world excepting the Advent believers.




The inconsistency of these pioneers including James White and his wife bowing down and asking God's blessing to attend the contents of this document which was saturated with the teachings of the "shut door," and then a century later, trying to make all people believe that Mrs. White was shown in vision that they were called to publish and send the message clear around the world, is a shame to any people.









The Golden Age of Adventism continues. Canright seems forgotten. The Sabbath, Ellen White, and the Sanctuary Doctrine appear to be beyond question. However, Adventists leaders still know there is a serious problem with the Sanctuary Doctrine. The best minds in the Church are secretly trying to find biblical support for this teaching. Adventism flourishes, membership increases dramatically, and Adventist education expands. Prophetic seminars utilizing bogus dates from "history" are used to deceive hundreds of thousands of people into thinking the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the true Church of Bible prophecy for the last days and that all others churches are Babylon. Adventists do not question Colossians 2:14-17, and if they ever do, they are told that the Sabbath referred to in this passage is merely a reference to the weekly and monthly ceremonial Sabbaths. No one seems to notice that this reading of the passage is impossible, due to the syntax of the sentence in question. The typical Adventist is totally ignorant of the fact that Sabbath abandonment by Christians was virtually immediate, making it impossible that sun worship or the Roman Catholic Church were responsible for the Christian adoption of Sunday as its day of worship.


1961 - The General Conference president gives Dr. Raymond F. Cottrell the task of solving the Investigative Judgment problem. Cottrell sends a questionnaire out to a large number of Adventist scholars and theologians to poll their opinions. The analysis of Cottrell's survey indicates there is widespread concern that the doctrine could not be supported from the Bible alone. The General Conference orders the formation of a top secret committee. The committee's task is to meet until it can find the biblical support the Church needs to validate the Sanctuary Doctrine/Investigative Judgment concept. The committee includes an elite group of SDA Bible scholars and theologians. (See Cottrell, "The Sanctuary Doctrine: asset of liability?").


1968 - The secret Sanctuary Doctrine committee disbands without reaching any conclusion. The committee had studied 48 papers by competent SDA Bible scholars and theologians in vain. The total failure of the committee to find support for the doctrine is kept secret. The existence of this secret committee will not be known until Dr. Cottrell retires from the Church and can write and speak what he wants to without fear of losing his employment with the Church. (See Cottrell, "The Sanctuary Doctrine: asset or liability?").





The wrecking of Adventism begins. One block-buster revelation after another of the perfidy of Adventist leaders and their deceptions burst upon the scene. Damage control becomes extremely difficult. Adventist leaders are seen to have manipulated Ellen White's writings to serve their own agenda. The foundation for the belief in the Sabbath, Ellen White, and the Investigative Judgment is destroyed. Adventism begins the process of dividing into several "camps" of interpreting the Adventist faith. It appears that the more Adventist leaders know about the impossibilities of the Church's key doctrines, the more financial corruption there is. Church leaders are busy in illegal conflict of interest speculation with Church and personal funds which culminates in the disaster of the unmasking of the Davenport Scandal at the end of the decade.

1971 - The Church publishes the epic, Movement of Destiny, by LeRoy Froom. He concedes that a massive cover-up of Ellen White's writings related to the Gospel versus the legalism crisis of 1888 had been deliberately suppressed by the Church. This confession, made under pressure from some elements from within the Church who had heard of the existence of these writings, is astonishing. However, Froom is far from honest with his readers. He still maintains that the documents in question no longer exist when he knows they are locked away safely in the vault. (Search for Norris, All Experts, Seventh-day Adventists, article "White Estate.") According to insider Norris, Froom conspired with Arthur White to cover up what Ellen White actually said about Gospel related topics and the Investigative Judgment. In fact, as Froom lay dying he called his son to his side and ordered him to burn boxes of his research that he had utilized in the writing of Movement of Destiny. Norris says, "Scholars have long known that this large book, which claims to be the official story of 1888, is fiction."


1974 - (Some authorities say 1975) - Dr. Stephen F. Yost receives special permission to do research in the vault at the General Conference in Washington, DC. In the very back of the vault he finds a brown package hidden under a pile of dust. He opens it up and finds the stenographer's transcript of a secret meeting of top SDA leaders at the 1919 Bible Conference. He removes the package from the vault. In reading it he discovers that almost without exception, each Adventist leader expresses his or her conviction that Ellen White was essentially a fraud. This amazing document will be published 5 years later (1979) in Spectrum, Volume 10, No.1. (Spectrum is a liberal independent publication that is barely tolerated by the Church.) These leaders discuss whether the Church should tell the truth about her or continue the cover-up. They specifically wrestle with the problem of how to keep the truth about Ellen White from the seminary students if the cover-up is to be maintained.


1974 - Andrews University history professor Donald R. McAdams publishes Ellen White and the Protestant Historians. His work exposes Ellen White's extensive plagiarism of a host of Protestant historians. He wrote his book because his students complain that her account of history often differs with that of accepted historical sources. In March he sends a letter to Arthur White, then director of the White Estate, detailing his findings. McAdams's findings are disturbing:

What we find when we examine the historical portions of the Great Controversy (those events from the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD through the French Revolution) is that entire chapters at the time are simply selective abridgments of protestant historians. ... In the samples I have examined there is not one historical fact in her text that is not in their text. [pp. 16, 17]

1974 - Andrews University history professor Donald R. McAdams also finds extensive evidence that Ellen White got her concept, most of her material, and her theology for her book, The Great Controversy, from a book written much earlier by an early First Day Advent writer by the name of H. L Hastings, entitled The Great Controversy Between God and Man-- Its Origin Progress and End. Even her chapter titles have similar names and an almost identical order. (Cited in Douglas Hackleman's, "Ellen White's Habit," referencing McAdams, Ellen G. White and the Protestant Historians, 1974.)


1976 - Dr. Ronald Numbers, then a professor at the Church's medical school, Loma Linda University, publishes his block-buster book, Prophetess of Health. He outlines conclusive evidence that proves Ellen White got her ideas about health reform from other authors who wrote about health issues and who preceded her by as much as 20 years. He demonstrates that the larger problem is that she lied when she claimed that she had received this information in visions from God.


1977 - Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi publishes his iconoclastic scholarly defense of the Sabbath, From Sabbath to Sunday. He concedes that Christians abandoned the Sabbath universally by 140 AD, proving that Ellen White lied when she claimed that God had showed her in vision that the Roman Catholic Church and the pope had "changed the day." He concedes that the Sabbath mentioned by St. Paul in Colossians 2:14-17 is a reference to the weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue, flatly contradicting traditional SDA teaching on this point. The ramifications of this astonishing concession to the anti-Sabbatarians are profound: (1) It contradicted Ellen White's claim that all the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross. (2) It required the necessity for Bacchiocchi to teach that the Sabbath and the other Jewish ordinances listed by Paul were not the "shadows" to which he referred but instead were the extra rules and regulations of the Judaizers, created by them to make the observance of this set of Jewish ordinances more rigorous. (3) Concept #2 forced Bacchiocchi to develop the concept that Paul validated all the ordinances in Paul's list of Jewish ordinances for continuance into the Christian era, rather than indicating that they were to be discarded as mere "shadows." Concepts #2 and #3 combined forced Bacchiocchi into the unenviable position of being forced to conclude that Christians must keep the Jewish dietary laws and annual and monthly sabbath feast days if they are going to believe that Colossians 2:14-17 does not abrogate the Jewish Sabbath. This book launches the current anti-Sabbatarian movement by its colossal failure to defend the Sabbath in a believable way.


1978-1979 - Researcher Tom Norris discovers the suppressed writings of Ellen White related to the 1888 debate between the Gospel and legalism in the vaults of the newly formed General Conference Archives. These documents prove that Ellen White's son, Arthur White, had been hiding thousands of documents about this 1888 debate over righteousness by faith that tell a very different story about Ellen White from what Froom and the White Estate had been teaching about her. Furthermore, the discovery uncovers some of the actual documents from this 1888 debate that the White Estate and the Review claimed no longer existed. Here is what Norris says:


More than that, there were thousands of rare Ellen White documents from the 1888 period that were discovered hidden in the White Estate. Here was a large and stunning collection of 1888 materials that had been deliberately hidden from the church all these years. No wonder Arthur White tried to keep the White Estate off limits to any researchers or scholars. He, and Froom, and others, had been perpetrating a massive fraud on the Adventist Community. Although this historic discovery took place in 1978-79, just before Glacier View, the leaders were in no mood to admit that such a major scandal was taking place. Besides, the conservatives were in control and such a discovery would destroy their agenda to eliminate the evangelicals and promote their legalistic version of Ellen White's theology that they had so badly misunderstood." (Search for Norris, All Experts, Seventh-day Adventists, White Estate.)



1978 - Ingemar Linden publishes The Last Trump. A former Seminary Bible and homiletics teacher, his book proves Ellen White had taught the Shut Door Doctrine much later than she admitted, contrary to the denials of the Church, and supported his claim by quoting from previously unreleased portions of a letter Ellen White had written to Joseph Bates on July 13, 1847. This upset Arthur White, who was director of the White Estate at the time. Notice that SDA leaders continued to deny that Ellen White taught the Shut Door Doctrine long after Linden proved she had taught it. (See Douglas Hackleman, "Ellen White's Habit.")



1979 (JANUARY) - Robert Olson states there is nothing to the rumors that Ellen White borrowed extensively from other authors. He lies. Dr. Olson has had access to the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes since they were discovered in 1974 or 1975. In the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes, the delegates discuss the length and breadth of Ellen White's plagiarism, including her wholesale copying of a book by two English authors and re-labeling it Sketches from the Life of Paul. The delegates mention how she lifted virtually the entire book from these authors yet claimed that God had given her the information in vision. Walter Rea documents the presentation during which Dr. Olson made this deceitful statement in his book, The White Lie. Keep in mind that the 1919 Bible Conference minutes had been available to Dr. Olson since 1974 or 1975 and it would have been the single most important document he had ever seen since it proved these early SDA leaders knew Ellen White was a fraud:


At an afternoon presentation by Olson in January 1979 at Loma Linda University in California, someone in the audience asked about Mrs. White's borrowing from published sources. Olson's reply was to the effect that there was nothing to it, that all of her writings were her own. He then volunteered that there was some minister in Southern California making waves with allegations about borrowed material for her key book, The Desire of Ages, but that there was nothing to these rumors.

To say that I was in a state of shock after the meeting is to put it mildly. My file at that very time already held several letters from that same Olson encouraging me to keep sending him my comparisons of Ellen with her contemporaries. Furthermore, he had personally talked with me when he was in California only a short time before and had sought my promise that I would not publish any report on my work until he and the White Estate staff had been given additional time to survey the material.

I had agreed to his request, and the fact of the agreement had been recorded in the in-house memo that he wrote afterward and that I held in my files. (The White Lie, Introduction)


1979 (MAY) - Spectrum Magazine publishes the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes in its May issue.


1979 (SEPTEMBER) - Robert Olson, Secretary of the White Estate, publishes a short paper about the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes. (See Olson, Robert W., "The 1919 Conference and Bible and History Teachers' Council." Washington, DC: Ellen G. White Estate, September 24, 1979. 10p. Heritage Room DF [BIBLE CONFERENCE - 1919]).



THE COVER-UP 1980-1989




The factual basis for the three key doctrines of Adventism is destroyed. Bacchiocchi's "New Sabbatarianism" blasted any hope of ever returning the Sabbath doctrine to respectability. The Church is unable to defend the Sanctuary Doctrine and lies about what happened at Glacier View. The Church is forced to acknowledge that Ellen White lied about her prophetic gifts and borrowed about everything she ever wrote, setting the stage for the astonishing public acknowledgment of this fact in 1990. The attention drawn to the impossibilities of the Sabbath motivates thinking Adventist theologians to take a close look at the prophetic dates used to prove that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Bible prophecy. The discovery is made that Adventist leaders should have known that most of these dates were unsubstantiated as prophetic markers by what actually took place on those dates. Adventism is in shambles by the end of the 1980's, but the majority of Adventist believers are still not aware of the existence of these fatal-to-Adventism developments.


1980 - Skip Baker, then General Conference photographer, convinces vault officials to give him the 1847 letter written to Joseph Bates. Baker is shocked by its release to him. He makes numerous photographs of the letter. The letter clearly proves that Ellen White believed in and taught the Shut Door Doctrine as late as 1847-- a fact that Adventist leaders had vehemently denied for over 100 years. Much of the letter had been intentionally mutilated to keep the contents beyond page 3 from being legible. However, there is enough damaging evidence on the first page to prove that she taught the Shut Door at the time. To see a photograph of this letter, access it at:


1980 - Dr. Desmond Ford, guest professor of religion at Pacific Union College and on loan at the time from Avondale College in Australia, is put on trial at Glacier View Ranch near Denver, Colorado, for his views on the Sanctuary Doctrine. He had disclosed in a forum lecture at Pacific Union College that he cannot find biblical support for this doctrine and that its teachings appear to be fundamentally anti-Gospel. About 40 top SDA theologians and biblical scholars are present at the trial. They vote unanimously in favor of six of his eight points. Ford is defrocked and forced to earn a living outside of Church employment. Neal C. Wilson, then General Conference president, flies back to General Conference headquarters in Washington, DC and announces that the Glacier View Committee unanimously agreed that Dr. Ford's views are wrong and that he should be defrocked. (See Cottrell, "The Sanctuary Doctrine: asset or liability?").


1980 - News that an Adventist pastor, Dr. Walter Rea, had found evidence of plagiarism in the writings of the Church's prophetess, Ellen G. White, reaches the ears of John Dart, the religion editor of the Los Angeles Times. Dart interviewed Dr. Rea in his home, and very quickly publishes a story with banner headlines that read, "Plagiarism Found in Prophet Books," (October 20, 1980). The story was later syndicated to 1,000 newspapers and reported on worldwide radio and TV. Dr. Rea is fired from the Church in November. (See Walter Rea, Pirates of Privilege, p.76 in the spiral-bound edition available from Dr. Desmond Ford's, Good News Unlimited organization in Australia.)


1980 - The Church forms a committee in Glendale, California to study the evidence they already have that Ellen White borrowed extensively from the writings of other authors without giving credit to her sources. Eighteen key scholars from across the country met to examine the evidence. They receive orders to work with Dr. Rea in their study. The committee concludes that the evidence is alarming and that further study is needed. Unfortunately, the committee acts without the consent of the Church's high administrative council, PREXAD. PREXAD blocks any further activity by the Glendale committee and announces its own plan to deal with the issues. (See Rea, Pirates of Privilege, p.75 of the spiral bound edition from Good News Unlimited.)


1981 - Circa 1981 - A group of about 40 SDA biblical scholars and theologians sign a statement which came to be known as the "Atlanta Affirmation." This document, sent to General Conference President, Neal Wilson, rebuked him for lying about what happened at Glacier View and for the way he treated Dr. Ford both before and after the Glacier View trial. (See Cottrell, "The Sanctuary Doctrine: asset or liability?")


1981 - Robert D. Brinsmead, a highly controversial independent Seventh-day Adventist theologian with a large following in the United States in earlier years, publishes his classic paper, "Sabbatarianism Re-examined." Brinsmead's paper, the writing of which is evidently prompted by his keen perception that Dr. Bacchiocchi's 1977 book came closer to destroying the case for Sabbatarianism than to defending it, refutes Bacchiocchi's fanciful Sabbath theology and painfully exposes the impossibilities of Sabbatarianism. A brilliant writer, Brinsmead disproves the entire Sabbath concept with the most up-to-date scholarly research and lock-step logic.


1981 - The Church's Davenport Scandal breaks loose with the bankruptcy of SDA physician and real estate developer, Dr. Donald J. Davenport. This scandal exposes Adventist corruption on an unimaginable scale, including bribery, kick-backs, illegal conflicts of interest, and cover-up. Many Church entities are shown to have been involved-- state and regional conferences, Adventist institutions like Pacific Union College, and a wide variety of Adventist leaders, including more than one General Conference president and six union presidents. The Davenport Scandal shows Adventist leaders behaving as if they do not believe in Heaven or Hell, much less that they believe in the unique SDA doctrines of the Investigative Judgment, the inspiration of Ellen White, and the Sabbath.


1981 - Dale Ratzlaff, who is later to be described by SDA Bible professor Judd Lake as the "fountain head of all [SDA] critics," leaves the Church because he cannot find biblical support for the Sanctuary Doctrine and the Investigative Judgment. He continues to keep the Sabbath for awhile and later writes his devastating critique of the Investigative Judgment entitled Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists. Later, he will publish a comprehensive anti-Sabbatarian book entitled Sabbath in Crisis, which is now renamed Sabbath in Christ. (See also1990) His book on the Sabbath will later become one of two documents written by former SDA authors that influence The Worldwide Church of God to turn its back on the Sabbatarianism heritage it had shared with Seventh-day Adventists from the very beginning. (See also 1995)


1982 - Brinsmead publishes another block-buster paper on the Sabbath, "A Digest of the Sabbath Question." This paper provides additional scholarly proof for the points he made in his 1981 paper and is written in his usual brilliant style. These two papers confront SDA leaders with biblical and historical evidence that prove that Sabbatarianism is impossible-- not merely questionable.


1982 - Dr. Rea publishes his block-buster anti-Ellen White classic, The White Lie. This phenomenal book explains the extent of her plagiarism with many specific examples and it details the cover-up of the Ellen White problem by Adventist leaders. Rea's book effectively destroyed the Ellen White myth, and Adventist leaders should have raised the "White" flag of surrender and repudiated the Church's claim that she was a prophet of God. Rea eloquently demonstrates that the biggest problem with Ellen White was not simply her plagiarism, but that she systematically lied by the blasphemous claim that God Himself gave her the information she copied.


1982 - The Church commissions Dr. Fred Veltman, then head of the religion department at Pacific Union College, to study the charges of Walter Rea that Ellen White had plagiarized most of the material she put into her book, The Desire of Ages. Dr. Veltman launches an eight-year study focused on this one book.


1983 - The Church fires Dr. Ron Graybill, a research assistant for 13 years and the Associate Secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate, after his Johns Hopkins University doctoral dissertation, "The Power of Prophecy: Ellen G. White and the Women Religious Founders of the Nineteenth Century," was leaked out. Without his consent or knowledge, copies of the dissertation, which he had placed on a five-year embargo, are circulated to Adventist leaders throughout the world. He had taken the liberty to use material that the White Estate had placed in a top secret category. It is highly significant to observe that someone who had unlimited access to Ellen White's entire collection of writings for over 13 years eventually determined that she was a fraud. His paper was skeptical of her prophetic gifts, her character and integrity, and he provided evidence that suggested that she produced her visions whenever necessary to maintain her authority. (See Walter Rea's unpublished book, Pirates of Privilege, p. 72-73, spiral bound edition available from Dr. Desmond Ford's Australian organization, Good News Unlimited.)

1984 - Walter Rea's 1984 book, Pirates of Privilege, is not published. Earlier, Rea had been fired in November of 1980 for uncovering the fact that Ellen White plagiarized the writings of other authors while claiming that she got that information in visions from God. He was 60 years old at the time the Church fired him, and had served the Denomination faithfully for many decades. Adventist leaders attempted to deny him his retirement benefits as well. Dr. Rea took the Church to court and won back his retirement benefits. However, he was forced to agree not to publish Pirates of Privilege to have his retirement benefits reinstated. Thus, every cent paid by the Church to Walter Rea after his firing represents, in a real sense of the word, out-right bribery in the form of "hush money."

Read Pirates of Privilege at:


1986 - Adventist seminary student, Bruce Weaver, discovers a newspaper account of a wild meeting at Israel Dammon's home and a transcript of the court record. It shows that Ellen White lied about her participation in the same fanaticism that she condemned later. (See Bruce Weaver's story at Ellen White Exposed, taken from Adventist Currents, Vol. 3, Number 1, 1988.) See also 1874. His article can be found at:


1987 - The White Estate publishes a shoddy, disorganized, and difficult-to-read release of hundreds of Ellen White's writings related to the Gospel versus legalism debate of 1888. There is no acknowledgment that the fact that these documents actually exist represents a huge scandal. The released document is so shoddy that it suggests that the Church deliberately made it so difficult to study that few people would have the courage to struggle through it. Tom Norris, the Adventist researcher who, earlier, had been given unlimited access to these documents, says this regarding this event:


"The late publication of this large collection of 1888 materials from the White Estate proves that they were hiding and suppressing Ellen White's writings, and acting in bad faith all during the Righteousness by Faith debates of the 1970's and even during Glacier View, and beyond. Arthur White was indeed guilty of misleading and deceiving generations of SDA's, including the scholars and the critics about Ellen Whites Gospel theology and her role in 1888. And thus the SDA leaders have been caught perpetrating a massive fraud about Ellen White and the fundamentals of Adventist theology. Here is the largest scandal that the denomination has ever faced, and yet few today are even aware that such a scandal exits because it has never been acknowledged, much less confessed or explained. And thus this massive fraud is still ongoing in nature even though the White Estate managed to publish the hidden documents some time ago." (Search for Norris, All Experts, Seventh-day Adventists, White Estate.)






The new anti-Sabbatarian movement gets under way as many thinking Adventists come to understand that there is no factual basis for the three pillars of Adventist doctrine. At first, the facts are communicated to the Adventist family through what you might call the "Adventist Underground" via books and copies of articles by Brinsmead and others. Dale Ratzlaff becomes the chief architect of the anti-Sabbatarian, anti-Adventist movement, and his books on the Sabbath and the Investigative Judgment attain wide circulation and influence. The Worldwide Church of God renounces Sabbatarianism, providing a huge insult to its Adventist "sister church." The Internet comes into wide-spread use, and anti-SDA and anti-Ellen White web-sites spring up everywhere as the TRUTH about the lies of Adventism are made available to millions of Internet users. Dirk Anderson sets up a pro-Ellen White web-site and begins gathering material to support the prophetic claims of Ellen White. The more he learns about Ellen White, the more convinced he becomes that she is really a fraud. His web-site flips and becomes the single most devastating witness against the prophetic claims of Ellen White. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is now losing up to 300,000 members a year, and it is believed that many of these losses are caused by the influence of the new anti-Sabbatarian movement. The Church continues to be plagued with almost continuous financial scandals, which this author believes result from hypocrisy of its leaders, who, by now, know there is no biblical or historical basis for any of Adventism's distinctive teachings. More researchers study the prophetic dates used by Adventists to prove the Church is the only true church for the end-times, and they demonstrate successfully that these dates are not useful for any prophetic purpose. These researchers later post their work on the anti-SDA web-sites that have sprung up since the late 1990's and 2000's.


1990 - Dr. Fred Veltman completes his study of the Desire of Ages. His conclusion is that Ellen White had plagiarized (borrowed) the vast majority of her material from other writers, including writers of religious fiction, and that there is hardly a single idea that was unique to Ellen White in the Desire of Ages. His findings are published in the December, 1990, issue of Ministry (pp. 11-14). Amazingly, Veltman concludes that he has no explanation for her lying about receiving direct, divine inspiration for things that she copied from the writings of others. (You can find the entire Veltman Report by doing an Internet Search.)


1990 - Dale Ratzlaff publishes his anti-Sabbatarian book, Sabbath in Crisis. As you may recall, Ratzlaff had left Adventism in 1980 because he could not find biblical support for the Sanctuary Doctrine. He remained a Sabbath-keeper for several years after his apostasy from the Church. Eventually he began to look into other Adventist doctrines, including the Sabbath. Among the sources he studied were the Brinsmead papers. As a result of this study, he rejected Sabbatarianism and began to work on Sabbath in Crisis. This book has been re-named Sabbath in Christ. Ratzlaff's book appears to be the most complete treatment of the impossibilities of Sabbatarianism available today. Together with the Brinsmead papers, Sabbath in Crisis/Sabbath in Christ has lead the way in forging the current anti-Sabbatarian movement that is threatening the very existence of Adventism, particularly in North America.


1995 - The Worldwide Church of God renounces Sabbatarianism after studying the writings of former Adventists, Robert D. Brinsmead and Dale Ratzlaff. This repudiation of Sabbatarianism represents one of the most significant events in the history of modern Christianity. Since the Seventh-day Adventist Church and The Worldwide Church of God developed out of one group of Advent believers immediately after the Great Disappointment of 1844, the implications of this astonishing development are devastating to Seventh-day Adventists.


1997 - Dirk Anderson switches his web-site devoted to defending Ellen White to exposing her as a fraud after Dale Ratzlaff challenged him to read D. M. Canright's 1919 book, Life of Mrs. E.G. White, Seventh-day Adventist Prophet-- Her False Claims Refuted. Since 1997 Brother Anderson's anti-EGW web-site has become the repository of one of the largest collections of original documents as well as research papers written by Dirk Anderson and others, exposing the fraudulent claims of Ellen White and the Church's cover-up of its knowledge that she is a fraud.


You can read Brother Anderson's story at: His research is so devastating to Adventism that the Seventh-day Adventist Church successfully brought legal action against him that forced him to give up his original domain name. This tactic made it more difficult for Internet users to find his web-site.


1997 - Robert K. Sanders, who left Adventism some years prior to 1997 after discovering problems with Ellen G. White and the Sanctuary Doctrine, launches his anti-SDA, anti-Ellen White, and anti-Sabbatarian web-site, Truth or Fables. Since 1997 Truth or Fables has provided a substantial collection of anti-SDA documents not available anywhere else, including top quality, well-researched biblical studies by Sanders and others which exhaustively deal with the problematic teachings of Adventism. Sander's web-site also features an extensive collection of documents that deal with the extensive corruption which has plagued the Seventh-day Adventist Church since the 1970's. His ministry includes a small panel of experts who dialogue directly with individuals who have specific questions about Sabbatarianism, Ellen White, and other SDA issues. His ministry has helped many people throw off the deceptions of Adventism and embrace the Gospel of Jesus as outlined by Paul in his writings. Go to TRUTH OR FABLES and read his testimony at:

1998 - Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi publishes Sabbath under Crossfire in response to the tremendous growing threat of the new anti-Sabbatarian movement that he inadvertently started in the first place by his catastrophic embarrassment of Sabbatarianism, From Sabbath to Sunday, back in 1977. Bacchiocchi ignores the newer key arguments of the anti-Sabbatarians, such as the Hebrew linguistics of the Creation Story, the improved understanding by scholars of the diversity in the Early Church, and the link between circumcision and the Sabbath. More importantly, as you will recall, he brought further embarrassment to Adventists by enlarging on the requirement that Christians must keep the Jewish dietary laws, annual sabbath feast days, and monthly sabbath feast days, in addition to the weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue.


1999 - People Magazine publishes an article about the Fox Sisters, who started the Spiritualist Movement in the mid-1800's. This information proves Ellen White lied about being shown in vision that the "rappings" were not the result of "human trickery." The article tells the story about how these sisters confessed, decades later, that they made up the story about the rappings at their farm house and that they deceived people during their séances by tying a string to their toes which activated a rock placed against the wall. After touring the country for decades giving lectures and séances, they toured the country lecturing about how they had managed to deceive everyone. The author of the article uses exactly the same words as Ellen White, just turned around, stating that the Fox Sisters confessed that their spirit manifestations WERE THE RESULT OF HUMAN TRICKERY. This People Magazine article brings to mind the fact that Ellen White said in the Great Controversy that Spiritualism would soon pervade all the main-line churches and that it would be considered a sin to talk against the spirit manifestations within these churches. Here we have another clear example of a total failure of Ellen White as a prophet.


See this link for the story of the Fox Sisters:


2002 - Dr. Raymond F. Cottrell, widely acknowledged to be the greatest Seventh-day Adventist theologian of all time, presents his paper, "The Sanctuary: asset or liability?" at the San Diego Forum on February 9. His presentation exposes not only the impossibilities of the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment, but the perfidy of Adventist leaders spanning over many decades of Church history. Wisely, Dr. Cottrell waited until his retirement from the Church to present this paper. There is no question but that he would have been fired if he had presented his views while being actively employed by the Church. It is possible that we would never have known about this scandalous cover-up if it had not been for his willingness to reveal what happened after his retirement.


2007 - The Church publishes its first "scholarly" attempt to defend its Sabbath doctrine for 30 years, almost certainly timed to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the publication of Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi's 1977 book, From Sabbath to Sunday. The author is Dr. Skip MacCarty, Associate Pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University where the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary is located. This author takes his readers on a theological wild goose chase to bring them round and round to accept, hook, line, and sinker, the convoluted theological gymnastics of his predecessor, Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi. MacCarty ignores the impossibilities of the arguments against Sabbatarianism from the Hebrew linguistics of the Creation Story and the biblical prerequisite of circumcision for Sabbath-keeping, and slicks over the impossibilities of Colossians 2:14-17 in the same manner as Bacchiocchi. However, MacCarty fails to spell out to his readers that what he and Bacchiocchi teach about Colossians 2:14-17 absolutely requires Adventists and Sabbatarians to keep all the Jewish ordinances mentioned by Paul, including the Jewish dietary laws and annual and monthly sabbath feast days.


2009 - The Church has beefed up its propaganda campaign to defend Ellen White, but it is unable to defend the Sabbath doctrine in any kind of a meaningful way. The only defense for the Sabbath "left" to Adventists is that it supposedly was given to the entire world at Creation—an argument totally invalidated by the Hebrew linguistics of the Creation story in Genesis. The propaganda effort to defend Ellen White seems to be focused on technicalities and ignores the problem that she lied when she claimed direct, divine inspiration from God for the things she copied! A visit to will give you an excellent sampling of this propaganda. Here are some highlights:

  1. In practical terms, this conclusion declares that one is not able to recognize in Ellen White's writings on the life of Christ any general category of content or catalog of ideas that is unique to her. We found source parallels for theological, devotional, narrative, descriptive, and spiritual materials, whether in reference to biblical or extra-biblical content.
  2. QUESTION - "How do you harmonize Ellen White's use of sources with her statements to the contrary? Do you think the introductory statement to The Great Controversy constitutes an adequate admission of literary dependence?"

ANSWER - I must admit at the start that in my judgment this is the most serious problem to be faced in connection with Ellen White's literary dependency. It strikes at the heart of her honesty, her integrity, and therefore her trustworthiness. . . . As of now I do not have - nor, to my knowledge, does anyone else have - a satisfactory answer to this important question. The statement from The Great Controversy comes rather late in her writing career and is too limited in its reference to historians and reformers. Similar admissions do not appear as prefaces to all her writings in which sources are involved, and there is no indication that this particular statement applies to her writings in general.

( ), therefore, fails to disclose that the Church Itself conceded that Ellen White lied about the source of information for her book, The Desire of Ages.

After reviewing the extent of deception of the Church from the very beginning of the Advent Movement, it is difficult to comprehend why "truth" needs so many lies to protect it. We now know that not only did Adventist leaders cover-up the truth about the impossibilities of the Sabbath Doctrine and the fraudulent claims of Ellen White and the absurdities of the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment, but they also misused the writings of their own prophetess to force the Church into submission to legalism. It should not come as any surprise, then, that the Adventist leaders since the unprecedented events of 1995 in regard to The Worldwide Church of God have shown no interest whatsoever in fundamental doctrinal reform. We now turn to a detailed study of two Adventist theologians who have spent countless futile hours trying to turn the impossibilities of the Sabbath doctrine into a plausible reality. The result has been disastrous in both cases, as I will demonstrate to the point of over-kill.






(Chapters Eleven and Twelve)



The traditional SDA defense of Colossians 2:14-17 was rejected by Dr. Bacchiocchi, and to my knowledge, there has been no published attempt by a duly authorized Seventh-day Adventist theologian to refute Dr. Bacchiocchi's assertion that the Sabbath of Colossians 2:14-17 is, indeed, a reference to the weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue. The fact that the Church itself is not attempting to challenge Bacchiocchi on this point is proof that he, as well as D. M. Canright, were correct in their analysis of this particular aspect of the passage. Therefore, we will focus on the problems with Dr. Bacchiocchi's own highly imaginative attempt to get around Colossians 2:14-17 and two other key statements in the writings of Paul as outlined in his second book, Sabbath under Crossfire (1998). This later book by Dr. Bacchiocchi presents some revised thinking on his part, so it is a fairer treatment of his ideas.


All the elements of Dr. Bacchiocchi's teachings which I discuss in this section are articulated in the chapter entitled "Paul and the Sabbath" from his 1998 book, Sabbath under Crossfire. The entries in blue print and all capital letters represent summaries of his key ideas, rather than quotations from his text. In some cases Dr. Bacchiocchi may have taken several pages to develop a concept, which I have summarized in a few sentences, and in other cases he may have presented an idea in not many more words than I have used, and the wording may be relatively similar. This chapter of his book is fairly short and is accessible to all Internet users by going to Dr. Bacchiocchi's own web-site, There are no page numbers provided on the Internet version of this chapter, so a page reference for each idea is not possible. At the time this manuscript is being prepared, it appears that Dr. Bacchiocchi's family is maintaining his web-site. He passed away in December of 2008.


In October of 2006 I sent a rough draft of the following section of this paper to Dr. Bacchiocchi. I asked only that he seek to determine whether or not I had represented his ideas accurately. He replied only that he had skimmed my paper and that it was evident that I did not understand the real issues. There was no hint that he felt I had misrepresented his teachings. While there have been changes to the wording of my rebuttals to his ideas since he read my rough draft, there have been no significant changes to my summaries of his teachings.


Before beginning our study, a structural analysis will give us a better idea of just what a Sabbatarian is up against when trying to render the passage in a favorable light.


Colossians 2:14-17 (NIV) - 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.


These items are not to be enforced on Christians:




These items were shadows of things to come and found their fulfillment in Christ:




If you try to make the "Sabbath Day" of Colossians 2:14-17 into a monthly or annual Sabbath, Paul's sentence becomes nonsense. In this case, Paul's sentence would read something like this, if the meaning were 'monthly:'


"in regard to an annual, monthly, or monthly celebration."


If the meaning of Sabbath were changed from weekly to annual, it would read something like this:


"in regard to an annual, monthly, or annual celebration."


A reason would have to be given to Paul's target audience for no longer requiring the observance of a list of things that had been sacred to the Jews for over a thousand years. What reason did Paul give, as his rationale, for the change? Some kind of set of rules and regulations had gone out of effect when Jesus died on the Cross.


According to Bacchiocchi's alternate and highly creative interpretation, what was nailed to the cross was not a list of rules and regulations, but rather a list of the sinner's transgression of those rules and regulations. He needs this premise to avoid the fact, fatal to Sabbatarianism, that the list of Jewish ordinances listed in the passage are shadows that were nailed to the cross. Let us see if Dr. Bacchiocchi can provide a convincing "apology" for this idea. I will summarize each point from Sabbath under Crossfire (1998) and evaluate it according to biblical facts, concepts, and principles for the integrity of his logic:





While it is true that Paul addressed more than one area of the false teachings of the Judaizers, the Sabbath was unquestionably mentioned in the list. From a standpoint of logic, the inclusion of other items has no power to negate the significance of the importance of the mention of any other element in the group. Furthermore, logic dictates that if he condemned all the things in this specific group without differentiating any level of condemnation for the items, all the items in the set must be approximately as wrong as any of the other items in the set. Thus, Paul is indicating that the observance of obsolete Jewish ordinances is just as bad as the practice of other syncretistic practices, including the worship of angels ―hardly a flattering commentary on the value of Sabbath keeping. It is interesting to note that Dr. Bacchiocchi acknowledges the fact that Paul included a condemnation of something that included elements from the Old Testament. Just what were these elements of the Old Testament?


A careful study of Colossians 2 clearly reveals that Paul was warning the Church of two dangers:


1. Greek philosophy.

2. Jewish traditions that would undermine the gospel.


In Colossians 2:8, he warns the Church about the dangers of heeding human traditions: (NIV) "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." But when it comes to which "elements" of the Old Testament Paul lumps with Greek philosophy and Jewish traditions, he is very specific. The "written code" has been canceled: Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV): When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross."


Paul continues, in Colossians 2:16-17, to explain what impact the cancellation of the Mosaic Law would have on the Church : Colossians 2:16-17 (NIV) Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." The Mosaic Law is the law set that requires the keeping of the Jewish dietary laws, annual sabbath feast days, monthly sabbath feast days, and the weekly Sabbath.


How much clearer can Paul be? After warning about philosophies and Jewish traditions, he emphasizes that none of these things are to be considered a guiding force in the life of Christians, since the Mosaic Law is ended and now they are alive in Christ. Indeed, the law set nailed to the Cross was the TORAH― the Law of Moses.


Furthermore, at a higher level of interpretation, the Gospel of Jesus, as articulated by St. Paul, compels us to interpret this passage to mean that in so far as the process of determining the question of our salvation, all law sets of all kinds are nailed to the cross. If a Christian's compliance with either Noachian or Torah were to be used to determine our eligibility for salvation, not one of us would be saved. We have all violated not only the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. Our motives are rotten, even if our outward actions appear to be compliant. Paul made it very clear that the freedom from the fear that the LAW will be used to determine our salvation cannot be used to justify sinful living, and he even went so far as to list a group of sins that will keep a person out of Heaven. The Holy Spirit is the new LAW for the Christian, and the Holy Spirit would never lead a person into sin. The charge of Seventh-day Adventists that the concept that the entire LAW was nailed to the cross opens the flood-gate to sinful living is a shameless ruse. Surely the Christian does not refrain from sin only because there is a law against that sin! The Holy Spirit works on the heart to lead the Christian to resist sin on the basis of his or her love for God and ultimately because the desire for that sin has miraculously been taken away. For example, I do not need any laws against smoking to keep me from lighting up a cigarette. By the Grace of God, I have no desire for such a thing.


Later we will evaluate what set of laws Dr. Bacchiocchi teaches was nailed to the cross.





  1. Bacchiocchi admits that if the Greek word cheirographon does actually refer to the Mosaic laws, there is at least a possibility that this passage could include the weekly Sabbath as one of the ordinances that was nailed to the Cross. The problem for Bacchiocchi's idea that the document nailed to the Cross was merely a record of our sins, rather than the law itself, is that in non-biblical Greek, this word has a number of meanings and may refer to (1) a labor contract, (2) a document giving authority to act, or even (3) to business agreements. It is misleading to say, then, that this word, as used in this passage, simply means the document itself upon which the debt is recorded. It would only make sense that the context in which this word is found would determine what kind of written document it is. This particular cheirographon is made up of "ordinances" and "decrees," an interpretation demanded by Paul's use of the Greek word, dogmasin, which is the word immediately following the word cheirographon and which modifies this word. An English equivalent example of a word with a modifier in this order would be "the color blue." There are a number of colors. Which color is it? Blue! What kind of a written document is it? Decrees and laws! Who makes decrees and laws? The King! Who signed the law decree? God Himself! Notice that the same word, dogmasin, appears in a discussion of the Mosaic Law in Ephesians 2:15, indicating both texts deal with similar issues. (Credit for the information about Greek linguistics goes to Robert D. Brinsmead, "Sabbatarianism Re-examined.")


It is highly significant to note that Paul's audience was a mixture of Jewish and Gentile Christians. Paul uses this language with cheirographon, knowing that both Jew and Gentile will understand what he is writing about. Dr. Bacchiocchi conveniently ignores Paul's audience.


Paul uses similar language in another passage, giving strength to the concept that Paul really did mean that the Law of Moses was nailed to the cross:


Ephesians 2:15 (NIV): "by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations."

The context of this passage in Ephesians is to show that the TORAH was a major barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles and that it was God's purpose to destroy this barrier with the advent of the Messiah. Another link with this concept is Romans 7:8-13, which further establishes the idea that Paul is discussing the Law of Moses. Now look at Ephesians 2:15 and 16:

by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (NIV)

Additionally, Paul was not writing for a rabbinical or apocalyptic audience. With the Epistle to the Colossians, he was addressing a general audience. Paul was a highly skilled and brilliant author. One would think he would have the sense to write for his target audience.


The Bible teaches that it is the Law of Moses that is "against us." How can Bacchiocchi conclude that the Law of Moses is not against us when the Bible says it is?


Deut 31:26 (NIV) 26 "Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.


Removing the barrier between us and God created by witness against us of the Old Covenant "Book of the Law" does not mean that some moral void is left behind. There is the New Covenant of the Spirit, where the believer is led now by the Spirit of God in them. The spirit of the Law is therefore not lawlessness as implied by those who hold to the Old Covenant letter of the law. Faith and love are the criteria for fulfilling the Law as contrasted to the Old Covenant kept in the letter, where faith and love were absent.





Says who? When you go to court, you are being tried for breaking the law itself-not for breaking the written record of that transgression against that law. It is the accusing witness that stands in the middle of the court, and it is the law that accuses and condemns the defendant. If it is the law that accuses and if it is the law which "stands in the middle," it would seem that it is the law itself that would be removed. When a judge hands down a pardon-an event very comparable to what happens when a human being is eternally saved-- the "law" has to be removed, or "suspended" for that moment. Recall that Paul places the Greek word, dogmasin, which means "regulations" or "ordinances," adjacent to the word, cheirographon, as a modifier. What type of written document is it? A list of regulations and ordinances! A piece of paper that documents a person's transgression of a law is not the law itself. Dr. Bacchiocchi is unsuccessful in his attempt to exploit the court metaphor for his Sabbatarian bias. No scholar would be likely to attempt such logical gymnastics unless he or she had a strong bias of some kind.




Only a strong Sabbatarian bias could prompt a claim such as this. There can be no such thing as additional "proof" as Dr. Bacchiocchi would like to provide since his claim about Paul's intended use of the Greek word cheirographon has been shown to be invalid. The immediate argument of this passage is clearly not the fullness of God's forgiveness. The fact that forgiveness is one of the components of his statement does not identify it as the focus of the passage. The key theme, here, is that the death of Christ on the cross caused a whole set of Jewish ordinances to become obsolete because they were nailed to the cross with Him. The Judaizers and all other parties who attempt to establish unnecessary and obsolete barriers between God and His people are unwittingly teaching a false gospel and are in league with the "principalities and powers."


Jesus, as the God of the Old Testament, died on the cross, thus ending that covenant even as all such covenants end upon the death of either party to a covenant. Paul uses the marriage covenant in Romans 7 to explain this obvious fact regarding covenants. Principalities and powers are those people in position of power and authority who wield their control through law and the administration of law. If they administer the law of the Old Testament to their own advantage, which they did, then the rug is pulled out from under them by removing the law they use to control and rule unjustly over others.


Paul indicates these things were accomplished by the death of Christ:


  1. Our sins were forgiven.

  3. A set of Jewish ordinances that were shadows of Him was set aside.

  5. A great victory was won over principalities and powers, including Satan and his evil angels.


Of these three items, Paul gives additional explanation for the second item― the set of Jewish ordinances. He explains that this set of Jewish ordinances has become obsolete because they were merely shadows of things that were to come and that the Reality shadowed by these things is Christ Himself.


To his credit, Dr. Bacchiocchi does not stoop to use the poorly conceived Sabbatarian argument that "things to come" is a reference to events that were still future in relationship to the time Paul was writing his letters to the Churches. The time reference for "things to come" would have to be the time the Mosaic Law was given, since these ordinances were instituted at that time.





This idea just simply won't work. Whatever Paul was "targeting," that "thing" got nailed to the cross. Not even Bacchiocchi himself is suggesting that man-made rules and regulations were nailed to the cross. As you may recall from an earlier discussion, Bacchiocchi teaches that it was the written record of our sins that got nailed to the cross-at least plausible, but not the case as so eloquently established by Robert D. Brinsmead in "Sabbatarianism Re-examined." The very structure of Paul's statement again forbids any pathway of logic leading to Bacchiocchi's explanation. For a better understanding, let us review all possible candidates for what Paul might have said was nailed to the cross:



  1. The extra rules and regulations supposedly invented by the Judaizers - Bacchiocchi does not even suggest this himself. It wouldn't make sense that an Act of God would be needed to do away with human traditions. He teaches that it was a written record of our sins that was nailed to the cross-a metaphor that is physically possible but forbidden by the logistical constraints of the text itself. If our "candidate can't get nailed to the cross, it is disqualified from being the target of Paul's statement.

  3. The body of laws God gave to all the world at the very beginning, which are not codified by Moses in his writings, but which clearly exist because of numerous references to such laws throughout the Book of Genesis - This is not likely, since this would make no more sense than turning off all the traffic signals in New York City at rush hour. Bacchiocchi himself does not mention this possibility. If he were he to do so, the implications would be self-incriminating. It would explain how Paul could talk about the TORAH being nailed to the cross without giving people the freedom to violate "natural" law. Since the mentioned but non-codified laws discussed in the Book of Genesis are, for the most part, simply "scientific" statements of cause and effect, not particularly different than, let's say, the laws of gravity, they could not be nailed to the cross any more easily than the events of the cross could have stopped the Earth and the Moon from attracting each other.

  5. The "ceremonial" part of the TORAH, not the "moral" part, was nailed to the cross. - Dr. Bacchiocchi does not suggest this himself. It is one of the traditional SDA arguments, which he knows is not even possible, in view of how the Jews thought about the TORAH as a fully integrated and inseparable unit. Furthermore, it would destroy the only possibility of demonstrating that the Sabbath is validated by Colossians 2:14-17, rather than set aside by it ―made necessary since there is no way around the fact that the Sabbath of Colossians 2:14-17 is a reference to the Weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue.

  7. A written record of our sins as taught by Dr. Bacchiocchi - We have seen that the structure of Paul's statement in Colossians 2:14-17 places modifiers by the words in the passage that identify the written document as rules and regulations (dogmasin). Rules and regulations are far different from a record of a person's transgressions of those rules and regulations. Review the in-depth study of this "candidate" presented earlier. This is Bacchiocchi's choice, but it is a virtually impossible one that is inconsistent with a wide variety of other factors. There is no written record of our sins available to be nailed to the cross-at least not in this passage.

  9. The TORAH, a special set of laws for Jews only designed to govern Israel from the Exodus to the Cross - We are consistent with the content and context of the text, as well as the major themes and concepts of the Bible, in concluding that what was nailed to the cross was the TORAH―a special group of laws designed to reign in the rebellious nature of the Jews and keep them headed in the right direction between the Exodus and the cross. It is also a simple explanation that even a child can understand by just reading the passage itself. The TORAH contained the laws requiring the Jewish ordinances of the dietary laws and Sabbath systems, including the weekly Sabbath. These ordinances, and especially the Sabbath rest, pointed forward to Christ as symbols of Him. Once He died on the cross, symbol met Reality. Now that the Real Thing has arrived, the shadowy symbols were no longer necessary, just like you can snuff out the candles when the flood lights are turned on.


There is no reason to accept Dr. Bacchiocchi's evasive solution to this problem and every reason to stand with the straightforward reading of the passage. The "shadows" were the Jewish ordinances and they were nailed to the cross in the sense that the temporary law set that required their observance was nailed to the cross. Paul was "targeting" the TORAH with its Jewish ordinances. A set of humanly authored rules and regulations does not even qualify as a candidate for something that requires the death of Christ on the cross to be made of no effect.




If judged by conventional principles of literary evaluation, a pronoun must be viewed as referring to something in the sentence or paragraph immediately before it unless such a reading clearly cannot be accommodated within any sense of propriety. In view of the fact that there is no compelling reason to reject the standard literary expectation in this situation, other than Dr. Bacchiocchi's a priori bias toward Sabbatarianism, any disinterested party of 12 biblical scholars would likely agree that the items in Paul's list are, indeed, shadows of things that pointed forward to Christ and were nailed to the Cross. In particular, the weekly Sabbath, as has been mentioned earlier, was spoken of by the Jews as a symbol of the rest for God's people, both in the (falsely) anticipated earthly Messianic kingdom and in the Paradise beyond the grave.

Dr. Bacchiocchi has resorted to a logical fallacy commonly called "an appeal to authority." Dr. Lohse, as a Bible scholar, would be expected to be more likely correct in his understanding of theology, but he is still subject to errors of interpretation and understanding. That Dr. Lohse would agree with Dr. Bacchiocchi then, in and by itself, is no more revealing than Dr. Bacchiocchi standing alone. He still leaves us lacking the proper evidence to support the position held by himself and Dr. Lohse. This logical deficit would exist no matter how many other biblical scholars might express an opinion that just happens to support what Dr. Bacchiocchi wants to believe.


Dr. Lohse appears not to have thought the whole issue through to its logical conclusion. Perhaps he stands in awe of Dr. Bacchiocchi's tremendous stature as the acknowledged world authority on the seventh day Sabbath and has allowed himself to be taken in by one of Dr. Bacchiocchi's occasional lapses of scholarly excellence. Perhaps he simply cannot comprehend the gripping, overwhelming fixation that compels a dyed-in-the-wool Sabbatarian to protect this belief at all costs. If Dr. Bacchiocchi's reading of this passage is correct, and if his primary way of defending Colossians 2:14-17 in general is correct, Dr. Lohse needs to lead the world of Evangelical Christianity to Judaization. Evangelical Churches would have to open their doors on Sabbath morning, no pork could be served at potluck dinners, and Church members would be observing all of the sabbaths feast days. Perhaps we would find the Evangelical Churches camping out annually to celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem. One way to evaluate the TRUTH of a teaching is to follow it to the end of its logical conclusion.


The Judaization of Christianity cannot be the TRUTH because it is clearly opposed to everything Paul stood for as God's personally chosen spokesperson for interpreting Christianity to the Gentiles. Paul warned his readers that his Gospel of Grace was the only true gospel and that they were to reject anyone who taught a "different gospel." Clearly, a gospel of grace plus the requirement to keep a set of obsolete Jewish ordinances as a requirement for salvation is a "different gospel." Because the teaching purports to achieve a higher level of righteousness than the Gospel of Paul, a teacher of such a theory might be suspect as a wolf in sheep's clothing. In I Timothy 1:5-7, Paul says that those who turn away from a faith-based gospel to teaching the law do not know what they are talking about.


The term "shadow" is used two other times in a figurative sense in the book of Hebrews (Heb. 8:5 and 10:1), and in both cases it is in association with the Law of Moses.

We have seen that it is impossible to get around the fact that the weekly Sabbath is classified, by Paul, with a group of things that are now obsolete because they were mere shadows of "things to come." The weekly Sabbath, as a Jewish institution, looked both backward to Creation and forward to Christ. The Reality has already come in the person of Christ.

Paul teaches that something that happened when Jesus died on the Cross caused the Jewish ordinances in this list to become of no importance to both Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles were "grafted" into Israel. The Christian Jew and the Christian Gentile are now one body in Christ. The "barrier" that stood between them, the TORAH, was ripped down by God Himself when Jesus died on the cross.


A study of a literal Greek translation (available at of Colossians 2:14-17 demonstrates that there is no need to question what kind of written document is indicated or which things are shadows. It appears straightforward that what is against us is found in the handwriting composed of decrees. How can you possibly get a list of sins committed by a certain individual out of the term decrees? See Deut 31:26 (NIV) 26 "Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you." Also, there is nothing else that "which" could refer to as a shadow other than the things listed. What kind of scholarship is represented by an effort to prove that it refers to something that isn't even hinted at in the original language?










When we add all of these considerations up, we see that the extra man-made rules and regulations for observing the Jewish dietary laws and all the sabbaths cannot possibly be what was nailed to the cross. If this were to be the case we would appear to need an act of God to make of no effect laws written by human beings. Man-made rules are not used in Scripture to represent large spiritual events or truths; so equating these humanly devised regulations with "shadows" violates a key concept of biblical principles. Jesus cannot be symbolized (shadowed) by man-made rules and regulations.






(NIV) 1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special does so to the Lord. He who eats meat eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.




Bacchiocchi is correct that the conflict between the weak and the strong can't be traced back to the Mosaic Law. Whether you are weak or strong, you keep the covenant rules, or you die. If you pick up sticks or carry a burden on the Sabbath, you are put to death. A mention of this fact does nothing to further the examination of the Sabbath question.


Since there is no TORAH observance without circumcision, and since the Gentile converts do not have to be circumcised and therefore cannot keep the Laws of Moses, the discussion is, indeed, about the obligation to keep the Law versus freedom from its observance. Christians are free from its observance. Paul says not to be concerned about disputable matters. The fact that the Sabbath can be disputed is a clear indication that it is not something about which to judge someone. I am in the process of disputing the Sabbath by the very act of writing this book. By contrast, I could not possibly write a credible paper to convince people that they could kill, steal, and commit adultery. In fact, were I to discover tomorrow that there was no God-no Heaven to win or Hell to shun-I would not write a paper like that. Even without an eternal judgment to face, just the natural consequences of these behaviors would create a hell on Earth for me, were I to be so foolish, right in the here and now.


The question raised by this passage of Scripture actually is, "An adherence or lack of adherence to what set of dietary laws and sacred days determines whether a Christian is to be considered weak or strong?" Let us apply a little logic to this question and work at it by the process of elimination:

  1. Dr. Bacchiocchi wishes us to believe that these unnecessary scruples of conscience are merely in regard to the traditional man-made rules and regulations for keeping the Jewish dietary laws, annual sabbaths, monthly sabbaths, and the weekly Sabbath. However, as has been demonstrated earlier, the Jewish ordinances themselves are targeted in Paul's list of practices that are obsolete because they are "shadows." In Paul's mind, the Christian is weak or strong, depending on his or her willingness to reject all unnecessary and irrelevant practices, whether they are man-made or part of a divinely instituted covenant which God Himself has declared obsolete. This statement of Paul's is consistent with other things he has said about day sacredness throughout his writings. There is every reason to reject Dr. Bacchiocchi's reading of this passage and no reason to accept it.

  3. It is similarly impossible to think that Paul was discussing how a Christian could be judged to be weak or strong on the basis of his or her rejection of pagan dietary laws and pagan sacred days in this particular passage. Did the pagans have any dietary laws at all? The only pagan dietary law I know of is you can eat anything you want-even roasted cockroaches. Would a Christian be judged to be strong or weak on the basis of his or her attachment to pagan sacred days? It would seem that any interest in observing pagan sacred days would be considered a weakness on the part of a Christian.


There is only one reasonable answer left. Since the Torah was fulfilled in Christ, its requirements exist no more. Adherence to its requirements brought a real sense of security to the Israelites under the terms of the Mosaic Covenant, but under the terms of the New Covenant, any degree of reliance on obsolete ordinances for a sense of spiritual security would be considered a sign of weakness on the part of a Christian. Instead, it is a sign of strength to be able to find security in Christ and His Grace, rather than in the observance of arbitrary ordinances. The very idea that any day of the year has any sacredness in-and-of-itself is superstition, whether those days are sacred to pagans or Jews.


Since all days are now alike, there is nothing wrong with keeping any one of those days if the motivation for keeping such a day is not to win God's favor but to honor Him. Thus, Paul is teaching the Roman community of Christians that the Gentile Christians should not condemn the Jewish Christians for keeping the Sabbath and the Jewish Christians should not condemn their Gentile brothers and sisters for not keeping the Sabbath.





This is one of the most remarkable statements Dr. Bacchiocchi has ever made. As Jesus' specially chosen interpreter of New Covenant Christianity to the Gentiles, it was Paul's responsibility to point out any real spiritual problem. Paul rebuked Peter for slighting his Gentile brothers, and he was not known for remaining silent when confronted with error. Knowing Paul, he would have rebuked any Christian who might think in terms of all days being alike if this view was wrong. Since the Sabbath was a particular day, and since Dr. Bacchiocchi thinks that Paul did not teach that Christians don't have to keep the Jewish Sabbath, would not Dr. Bacchiocchi expect a pointed rebuke to all those who were so "misguided" as to regard every day alike? If Sabbatarianism were true (which it clearly isn't), those who regarded every day as alike would be wicked violators of an eternal, moral principle. The logic of Dr. Bacchiocchi's argument is absent. In some cases, actively doing something honors God. In other cases, refraining from doing something honors God. I honor God by giving my offerings with a willing heart. At the same time I honor him by not swearing by His name. Paul puts both concerns for ceremonial dietary laws and the ceremonial superstition about the special qualities of any day in the same basket as non-essentials. Since days have no intrinsic sacredness, what difference does it matter if you observe a day or if you don't? The answer is that it doesn't.





Can Dr. Bacchiocchi really be as theologically uninformed as not to understand exactly why there was such a huge fight over circumcision? As we have learned earlier, the Sabbath and circumcision cannot be separated. We have seen that neither Jew nor Gentile could keep the Sabbath without the circumcision requirements being met. Therefore, when the Council of Jerusalem decided not to impose the rite of circumcision on the Gentiles, the Sabbath perished forever with it. This is why the New Testament does not mention a requirement for Christians to keep the Sabbath thereafter. Nearly everything Jewish about Christianity was destroyed at the Council of Jerusalem. The gateway to Sabbath observance within the Jewish community had always been closed to anyone who was unwilling to be circumcised, whether Jew or Gentile. Without circumcision for the new Gentile converts, there could be no Sabbath-keeping for them. Perhaps a review of this matter is in order.

The Bible teaches that the Gentile/alien must go through the same process of becoming a Jew by circumcision if he wanted to participate in the Jewish religion. In fact a Jew was a Gentile till he was circumcised. Ex 12:48 - Ex 12:49 (NIV) - "An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the LORD'S Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat of it. The same law applies to the native-born and to the alien living among you." Ex 12:43 - Ex 12:45 (NIV) - The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover: No foreigner is to eat of it. Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him, but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it. Lev 24:22 (NIV) - You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the LORD your God."


Jewish scholars from the very beginning of Jewish history have understood that the TORAH was given only to the Jews. By the time of Jesus, the typical Jew was not aware of the fact that they, as a people, had never believed that the Gentiles would be lost by not keeping the TORAH. Instead, Jewish thought has always held the belief that the Gentiles would be saved if they kept the natural laws given by God to all Mankind. In fact, Jewish traditional law called for the stoning of a Gentile who kept the Sabbath without first being circumcised. (This applied to the Gentile who had chosen to become a part of the Jewish community. The Sabbath commandment itself provided that temporary guests― travelers, for example― were to keep the Sabbath with their Jewish hosts.)


Paul, in his letter to the Romans, had to use a different approach than in his letters to the Galatians and the Colossians. With over 50,000 Jewish Christians living in Rome at the time, Paul, demonstrating his skill to write for a target audience, was careful to show that the Jewish Christians were free to continue to keep the Sabbath. The idea that Sabbath keeping became wrong after the Cross is not part of Paul's teachings.


Dr. Bacchiocchi presents the fact that Paul never encouraged Sunday observance as evidence that Paul never taught that the Gentiles did not have to keep the Sabbath. If the Pauline theory of Sabbath abandonment is true, this fact would be no surprise. Of course Paul never encouraged Sunday keeping because there is no intrinsic sacredness or "holy magic" about Sunday. Sunday was chosen by Christians for a variety of reasons. Meeting together on the Sabbath was not practical. Every New Testament reference to the Apostles being in the synagogue on a Sabbath mentions the fact that they were there to witness to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. Additionally, Jesus stated that His followers would be cast out of the synagogues for following Him. Also, understanding the teachings of Paul that Sabbath observance was now optional, they may have had communal worship on Sundays so as to distance themselves from the Jews and Judaism, as well as allow those Jewish Christians to rest on the Sabbath. During this period of time, the Jews were highly disliked within the Roman Empire for their frequent uprisings against the government. Jesus rose from the grave on Sunday. Any other day of the week would have been appropriate, but Sunday had special significance to the believers. The fact that Christians chose Sunday as the day to meet with each other was not merely an accident, but neither was it a choice governed by the concept of day sacredness.

Finally, it is inconceivable that Paul would write to the Christians in Rome about every sacred day of the Jewish calendar and exclude the Sabbath from his comments. Circumcision was included in Paul's comments, and circumcision was excluded from things to be required of the Gentile converts. Since keeping the Sabbath was not possible without circumcision, the Sabbath issue was dead.


The greater context of his passage is that Paul is addressing the Christian Community in Rome. This Church had a very large number of Jewish Christians in its membership, so Paul would need a somewhat softer approach in conveying the truth about the Sabbath and other Jewish sacred days to the Romans. With such a diverse group, Paul is concerned about them arguing about things that are not essential to the Gospel. He talks about how the LAW is fulfilled by genuine love. A review of Romans 13 is a good way to help understand the context of Paul's statement in the next chapter. Back in Romans 2, he talks about the principles of the Law being in the hearts of the Gentiles through their consciences. Thanks to our understanding of the Jewish differentiation between Noachian and Torah law, it is likely that Paul was thinking in terms of Noachian law when he wrote this passage:

ROMANS 2:12-16 (NIV) 12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.


The Gospel of Grace as taught by Paul teaches that there is no salvation earned by Gentiles who follow their consciences or Jews who follow the TORAH. Both the Gentile and the Jew are equally condemned for their failure to measure up to a perfect standard. Paul's statement in Romans 2:12-16 seems to teach that at least some Gentiles will do well on Judgment Day. It is difficult to comprehend how Dr. Bacchiocchi could possibly conclude that keeping a set of Jewish ordinances could suddenly become essential for Gentiles in the Christian Era.


Bacchiocchi argues that the total silence of New Testament authors in regard to Sunday observance for Christians proves Sabbatarianism. In the science of logic, arguments from silence have only a small degree of value. This is especially true if any other evidence is available to the contrary. Here, Bacchiocchi is up against two very strong facts: (1) Circumcision is a required entrance sign for observing the Sabbath, and Paul clearly taught that the Early Church made the decision at the Council of Jerusalem that circumcision was not to be required of the Gentiles coming into the Church. This fact, alone, would invalidate an argument from silence. (2) Colossians 2:14-17 is a direct command against requiring the observance of the Weekly Sabbath of the Decalogue. The absurdity to which any attempt to reject this fact leads to is all the proof needed that there is no biblical way to get around this fact, which, alone, would invalidate any argument from silence. To suggest that Sabbath observance for Christians is proved by the fact that the apostles went to the Jewish synagogues to witness to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah is an attempt to grasp at straws. Christians went to the synagogue on Sabbath as "missionaries" to the Jews.







Please study Galatians chapter 4 for the complete context:


GALATIANS 4:8-11 (NIV) Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God-or rather are known by God-how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.




The root of the problem with Dr. Bacchiocchi's Sabbatarian interpretation of Galatians 4:10-11 is his singular failure to recognize a massive theme that runs from one end of the Bible to the other, that the jurisdiction of the TORAH was to be temporary. As we have seen, earlier, the Bible clearly teaches that God did not make the TORAH Covenant with His people prior to Mt. Sinai. Amazingly, in Galatians 3, just one chapter before this passage, Paul is talking about the TORAH having a certain beginning and a certain end. The beginning was at the Exodus, it being added to the Abrahamic Covenant, and it was to end when the Messiah arrived. Please examine Galatians 3:15-19:


15 Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. 19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred has come.

Dr. Bacchiocchi turns to Dr. Troy Martin for support for his idea that this passage in Galatians is a reference to their return to the observation of the sacred days of the pagan calendar, rather than those of the Jewish calendar. Dr. Martin, Professor of Religious Studies at Xavier University in Chicago, published two articles in New Testament Studies and the Journal of Biblical Literature. He cites Martin as saying that the days of Colossians 2:14-17 are definitely Jewish but that the days of Galatians 4:10 seem to be characteristic of the pagan calendar. Bacchiocchi states that Martin reaches this conclusion on the "time structure" of pagan calendars, as well as the immediate context of Paul's statement, which appears to be "pagan" as evidenced by their "renewed pre-conversion reckoning of time."


In regard to their analysis of what Paul meant in this passage, what both scholars fail to realize is that a COMPARISON between two similar ideas does not perform the function of setting context. This is an error of logic, because it simply does not follow. The whole book of Galatians is directed at countering the influence of Judaizers-not paganizers.


Paul chides the Galatians for trading their former slavery to the observance of the days of the pagan calendar for the slavery of their unfortunately adopted observance of the days of the Jewish calendar. He is saying that observing either set of holy days is a violation of the principles of the freedom that the Gospel brings. No day has any holiness in and of itself, and the need to observe either set of holy days represents a superstition of one kind or another.


The context of Chapter Four of Galatians is a focus on fighting the Judaizers from Jerusalem. By the time we get to verse 17, Paul calls the reader's attention back to the previous and over-all context of his remarks:


(NIV) 17 Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them. 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you.


If Dr. Bacchiocchi and Dr. Martin had read just a little further in this chapter, they would have noted that by this statement, Paul dispelled any possible confusion about whether he was talking about a return to pagan principles or to the slavery of the Law of Moses. Look at verse 21:


(NIV) 21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?


"Those people" are Judaizers-not pagans. There is no suggestion here that Paul was addressing a problem of pagans trying to win back the new Gentile converts to heathenism. He states plainly that the concern is over their desire to be under the LAW, again-clearly a reference the TORAH. There is simply no license in this statement of Paul's to use one's theological imagination to force this passage to read in a manner favorable to Sabbatarianism. Martin, who is not a Sabbatarian, seems oblivious to the overwhelming compulsion of Dr. Bacchiocchi to force everything Paul wrote into a light that is favorable to Sabbatarianism. Since the context of this passage is unquestionably one of Jewish things, common sense tells us that we must acknowledge that this is a linguistic question of comparison-not context. This comparison is between the slavery to the days of the pagan calendar to the slavery to the days of the Jewish calendar. The idea that any day on any calendar has intrinsic sacredness and must be honored is superstitious, whether it is a pagan superstition or a Jewish superstition.


In this text, Paul recognizes that the Galatians know God. Logic tells us that if Paul says these people have a basically good relationship with God, he is not likely to mean that he is afraid that these Gentile believers are being tempted to return to pagan practices. Rather, they are just in danger of thinking that they have to observe obsolete Jewish ordinances to keep His favor. In the Book of Hebrews, the author is addressing the problem that the Jewish Christians are being tempted to go back to Judaism and to the inferior things there. If the Jew could be tempted to return to Judaism, it is certainly possible that the Gentile could be tempted to return to heathenism. But Paul clearly indicates in the context in which this passage is found that he is concerned that the Galatians seem to want to return to the LAW, which is exclusive to Judaism; so, again, we are biblically justified in rejecting Bacchiocchi's attempt to make us believe that the Sabbath cannot be one of the "days" included in this passage.





We have reviewed the chapter's context and have found that Paul gives us all the clarification of context that any reasonable reader would expect. Galatians 4:1-7 is a discussion about sacred law. Verse 17 makes it clear that he is discussing the worrisome influence of the Judaizers, and verse 21 clearly identifies the LAW as the subject under discussion. Therefore, there is no compelling reason to believe Paul was expressing concern in this passage that his beloved Galatians were beginning to observe their former pagan sacred days. The translators of the NIV chose to translate the words stoikeia tou kosmou as "principles." From the Greek-Interlinear Bible , we find these possible meanings for this word [stoikeia] in the Greek language:



New Testament Greek Definition:

4747 stoicheion {stoy-khi'-on}
from a presumed derivative of the base of 4748; TDNT - 7:670,1087; n n
AV - element 4, rudiment 2, principle 1; 7
1) any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or
composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal
1a) the letters of the alphabet as the elements of speech, not
however the written characters, but the spoken sounds
1b) the elements from which all things have come, the material
causes of the universe
1c) the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens or (as
others think) because in them the elements of man, life and
destiny were supposed to reside
1d) the elements, rudiments, primary and fundamental principles
of any art, science, or discipline
1d1) i.e. of mathematics, Euclid's geometry


After discussing the enslavement of the Galatians as represented by their return to the keeping of special days, months, seasons, and years, Paul moves on in Galatians 4:21-31 to explain the two covenants. The first covenant-Sinaitic Covenant - is represented as a body of arbitrary requirements to which the Jews were slaves. The second covenant is represented not only as freedom from the requirements of the Sinaitic Covenant, but the new freedom to be found in Christ under Grace with the motive of following Christ as a result of the transformation of the heart.


It is strange that when Paul himself uses the term "slavery" to describe the bondage of the Jews to the Law which required them to observe a large calendar of holy days, Dr. Bacchiocchi would presume to declare that Paul is referring to the calendar of pagan holy days. It is clear that Paul is referring to Jewish sacred days because the Book of Galatians is devoted almost entirely to combating the influence of the Judaizers, and the Judaizers were advocating that the Galatians return to the observance of Jewish, not pagan, holy days. Notice Paul's words in Galatians 5:1:


Gal 5:1 (NIV) 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.


Paul is clearly concerned that his beloved Galatians are being wrongly influenced by the Judaizers to think that their salvation is dependent on observing the sacred days of the Jewish calendar.


Dr. Martin may believe these "days" are pagan, but another well-respected scholar, disagrees. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says that the "days" of Galatians 4:10 "are in the first instance Sabbaths, though they include other days too, e.g., the Day of Atonement (Eduard Lohse, The Sabbath In The New Testament, 7:30, footnote 232, quoted in Robert D. Brinsmead, "Sabbatarianism Re-examined.") This assessment is in keeping with the sentence structure, as noted earlier, that Hebrew writers used when talking about the Law of Moses.


Also consider that Paul knew how to use the Greek language very well. It could be that no one has ever done such a good job of putting the most profound spiritual truths into language that, in general, can be understood by most readers. Because of his good command of language, it is almost inconceivable that Paul would not add a "disclaimer" to this passage if the weekly Sabbath were still required of Christians. He would add something like, "I need to clarify something. I don't mean you shouldn't keep the 7th Day Sabbath." Since Paul was a highly articulate writer under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, he knew what affect his words would have on his immediate target audience. There can be no doubt that Paul's words were inspired by the Holy Spirit in view of how this passage would be understood by readers down through time.


In the next chapter, Galatians 5, we find Paul talking about the LAW again. He teaches that those who attempt to keep the law have fallen from grace.


Gal 5:2 - 4 (NIV) 2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.


In keeping with the theme of the Book of Galatians, Paul continues with a discussion of the LAW, which continues his explanation that the TORAH has been replaced with non-arbitrary laws that are written on the heart through the Holy Spirit. This is in line with the concept that moral laws are simply statements of cause and effect. In the first chapter of the book of John, John writes that everyone who is born into the world is influenced by the Spirit of God. There is a basic understanding of right and wrong in all cultures and all societies. For example, if you steal something from someone and that person wants his or her property back badly enough to fight you for it, one or both of you may die in that fight. A Gentile growing up in the darkest recesses of Africa can see these self-evident truths, and the Holy Spirit is there to convict through the conscience. However, that same heathen person will never come to the self-evident conclusion that he must not do any work on one of the days of the week, much less be able to figure out, as a self-evident principle, that he should not work on the 7th day of the week. His "week" might have 10 days, or 17 days, or he may have no concept of a week at all. If a law is self-evident and based on natural cause and effect, it is a moral law with eternal implications. If a law is not based on a self-evident principle of natural cause and effect, it is not a moral law and must be classified as ceremonial and temporary. Paul teaches that after the cross the new covenant Christians are led by the law of the Spirit and not the Law of Moses. Christians know what real sin is without having to look at a codified set of laws. Furthermore, Paul says that the Mosaic Law was made for the lawbreakers-those that commit gross sins; those who have a lifestyle of sin. There is never an excuse for breaking a moral law. This cannot possibly be said of the Sabbath law! It is the Sabbatarian who, by fiat, declares the Sabbath to be a moral law. A few examples of when the Sabbath law could be broken include the following examples:


  1. The work of circumcising a child on the 8th day if the 8th day fell on the Sabbath

  3. Rescuing an ox from a ditch.

  5. The example of when the Israelites marched around the City of Jericho for seven days in a row.


Joshua 6:15 (NIV) 15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 


The army of Israel was even commanded by God to fight and kill on the Sabbath as in the following example:

1 Kings 20:29 - 30 (NIV) 29For seven days they camped opposite each other, and on the seventh day the battle was joined. The Israelites inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on the Aramean foot soldiers in one day.  30The rest of them escaped to the city of Aphek, where the wall collapsed on twenty-seven thousand of them. And Ben-Hadad fled to the city and hid in an inner room.


The Bible teaches that the LAW is not designed for the righteous:


1 Tim. 1:9-11 (NIV) 9We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.


It is impossible to keep the Mosaic Law. Again we see that Christians that are led by the "Law of the Spirit" which has set them free. Christians do not need a written code to tell them what is immoral.


Romans 8:1 - 4 (NIV) 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.


SECTION III (Chapters 11 & 12)






Dr. MacCarty's approach to defending Sabbatarianism is essentially the same as that of Dr. Bacchiocchi's. However, some of his comments deserve recognition and special treatment in this paper. Dr. MacCarty has given additional thought to addressing the problem of the many passages in the writings of St. Paul which seem to support anti-Sabbatarianism. Furthermore, he has taken more time to provide scholarly opinion from some well-known biblical scholars to support his Sabbatarian interpretation than Dr. Bacchiocchi did. The fact that his 2007 book, In Granite or Ingrained?, is an official denominational publication, printed by the Andrews University Press, which is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary, gives it the weight of official Church dogma.






MacCarty does a wonderful job of showing the deeply spiritual aspects of circumcision. Later in the chapter, however, he attempts to refute the anti-Sabbatarian argument that circumcision is a requirement for Sabbath-keeping. Let us examine his arguments one at a time. In most cases, I will summarize his arguments, rather than quote them. Verification of his arguments is as simple as reading the appropriate parts of his book.



DR. MACCARTY - THE OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH DOES NOT DEPEND ON THE OBSERVANCE OF CIRCUMCISION. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE IN SCRIPTURE THAT EVEN HINTS AT SUCH A CONNECTION BETWEEN CIRCUMCISION AND THE SABBATH. "If any teaching in the Old Testament needed to be overwritten in the New Testament era, it would be made unmistakably clear, as it was in the case of circumcision (p. 186)."


This paper, elsewhere, has included extensive biblical and historical proof that this is not true. While a sojourner within the Jewish community was required to abstain from doing work while staying within an Israelite family or community, a Gentile head-of-household who chose to become a part of the Jewish community must be circumcised before his family could keep the Sabbath or participate in any of the TORAH ordinances. In fact, I cite evidence elsewhere in this book that some rabbis taught that a Gentile who observed the Sabbath without being circumcised should be stoned. An examination of the context found in Acts chapter 15 shows that the issue revolved around circumcision and in keeping the Law of Moses, and not merely circumcision alone. The law of Moses; the book of the law, contains all the law as codified and ratified.


I have provided documentation that the historical belief of the Jews for thousands of years has been that the Sabbath was given to the Jews only. These facts should be readily available to any scholar who wishes to write a book about Sabbatarianism. The Jewish Encyclopedia is an excellent source of documentation for this fact.





This argument is now impossible in light of what we now know of the Hebrew linguistics as it applies to the Genesis Creation story. A Hebrew reader reading Moses' account of Creation Week in Genesis would clearly see that Moses was doing everything he could, as a writer, to make it impossible for anyone to "see" a Sabbath commandment in Moses' account of the 7th day of Creation. The Hebrew linguistics of the Creation story have been understood in the field of biblical research prior to 1981-- perhaps decades before 1981. Dr. MacCarty has either chosen to ignore the facts, or he has not read very many anti-Sabbatarian papers or books written after 1981. To write a truly authoritative book proving the validity of Sabbatarianism, one would think that the author of such a book would have studied every possible argument against his and address it fully. Indeed, there is a duty to examine all evidence to the contrary of one's beliefs and address them. Furthermore, if this line of reasoning were valid, then what about other things that were being observed prior to Sinai? Indeed, sacrifices were extant from creation, seeing as God sacrificed an animal or animals in order to provide skins for Adam and Eve to wear, and we read of Abel sacrificing of his flocks. Do we use this same logic then to declare sacrifices as required today? Yet we see no examples of anyone prior to Sinai observing the Sabbath. Dr. MacCarty therefore proffers an argument that is seriously flawed in logic.


Dr. MacCarty simply ignores the fact that both Scripture and the history of Jewish rabbinical writings make a clear distinction between Noachian Law, which applies to all mankind since Creation and was loosely codified by the time of Noah, and TORAH law, which was given to the Jews only. My research found abundant evidence of this clear distinction in Jewish thought and demonstrates that an understanding of this concept solves the vast majority of problems in understanding many of the supposed contradictions regarding the concept of LAW in Paul's writings. When Paul stated that the TORAH had been nailed to the cross, his Jewish readers would not think that he was saying that people were being provided with an excuse to kill, steal, commit adultery, or dishonor their parents.


The fundamental laws, given to all mankind at the beginning, are not dependent on any covenant dispensation, apply to all the nations of the world at all times, and are self-explanatory statements of cause and effect. Dr. MacCarty's teachings about the relationship between circumcision and the Sabbath additionally ignore the fact that the 10 Commandments represent a very incomplete moral code. For example, if the 10 Commandments represent a complete moral code, homosexual activity is OK. Paul's list of sins that can keep a person out of Heaven is more than twice as long as the 10 Commandments and includes sins of the heart at well.





It has been a well-known fact of biblical studies for decades that in the historical era in which God gave the Israelites the 10 Commandments, treaties were almost always written up with a ceremonial provision placed near the middle of the list of the terms, as I explained earlier. Most treaties of this era were between a conquering nation and a conquered nation. This ceremony, to be performed on a ritual basis by the nation in a subjective relationship to the treaty, was a way to keep the requirements of the tribute and services due the superior country ever before the minds of the subjugated people and their rulers. This fact is widely known in the realm of biblical scholarship and was available to Dr. MacCarty for decades before he wrote his new book.


If a law is not introduced at the beginning of the world, and all the people of the Earth lived without that rule for something like 2,000 years before it was introduced to a small country with provisions tailored to that particular part of the world, it has to be a ceremonial regulation, and thus be subject to being utilized for a specific period of time to meet a specific need. Moral laws are simply statements of natural cause and effect relationships and are, therefore, virtually self-evident to any thoughtful observer of human experience. The Sabbath does not meet the simplest requirements to qualify as a moral law. A moral law can never be broken and justified. The Sabbath is not so, there are many examples of the Sabbath being set aside for more important matters.





It is a reasonable expectation that a biblical scholar would know both from a careful study of the Old Testament and a study of Hebrew thought from such sources as the writings of the rabbis, that neither a proselyte nor a Jew can keep the Sabbath without the head of the household being circumcised. Therefore, the fact that the Council of Jerusalem suspended circumcision is an absolute proof that Council of Jerusalem placed its official blessing on the elimination of the requirement that Christians keep the Jewish Sabbath. The Judaizers were not primarily concerned about getting the Gentiles to keep basic moral laws. They were focused on getting them to practice ordinances and traditions that were Jewish in nature. Above everything else, Judaism was about the Sabbath. The Council of Jerusalem made it abundantly clear Gentiles were not required to keep the law; any of it, and that to teach them otherwise was a subversion of their souls. That Dr. MacCarty declares the Sabbath to be a moral law based solely upon its proximity to other laws that are moral does not make it moral. I can stand next to a monarch, but doing so does not result in me becoming royalty as a result. A moral law is moral based on its nature, and not its location.


The apostolic Church understood that the Sabbath, along with virtually everything else Jewish, would perish along with circumcision. There is abundant evidence both from Scripture and Jewish writings of the inseparable relationship between the Sabbath and circumcision. This principle explains why there is not one word in the New Testament about the requirement for keeping the Sabbath and how to keep it. In fact, there are more sins spelled out by St. Paul that will keep a person from going to Heaven than there are in the Law of Moses. It is difficult to imagine that the Gentiles coming into the apostolic church would not need any instructions regarding how to keep the Sabbath if it were required. By contrast, Paul gave the Gentiles a list of 23 specific sins that would keep them out of Heaven. The Sabbath was not mentioned in that list.



DR. MACCARTY - "Because the 10 commandments were taken for granted as universally applicable, the council had no need to specifically instruct Gentile converts not to murder or steal, to be respectfully obedient to parents, or to observe the Sabbath (which in the law was itself enjoined upon "the alien [Hebrew, ger] within your gates," Exod. 20:10; cf. Isa.. 56:3-7).


As we have discussed before, the Jews did not view the 10 Commandments as being universally applicable. Dr. MacCarty is working from the SDA paradigm where this is just assumed to be true, and assumptions lead to deceptions. Again, this concept is directly opposed to the facts about the way the Jews thought about the concept of LAW. They recognized the difference between the "Laws of Noah" (Noachian), which were for all the people of the world, and the TORAH, which was for the Jews only. The Sabbath was only a part of the TORAH. It is a huge oversimplification to throw the Sabbath into the mix with a set of laws, which, unlike the Sabbath, are rooted in "natural law"-- that is, requirements based on observable cause and effect.


A short-stay visitor to a Jewish community was to refrain from work on the Sabbath with staying with his Israelite host. However, were an alien to decide to remain with the Israelite community, the head of household was required to be circumcised before any of the Jewish ordinances could be observed. The Law of Moses indicated a difference between the need for a Gentile on short-term stay with Jewish hosts and a Gentile who wished to become a part of the Jewish community. In the first case, the Gentile avoids offending his Jewish hosts by not performing labor. In the second case, the Gentile "keeps" the Sabbath as a religious practice, but not until he has been circumcised.


As I mentioned in the previous section, the Gentiles coming into the apostolic Church would have had little knowledge of the requirements of Sabbath-keeping unless they had been attending a Jewish synagogue. If the apostles believed Christians must keep the Jewish Sabbath, it is reasonable to expect that there would have been some discussion of it in their writings. Look at the controversies over Sabbath-keeping that confronted Jesus on so many occasions! How to keep the Sabbath seems to have been a continual source of debate among the Jews. Jewish Christians, as well as Gentile Christians, would have needed some clarification on Sabbath-keeping.


MacCarty also misapplies the law while attempting to uphold the law of the Sabbath. It was those Gentiles within the gates of Jewish settlements that were to refrain from work on the Sabbath. The situation with the Gentile Christians in the New Testament era is the reverse of what is found in the law, and what MacCarty attempts to slip by unnoticed. We are discussing Jews living among Gentiles, and it is ridiculous to conclude the Gentiles had to conform to Jewish expectations within their own countries. It is the Jew who is within the Gates of the Gentiles.



MACCARTY - THE COUNCIL OF JERUSALEM DID NOT HAVE TO LIST THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE GENTILE CONVERTS KEEP THE SABBATH AND THE OTHER 10 COMMANDMENT LAWS BECAUSE THE COUNCIL SPECIFICALLY INDICATED THAT IT EXPECTED THE GENTILES TO GET THEIR COMPLETE MORAL TRAINING BY ATTENDING THE JEWISH SYNAGOGUE WITH THE OTHER CHRISTIANS ON SABBATH. Proof of this fact is that immediately following their official pronouncement of the four requirements that were to be imposed on the Gentile converts, the Council adds, "For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath (Acts 15:21).


Before attempting to read this aspect of the Council of Jerusalem in a manner favorable to Sabbatarianism, we must fit it into its total context. Please consider the following facts, mentioned in the previous two sections:


The only record of Christians attending synagogues on the Sabbath was when they went there as "missionaries" to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.


Every New Testament reference to Christians meeting together took place on Sunday-- not Sabbath.


As presented elsewhere in this paper, the apostolic Christians were likely gathering on Sundays in significant numbers by 50-70 AD, and probably less than 10 years after Paul wrote Colossians 2:14-17. As you will recall the Early Church documents that recorded an almost immediate abandonment of Sabbath-keeping by the Church. Why would Paul see a need to have the Gentiles receive education about Sabbath keeping, whether it is in a synagogue or a meeting of Christians, when he had instructed the Church not to enforce Sabbath keeping on them?


Christians were driven out of the synagogues for their belief in Christ. How would the Gentiles get their Sabbath training in the synagogue, even if Sabbatarianism were true and Paul had planned it this way?


"Moses" consisted of the TORAH, all 613 rules and regulations, most of which were ceremonial. Adventists themselves believe that the vast majority of what the delegates to the Council of Jerusalem referred to as "Moses" was nailed to the cross. If MacCarty is correct in his reading of Acts 15:21, the Gentiles are being expected to get extensive training in the very thing that the Council freed them from. Furthermore, the TORAH was nailed to the cross. Why would the Gentiles need any education in these obsolete matters?


A more consistent interpretation of the Council of Jerusalem's statement would be something like this:


Because many of the Gentile converts will be constantly hearing about the requirements of the TORAH when they visit the synagogue with their Jewish friends, or when they go to the synagogue with other Christians to help convince the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah and that the Sabbath met its fulfillment in Him, there is a danger that they will become confused and "Judaized" by the continual harping of the Jews that the 613 rules and regulations of the TORAH must still be observed by Christians. We, the Council of Jerusalem, must strongly convey to our new Gentile converts that they can be confident that this is not so.


Moses and what Moses wrote and taught Is what was taught in the synagogues. Most all of the Gentile converts to Christianity then came from those same synagogues, and heard the law read, and learned of Jewish culture and sensitivities as a result. When you consider this in relation to the prohibitions listed in the previous verse, it becomes plain the issue is also about avoiding offenses in their relationship to the Jewish Christians who, regardless of whether they follow the law or not, still have those sensitivities in regards to their culture. If we are to conclude that the Gentile Christians received important instructions regarding their conduct as Christians by following Moses, then what Paul wrote in II Corinthians chapter 3 would be most strange in regards to having a veil before their eyes should they live by, and continue in, the teachings of Moses; the old covenant.



DR. MACCARTY - THE BOOKS OF REVELATION AND ISAIAH PROVE THE ETERNAL NATURE OF THE SABBATH. "The book of Revelation is permeated with direct and indirect allusions to the Ten Commandments, showing their enduring nature."


Dr. MacCarty cites Revelation's frequent references to a number of the 10 Commandments as evidence that the 10 Commandments are permanent. This would not be surprising, since most of the other 10 Commandments represent natural laws of cause and effect, many of which were covered in the Noachian laws. As proof that the Sabbath was included, he cites Revelation's reference to "The Lord's Day" In Revelation 11:10. Biblical scholars came to the understanding in the last century that the term, "Lord's Day," is never used in reference to the Sabbath. In all early Church writings, beginning in 70 AD with such a reference in the Didache, the Lord's Day is always a reference to Sunday, the first day of the week. According to the article on The Book of Revelation in Wikipedia, this book was written somewhere between AD 68-96. Therefore, John's use of the term, The Lord's Day, is consistent with early Church writers around 70 AD and thereafter.


Dr. MacCarty cites, as proof that the Sabbath endures in Heaven, the imagery of John the Revelator in describing the presence of the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place in Heaven, since the Sabbath commandment is written on the stone tablets that are in the Ark. The Ark also contains the Laws of Moses, which Moses wrote under the direct dictation of God Himself. The Law of Moses contains 613 separate laws, the vast majority of which Seventh-day Adventists believe were nailed to the cross. By this kind of logic, the saved will be keeping all 613 rules and regulations of the TORAH, both ceremonial and moral, for eternity. This is contrary to the traditional SDA concept that all the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross. More importantly, it is contrary to the teachings of Ellen White, because she stated that God showed her that all the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross. In this book we have explored a number of cases where the theology of Bacchiocchi and MacCarty contradicts Ellen White.


He also cites what he believes is Isaiah's portrayal of the Sabbath in Heaven found in Chapter 66 and notes that The Book of Revelation, in its discussion of the New Earth, appears to reference Isaiah Chapter 66. The study I presented earlier refutes the premise for his argument and demonstrates the danger of proof-texting to support a belief that has already been assumed to be true.



DR. MCCARTY - "It is beyond the scope of this book to discuss all the biblical, theological, and historical issues involved in that on-going discussion [the Sabbath debate], except as they relate to the old and new covenants." (p. 182)


Dr. MacCarty has wisely chosen to avoid any discussion of the historical issues, in particular. We now have conclusive evidence from early Christian writings that Sabbath abandonment was almost immediate. As you recall, the Didache is thought, particularly by American biblical scholars, to have been written as early as 50 AD with somewhere between 50 and 70 AD as highly probable. The Didache documents Christians worshiping on the first day of the week. The Didache was a collection of the first Christian writings, and scholars believe that the part of this document that mentions the practice of meeting on Sunday to worship God was possibly written as early as 50 AD but no later than about 125 AD. As you may recall, Dr. Bacchiocchi conceded 140 AD for the universal abandonment of Sabbath-keeping by Christians-- too early for the influence of sun worship and impossibly too early for the Roman Catholic Church to have had anything to do with it unless, of course, the Catholic Church is right about Peter being the first pope!


This history does, indeed, relate directly to New Covenant issues. If neither the influence of sun worship, the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, or the Jewish persecutions between 100 AD and 140 AD caused Christians to abandon Sabbath-keeping, the only remaining explanation is that Christians recognized that the end of circumcision and the writings of St. Paul created the phenomenon of Sabbath abandonment. No wonder MacCarty does not want to talk about this subject!


It is amazing that Seventh-day Adventists feel they are better interpreters of Colossians 2:14-17 than were the Christians who lived during and immediately after the life and times of the apostles themselves. The apostolic Christians took Paul's statement as a virtual command not to require the Gentile converts to keep the Sabbath. It is, then, incredible, that Seventh-day Adventists think they know better how to interpret Paul's writings than these first Christians. In fact, it is the epitome of spiritual arrogance to imply that Seventh-day Adventists are right and the entire apostolic Church is wrong! It is still more amazing that this spiritual arrogance had led a group of over 12 million Adventist Christians to believe that they can somehow justify their rejection of one of the clearest and authoritative commands of the Bible.





After reiterating that the Sabbath was instituted at Creation for the benefit of all humankind long before Israel came into existence, he says the following:


People from every nation who responded to the gospel invitation by putting their trust in God were to be incorporated into His covenant community. It was written in the law: You and the alien shall be the same before the Lord. The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you" (Num. 15:15-16). Zechariah spoke of a remnant of Philistines who could "become leaders in Judah (Zech. 9:6-7. Isaiah specifically appealed to foreign converts: "Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, "The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.'...For this is what the Lord says:. . .'foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations" (Isa.. 56:3-4,6-7, NIV)


The same law that applies to both aliens living in the Israelite community and the Israelites themselves requires that the head of household for both groups must be circumcised in order to keep the TORAH, and therefore, to keep the Sabbath. A short-term alien visitor to the Israelite community was merely required to avoid offending his Jewish hosts by not doing any work during his stay. The Jewish Encyclopedia is clear about this fact.


The "holy mountain" in his passage almost certainly refers to the Jerusalem on this earth, and prior to the death of Christ on the cross. It is no surprise that everyone would be keeping the Sabbath at this time and place in the history of Israel. After all, the people would still be living under the terms of the Old Covenant, the TORAH, with all its 613 rules and regulations, including the requirements of burnt offerings and sacrifices which are NOT a part of the New Covenant dispensation.


MacCarty also attempts to utilize Isaiah 66, which he declares is a situation that takes place in Heaven and presents a picture of everyone coming to worship on Sabbaths:


22 "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD. 24 "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."

Most scholars recognize that this passage cannot be construed as representing the conditions in Heaven. Note that Isaiah says that their name and descendants will endure for as long as the new heavens and the new earth. There is no compelling reason to read the events of the next sentences to follow as being actually in the New Earth itself. Consider also that Seventh-day Adventists have traditionally followed Ellen G. White's teaching that all the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross, including the annual and monthly feast days, yet here we have a picture of people observing the monthly and annual sabbath feast days in Heaven?. There will be no dead bodies to look at in Heaven. There will be no annual and monthly sabbath feast days, and there will be no weekly Sabbath either.

At the most basic level, Isaiah quotes God saying that just as you can count on the New Earth He will make to last forever, so you can count on Israel to be victorious over its enemies and become a light to the world if Israel continues to do God's will. At a more extended level, you could also see this passage referring to what Jerusalem would have been like had Israel followed God down through the years and accepted Christ at His first advent as their Messiah. Many theologians see this text as referring to the state of the world in a pre-millennial "rapture" where Jesus returns to Earth and reigns 1,000 years in Jerusalem. The one thing this passage cannot possibly mean is that the Sabbath will be observed in Heaven.

What it does say is that those who come before God do so from the time-frame, "from month to month and from week to week", and not specifically on the Sabbath itself for the purpose of worship.



DR. MACCARTY - The fact that the provisions of the various covenants can probably not be changed is illustrated by two biblical statements: (1) In two places, Paul compares the permanence of a properly executed will to God's covenants and states that those divine covenants are like this in that the Mosaic Covenant did not do away with the validity of the promise of the Abrahamic Covenant. (2) In another place, Paul states that the LAW, introduced 430 years after the Promise was given to Abraham, did not change the provisions of the covenant made with Abraham. (3) MacCarty asserts that a properly executed human will cannot be changed "unless the circumstances to which they were addressed no longer exist or have materially changed (p. 188)." (4) Then he argues that in regard to the Sabbath, neither of these possible types of changes apply, so, therefore, the provisions of the New Covenant cannot possibly alter it. (5) He states that Jesus affirmed that there could be no change to the Sabbath when he said the Sabbath was made for Man. (6) He asserts that Jesus never questioned whether the Sabbath should be kept, but only how and why it should be kept.


As I have documented elsewhere in the paper, Paul states that the law (TORAH) was given to the Children of Israel as a "tutor" because they were extremely stubborn. The Children of Israel had been slaves for more than 400 years and had picked up some very bad habits of thinking along the way. It would appear that the Sabbath, like many other Jewish ordinances, was designed to keep Israel in line and on a straight path. Death was the penalty for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, for example. When coupled with the fact that the entire Sabbath "program" seemed to have been tailor-made for the particular climate of the Holy Land Area, we have plenty of evidence that the Sabbath was intended for Israel and Israel alone.


Jesus lived during the reign of the TORAH-- a system which He had designed to keep Israel on the straight and narrow path from the time of the Exodus to the cross. How could He be expected to teach the Jews of His day that they didn't have to keep the Sabbath while the TORAH was still in force? The people did, in fact, have to keep the Sabbath! But Jesus appeared to be preparing His people to understand that the Sabbath was not a moral commandment because He and His disciples broke the Sabbath at times. Jesus, Himself, made no apology for His own actions, nor did he condemn His disciples for breaking the Sabbath in these incidences. The Scriptures state that Jesus DID break the Sabbath. To say that Jesus merely appeared to break the Sabbath is a clear-cut attempt to tamper with Scripture.


McCarty overlooks or ignores the fact that both old and new covenants were also testaments. The old went into effect upon the death and spilled blood of substitute animals while the new covenant / testament came into force upon the death of God Himself in the personage of Jesus Christ. Paul amply explains how the first covenant ended also upon the death of Jesus even as a marriage covenant ends upon the death of either party. God divorced Israel in the Old Covenant, and His death finalized the dissolution of that relationship with Israel. As Jesus stated before His death in regards to Israel, "Behold, your house is left to you desolate." If it were not enough that God died thus ending that first covenant, the Jewish convert to Christianity also died to that covenant law through baptism; symbolic of death and burial. MacCarty's actions are one of a person trying desperately to resurrect people back to that which they died to, and that which forever ended upon the death of Christ; the Old Covenant and all therein, including the Sabbath command.





If the Sabbath were not a disputable matter, I could not be disputing it right now, but I am. On the other hand, it would be impossible for me to write a paper demonstrating that it is alright to kill, commit adultery, or dishonor my parents.


The Sabbath is a disputable matter. Moses wrote his account of the events of the 7th day of Creation in such a way as to forbid even the possibility that Hebrew readers could think, even for one moment, that his words represented a Sabbath-keeping commandment. Colossians 2:14-17 is the clearest possible command that the Church not require the observance of it, any more than they would be required to observe Jewish dietary laws, the annual feast days, and the monthly feast days.


The only way the fatal blow to the Sabbath by Colossians 2:14-17 can be deflected away from it is to teach that Paul was actually validating the requirement to keep this entire set of Jewish ordinances by strongly condemning the abuses of the keeping of these very ordinances. This absolutely represents a requirement for Christians to keep these Jewish ordinances. There is no way out of this theological box canyon for Sabbatarians, and I dispute the incredible level of Judaization taught by Dr. Bacchiocchi and adopted by Dr. MacCarty without a proper explanation to his readers of this totally unacceptable cognate requirement. Paul fought so tirelessly to erase this kind of Judaization from the apostolic Church. Seventh-day Adventists themselves are not willing to enforce the keeping of the Jewish dietary laws and other ceremonial sabbath days, despite the fact that they can no longer support the Sabbatarian concept without agreeing that these things are actually, really, required under the terms of their newly adopted "New Sabbatarianism." So if the Sabbath is indisputable, then so are the rest of the Sabbaths.


Biblical scholars who interpret Romans 14:5 in a way that appears to fit Dr. MacCarty's Sabbatarian agenda have probably only looked at the passage in a more casual way than, for example, an Adventist scholar would be likely to do before turning his back on the Sabbath after a life-time of Sabbath-keeping indoctrination. It is only fair, I suppose, in theological battles, for both sides to cite expert opinion. Adventists, however, have gotten themselves into the huge amount of trouble they are in now because they have not done much thinking for themselves over the last 100 or more years. An error by a theologian who has not had a compelling need to examine the Sabbath issue in depth is understandable. There is no excuse, however, with the Sabbatarian theologians who make it their business to defend the Sabbath to make the same mistake. A careful reading of Romans Chapters 13, 14, and 15 is all that should be needed to determine that the context in which Paul made his comments is that of the dangers to the Gospel posed by the Judaization of Christianity. There are other thoughtful biblical scholars who see Romans 14:5 as almost certainly anti-Sabbatarian in nature. These scholars were referenced in my earlier discussion of Dr. Bacchiocchi's arguments regarding Romans 14:5.





In my discussion of Dr. Bacchiocchi's unfortunate interpretation of Colossians 2:14-17, I have thoroughly refuted this claim and provided the reader with a Greek equivalent translation that shows that this interpretation is impossible. And, as I have mentioned before, the apostolic Church -- that is, the Church in existence during the time the apostles were still alive-- seemed to have no difficulty understanding that Paul's statement in Colossians 2:14-17 meant that the Weekly Sabbath was nailed to the cross. Nothing else could explain why Christians were coming together on Sundays in significant numbers by 70 AD and had abandoned Sabbath-keeping on a universal basis by 100 to 140 AD. If I have to choose between the interpretation of a minority of modern day biblical scholars and the interpretation of the Christians who actually lived while the apostles were still alive, there is no contest. The Christians of the early, apostolic Church were right there in the midst of these events and chose to abandon the Sabbath even while some apostles were still alive.


Dr. MacCarty creates good rhetoric for his belief system's views when he talks about anti-Sabbatarians claiming that the 10 Commandments were nailed to the cross. He, then, can look good to his readers who are sympathetic to the Sabbatarian cause. He is seen dashing in to protect the honor of God's Law by showing us that this is not the case. It has been said that half truths are more dangerous than an out-right lie. What he fails to tell the reader is that a simple understanding of the distinction the Jews made between TORAH and Noachian law instantly helps us recognize the certainty that Paul said that the TORAH was nailed to the cross. He fails to explain to his readers that all of the laws in the 10 Commandments, except the Sabbath commandment, are mentioned by New Testament writers. He fails to point out that the Noachian laws given to all the peoples of the world in the beginning did not include a Sabbath commandment. These facts provide an insurmountable road block to the New Sabbatarian theology of Doctors Bacchiocchi's and MacCarty's claim that it was an IOU document that was nailed to the cross instead of the LAW itself. As we have so dramatically witnessed, this fanciful bit of cheap-trick theology unavoidably leads to the absurd conclusion that Paul validated the requirement for observing all the ordinances mentioned by Paul in Colossians 2:14-17 by condemning not the ordinances themselves, but their abuses.


Dr. MacCarty states, "A number of scholars believe that Paul never intended his statement in Colossians 2:14-17 as an abolishment of the Sabbath God Himself instituted at Creation." He offers an appendix of their comments on Colossians 2:14-17. Who would these other scholars be who also believe God instituted the recurring Sabbath rest from creation other than Sabbatarian scholars? Non-Sabbatarian biblical scholars have no particular reason to study these issues in any particular depth. The understanding of the Hebrew linguistics of the Creation account is a relatively new development when viewed from the perspective of the last 100 years, so it would not be surprising that there are some scholars who are not yet familiar with the fact that Moses deliberately wrote his account of the events of the 7th day to make it impossible for his Hebrew readers to see a Sabbath commandment therein. There are numerous biblical scholars who do not believe the Sabbath was instituted at Creation, and documentation of this scholarly opinion has already been discussed.


Once it is understood, once and for all, that Moses did everything he possibly could to word his comments in Genesis 2 to make sure that it did not imply a Sabbath commandment, it is no longer necessary to twist the statements of St. Paul to fit a preconceived belief that must be protected at all costs.





This question has been extensively covered elsewhere in this paper, but a review, especially by Seventh-day Adventist readers, might be helpful. Most readers should be able to settle this question in their minds simply by reading Galatians Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 for themselves. This is not a problem for a biblical scholar and only requires a little common sense. When the following considerations are reviewed, it is difficult to imagine how anyone could come to the conclusion that the Sabbath is probably not targeted by Galatians 4:


1. The entire book of Galatians is targeted at the problem of Judaization in the apostolic Church.


2. Chapter Three is definitely targeted at solving the problem of the Judaizers in the Church at Galatia. He discusses the law, the TORAH, and is rebuking the Galatians for returning to the observance of the provisions of this law. In Paul's discussion of this "law," he states that "it was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come (verse 19)." Furthermore, he says, "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law (verse 25)." Paul's Jewish readers, understanding the difference between Noachian and TORAH law, would understand that Paul was not saying that Christians were free to disobey the basic moral laws. Note that this law system comes to an end when the Messiah appears, which is consistent with the TORAH concept.


3. At the beginning of Chapter Four, he compares the TORAH to the kind of rules children are subject to and says it represents "slavery under the basic principles of the world (Verse 3)." We have, in this case, both a direct statement linking these "principles of the world" to the TORAH in addition to the context of his statement linking the "principles of the world" to the sacred TORAH.


4. MacCarty teaches that Paul was admonishing the Galatians for turning back to heathen observances and practices, but Paul states in Verse 8 that they, the Galatians, are known by God. The Galatians are turning back, not to heathen practices, but to out-dated Jewish practices. Paul says, " is it that you are turning back to THOSE weak and miserable principles (verse 9). THOSE is clearly a reference to the "principles" he mentioned in verse 3, which are the principles of TORAH law, designed for children who are released from these laws "at a time set by his father (verse 2)." The second phrase is worded the same way as the first one.


5. The clincher comes just a few sentences away when Paul, while discussing the source of the temptation to return to the observation of TORAH rituals and ordinances, identifies the guilty party. He says, "These people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them (Verse 17-18)." It is clear that "these people" are the Judaizers Paul has been discussing in Chapters Three and Four. Any other conclusion stretches the concept of scholarly propriety to a level that is self-evidently absurd.


In conclusion, Dr. MacCarty's attempt to circumvent the relevance of Galatians 4 to the Sabbath debate by attempting to teach that the passage is a rebuke to the Galatians for returning to the observance of the sacred days of the pagan calendar fails to convince. It does not take a biblical scholar to figure out what Galatians 4 means. All it takes is for someone to apply the simplest principles of common sense interpretation, letting the Scriptures speak for themselves. Bottom line is that Paul is saying that the principle is exactly the same, whether the days of the calendar are pagan or TORAH related. In both cases, it represents additional requirements beyond the Gospel for salvation and a tendency to promote the role of human effort in achieving salvation.






SECTION IV (Chapters 13, 14, & 15)








Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.


When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.


(Acts 16:16-19, NIV from Bible Gateway.Com.)


Just like the owners of the fortune-telling slave girl used her to make money for themselves, so the early leaders of the Advent Movement used Ellen White's visions to assure income for the fledgling Church. In reviewing what these early leaders knew about her, it is impossible for an unbiased researcher to come to any other conclusion. There is evidence, which we will soon examine, that supernatural power attended her during her visions. Perhaps these supernatural manifestations were taken as evidence that her visions were from God. Soon, however, it should have been apparent that the spirit that controlled her during these visions was a lying spirit. The accounts of her amazing vision experiences spread far and wide among the Advent believers, and the belief that God was speaking directly to them through Ellen White scared the money right out of their pockets into the Church's coffers.


There was ever-growing evidence that the "angel" who controlled her in vision and gave her large volumes of information was a lying spirit. In looking back at our historical time-line, we see that as early as 1861 J. N. Andrews, who wrote a history of the Sabbath, knew that Christians abandoned Sabbath-keeping hundreds of years before there was a pope or a Roman Catholic Church. When Ellen White was "shown" that the Catholic Church "changed the day," Andrews and other leaders had to know that her "angel" guide lied to her about very important matters. By the end of the Civil War, Adventist leaders knew the angel had lied to her about England coming over to fight with the South against the North. By 1863, Snook and Brinkerhoff of the Iowa Conference had figured out that Ellen White was a fraud and had published a book exposing her. It is incredible to think that Adventist leaders were not confronted with the facts in their book at every turn. Her prophecies failed. Why didn't the Church repudiate her as a false prophet at the time? By then what Adventists refer to as "The Work" had grown rapidly to include a network of churches, institutions, and a bureaucracy to care for it and pay the salaries of its workers. Since Ellen White's visions gave power to each of the key beliefs of the Church via a "heavenly" endorsement by an "angel" from God, repudiation of Ellen White's prophetic ministry would have meant an end to Adventism, and an end to the salaries of a significant number of Adventist workers, including those of the leaders at the top. The families of these workers might have gone hungry.

No one knew the power of the visions to generate money for the "business" of the Church than her own husband, James White, who was a very astute businessman. At the same time, no one else knew better than he did that her visions were fraudulent, with, perhaps, the exception of D. M. Canright, who worked closely with the Whites and other top SDA leaders for nearly 30 years before he apostatized. A story related by Canright in his book, Life of Mrs. E.G. White—Her Claims Refuted, proves that these early leaders had little faith in the genuineness of her visions:

Elder J.N. Andrews told me that he once sat by while Mrs. White read a mild testimony of reproof to her husband. He said, "Ellen, hand me that." She obeyed, and he took it and threw it into the fire!

Andrews, as you may recall, authored two important early Adventist books on the Sabbath, and you may have noted that Canright made reference to two of Andrews' books in his own writings.

You may recall from the chapter on Adventism's long war against the truth, that a former associate director of the White Estate, Ron Graybill, was fired during the 1980's when copies of his doctoral dissertation were leaked out to Church leaders all over the world. After spending over a dozen years with unlimited access to every word that Ellen White wrote, he reached the following conclusions:

  1. She made fraudulent claims.
  2. Her personal character was seriously flawed.
  3. She appears to have produced her so-called "visions" when necessary to defeat her opposition.


In other words, Ron Graybill concluded that Ellen White manipulated the Church with her visions to maintain her power and that, at the same time, Adventist leaders manipulated Ellen White to obtain visions from her that provided apparent support from "God" for their pet projects, their goals, and their power struggles. Again, let me emphasize that Graybill had unlimited access to every recorded word Ellen White wrote that is recorded in documents stored in the vaults of the White Estate. Knowing more about everything that Ellen White wrote than almost any other person with the exception of his predecessors in the White Estate, he determined that her prophetic claims were fraudulent.


The supernatural manifestations that went along with those visions included remarkable feats of supernatural strength, including the near cessation of breathing and a gaze that could not be broken by even extraordinary means intended to distract her. While some of her critics dismiss all of this as the result of a mental condition caused by the blow to the head she sustained as a young girl, most people who witnessed her visions seem to have been impressed that the supernatural was involved. Researchers, including both her supporters and critics, have studied both her own accounts of her vision experiences and the testimony of witnesses who observed her while in vision.


It is a matter of public record that that Ellen White claimed to have an attending "angel" throughout her ministry. Looking back at the train wreck of her prophetic record from the perspective of today (2009), a horrible conclusion is unavoidable. Her angel lied to her on a regular basis. Here is a partial list of the lies she was "shown:"


  1. Several dates for the Second Coming of Christ between 1844 and 1851.
  2. That at least one person in an 1859 meeting would be alive when Jesus came.
  3. England would join the South to fight against the North.
  4. The Civil War was being fought to preserve slavery.
  5. Slavery would return to the United States at a later time.
  6. Moses Hull would die an unexpected death as retribution from God.
  7. Spiritualism would pervade the mainline churches before long.
  8. God fooled His people about the Sanctuary question to test them.
  9. The prophetic charts of William Miller were accurate and how God wanted them to be.
  10. The development of the black race [implied] was the result of the genetic mixing of people and animals.
  11. Mountains were formed by high winds piling up debris after the flood. (in Selected Messages)
  12. The bones of human beings many times larger than human beings living today are found buried in the earth as a result of the flood. (In Selected Messages.)
  13. Sun worship influenced Christians to abandon the Sabbath.
  14. The Roman Catholic Church influenced Christians to abandon the Sabbath.
  15. Only the ceremonial parts of the law were nailed to the cross.
  16. The Fox Sisters did not use "human trickery" in regard to the "rappings."


Logic is considered to be a science. By the rules of logic, there is no other possible conclusion other than this angel guide lied repeatedly to her. The Bible is very clear about the following facts:


  1. Angels DO NOT lie.

  3. Evil spirits DO lie.


As I mentioned, Ellen White's critics have always speculated that Ellen White's visions could have been caused by the serious head injury she sustained while a young girl. Along this line, D. M. Canright cites the opinion of several physicians who were contemporary to Ellen White to that effect, but my research has concluded that the White Estate has effectively demonstrated that the medical credentials and characters of some of the "doctors" who stated that they believed her visions were the result of the head injury were not exceptionally well-qualified to do so. Let me hasten to add that the fact that they did not have the best medical credentials does not necessarily mean that her head injury did not create a major component of her physical manifestations. One expert researcher, SDA Loma Linda Neurologist, Dr. Donald I. Peterson, MD, does not believe her head injury explained the phenomenon of her visions very well. He published an article entitled "Visions and Seizures-- Was Ellen White the Victim of Epilepsy?" (Copyright 1988, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Boise, Idaho) He makes a very good case for the probability that Ellen's particular type of head injury is not the kind of injury that would likely produce visual disturbances. He provides apparently reliable eye-witness accounts of her public visions that suggest that the phenomenon observed was supernatural. Dr. Peterson's paper was written to refute the conclusions of two articles to the contrary, one written by Pediatrician Delbert H. Hodder, MD in a 1981 issue of Evangelica, and one written by (then) retired dermatologist, Dr. Molleurus Couperus, in a 1985 issue Adventist Currents. Both papers attempt to demonstrate that Ellen White's visions were primarily due to her temporal lobe epilepsy. However, both writers seem to have difficulty with the fact that witnesses testify to the fact that she did not seem to breathe during her visions (See Donald I. Peterson, "Visions Or Seizures—Was Ellen White the Victim of Epilepsy?") at He cites the observations of a prominent early SDA leader, J. N. Loughborough, who testified he saw Ellen White in vision "about fifty times" and that while in vision "she does not breathe, yet her pulse beats regularly."


Dr. Peterson cites Elder Loughborough's quote of a statement made by Daniel T. Bourdeau, who was skeptical of Ellen White's visions before he had the privilege of evaluating her during an actual vision himself:


[On] June 28, 1857, I saw Sister Ellen G. White in vision for the first time. I was an unbeliever in the visions; but one circumstance among others that I might mention convinced me that her visions were of God. To satisfy my mind as to whether she breathed or not, I first put my hand on her chest sufficiently long to know that there was no more heaving of the lungs than there would have been had she been a corpse. I then took my hand and placed it over her mouth, pinching her nostrils between my thumb and forefinger, so that it was impossible for her to exhale or inhale air, even if she had desired to do so. I held her thus with my hand about ten minutes, long enough for her to suffocate under ordinary circumstances she was not in the least affected by the ordeal.


According to Butler and others, the length of time Ellen White was in vision "varied from fifteen minutes to one hundred and eighty" and possibly more. This, to say the least, is a remarkable length of time to suspend breathing.


Both Ellen White's critics and defenders are dependent on the historical record. Depositions left by eyewitnesses stating that Ellen White did not breathe while in vision are so consistent, clear, and unequivocal that Hodder is constrained to admit that "it is possible that something 'supernatural' was happening." He seeks to explain away this apparent supernatural phenomenon by theorizing that her breathing was merely "imperceptible." Similarly, Couperus also theorizes, from his research, that her breathing appeared to be "almost imperceptible." Neither critic cites sources to support his conclusions.


Another eye-witness account of Ellen White in vision was George I. Butler, a General Conference president during some of the years that she was having public visions, made these observations:


"All we ask is that people shall be reasonable. We are prepared to support by hundreds of living truthful witnesses all that we shall claim, so far as facts are concerned, of the manifestation itself, for this thing has not been done in a corner. For nearly thirty years past these visions have been given with greater or less frequency, and have been witnessed by many, oftentimes by unbelievers as well as those believing them. They generally, but not always, occur in the midst of earnest sessions of religious interest while the Spirit of God is specially present, if those can tell who are in attendance. The time Mrs. White is in this condition has varied from fifteen minutes to one hundred and eighty. During this time the heart and pulse continue to beat, the eyes are always wide open, and seem to be gazing at some far-distant object, and are never fixed on any person or thing in the room. They are always directed upward. They exhibit a pleasant expression. There is no ghastly look or any resemblance of fainting. The brightest light may be suddenly brought near her eyes, or feints made as if to thrust something into the eye, and there is never the slightest wink or change of expression on that account; and it is sometimes hours and even days after she comes out of this condition before she recovers her natural sight. She says it seems to her that she comes back into a dark world, yet her eyesight is in no wise injured by her visions.
"While she is in vision, her breathing entirely ceases. No breath ever escapes her nostrils or lips when in this condition. This has been proved by many witnesses, among them physicians of skill, and themselves unbelievers in the visions, on some occasions being appointed by a public congregation for the purpose. It has been proved many times by tightly holding the nostrils and mouth with the hand, and by putting a looking glass before them so close that any escape of the moisture of the breath would be detected. In this condition she often speaks words and short sentences, yet not the slightest breath escapes. When she goes into this condition, there is no appearance of swooning or faintness, her face remains its natural color, and the blood circulates as usual. Often she loses her strength temporarily and reclines or sits; but at other times she stands up. She moves her arms gracefully, and often her face is lighted up with radiance as though the glory of heaven rested upon her. She is utterly unconscious of everything going on around her while she is in vision, having no knowledge whatever of what is said and done in her presence. A person may pinch her flesh, and do things which would cause great and sudden pain in her ordinary condition, and she will not notice it by the slightest tremor.
"There are none of the disgusting grimaces or contortions which usually attend spiritualist mediums, but calm, dignified, and impressive, her very appearance strikes the beholder with reverence and solemnity. There is nothing fanatical in her appearance. When she comes out of this condition she speaks and writes from time to time what she has seen while in vision; and the supernatural character of these visions is seen even more clearly in what she thus reveals than in her appearance and condition while in vision, for many things have thus been related which it was impossible for her to know in any other way.
"Peculiar circumstances in the lives of individuals, whom she never before had seen in the flesh, and secrets hidden from the nearest acquaintances, have been made known by her when she had no personal knowledge of the parties other than by vision. Often has she been in an audience where she was wholly unacquainted with the individuals composing it, when she would get up and point out person after person whom she never had seen before, in the flesh, and tell them what they had done, and reprove their sins. I might mention many other items of like nature, but space forbids. These things can be proved by any amount of testimony, and we confidently affirm that they are of such a character that they could not be accomplished by deception." — Review and Herald. June 9, 1874.

Still another interesting eye-witness account of one of Ellen White's visions gives powerful credence to the likelihood that her visions were the result of Satanic deception. Dirk Anderson comments on some information he discovered while digging through some really old material he obtained recently. In a letter from a Brother Hicks, dated September 3, 1884, and published in the periodical, Messenger of Truth, Vol. 1, No.3, p. 3 (October 1854), Anderson quotes the following excerpt:

"As concerning Ellen G. White's visions, I have heretofore known but little about them. I once saw her have one, and I once saw a table tip over and then tip back again of its own accord so far as I could discern. Neither the phenomenon of the vision, nor of the table tipping did I understand."

Anderson says the significance of this detail did not occur to him at first:

I marked this quote and didn't pay too much attention to it, but 2 days later I was reading the USA Today newspaper, and since it being near Halloween, they had an article on "ghosts". While I usually ignore these, this one was about Dan Aykroyd (the actor) and his family's involvement with seances, so I started reading it. In that article Dan's father witnessed a seance and one of the phenomena he reported seeing was "tipping tables". I then checked the Internet and found that "tipping tables" is a common theme associated with seances. In fact, the online Thesaurus lists "table tipping" as a synonym for a séance. (e-mail Dirk Anderson to Kerry Wynne, Oct. 17, 2009).


The White Estate, by virtually proving that Ellen White's visions were supernatural, takes the issue of Ellen White's personal character from the frying pan into the fire. Logic demands this sequence of reasoning. We do not and cannot know for certain if her visions were the result of a medical problem—a brain injury. However, we can know, and do know, with absolute certainty that Ellen White was dead wrong about a whole host of prognostications she made under the influence of her attending "angel." If we cannot excuse her on the basis of behavior that results from a brain injury, and if the evidence is almost overwhelming that her visions were supernatural, logic requires that we conclude that her "angel" guide was a "fallen" angel on the basis of the Satanic nature of the manifestations that accompanied the visions and the lying nature of the things she was shown in these visions. 100% accuracy of predictions has been required of God's true prophets as long as there has been a recorded history of God's dealings with His people. Adventists apply this principle against the other false prophets of her day, like Joseph Smith, but refuse to apply it to their own prophetess! Over 100 years later we see even more clearly that most of her long-range predictions were total failures, but her prophetic blunders were so great even during the early decades of her ministry that there was no excuse for the early Adventist leaders to regard her as anything but a deluded fool, a fraud, or an instrument of Satan. Again, using the simple science of logic, we are faced with the unthinkable:


  1. Ellen White experienced the supernatural in vision according to credible witnesses.
  2. Her predictions failed.
  3. Her supernatural guide lied to her.
  4. God's angels do not lie.
  5. Her "angel" guide was an evil spirit.


The predictions of Ellen White's that came true were apparently the result of either a good guess on Ellen's part or a good guess of the part of the evil spirit which evidently controlled her. Her visions could not possibly have come from God.




The Church manipulated Ellen White and her visions to produce income for the Church. When the leaders needed support for a financial system they wanted, they looked to her to supply a vision to back up their desired plan. That she used her visions to make money for herself is beyond any reasonable doubt. When her authority was questioned, she resorted to a vision "from God" to protect herself. The use of her visions for financial gain placed her among the top 1% of money-makers in the world.

In regard to Ellen White's use of her visions to create wealth, there is no substitute for reading Dirk Anderson's well-researched article, "Ellen G. White: Prophet or Profit?" at Anderson makes the following points and provides excellent documentation for his claims:

  1. She earned over 2.2 million dollars in royalties from her books, placing her in the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the world. (Figures in the Year 2005 equivalency)
  2. She earned between $175,000 and $265,000 annually in the 1880's and 1890's in terms of Year 2005 dollars.
  3. Her posh mansion at Elmshaven would be worth up to 10 million dollars in terms of 2005 dollars.
  4. In 1876 she and James White spent, in terms of 2005 dollars, over $8,400 for a photographic negative while she counseled Adventists about the sin of having photographs of family members in their homes.
  5. She fought with denominational leaders over their view that she was asking too high a percentage for her book royalties.
  6. She used her "visions" to induce Advent believers to purchase her books-- a huge conflict of interest, but very effective, since God was presented as commanding His people to purchase her books for themselves and others.

The facts of Ellen White's wealth and under-handed financial tactics were better known in her day than they are today, thanks to the subsequent highly effective damage control techniques of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For another eye-popping view of the darker side of Ellen White and money, study "Life of Mrs. E.G. White - Her Claims Refuted," by D.M. Canright, 1919, Chapter 11. See:

The entire book is available on-line, and a printed copy of this book can be purchased through

The facts of her use of her prophetic claims to earn money for herself had not been forgotten as late as 1933. Note this passage from Vowless, the SDA-EGW myth-basher from New Zealand:


The prophets of the Bible were generally hard-working people, and had little. Mrs. White says, "we entered upon out work penniless." (Test. V.1-75). (We, being Mrs. White and her husband). This point is often brought up by SDA's, but that is as far as they ever say. Why do they not say further? Perhaps it is because of the following:— Soon after they began and became leaders, they commercialized their work and managed to supply themselves well, and when Mr. White died (1881), it is said that he left between 15,000 dollars and 20,000 dollars; for the present, I do not need to show how this was made, but let me quote a couple more of her writings : "If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting our publications before the public, thus leading them to search the Scriptures." (Test. V.4-390). You should lend "Spirit of Prophecy" to your neighbors, and prevail upon them, to buy copies for themselves. Missionaries for God, you should be earnest, active vigorous workers." (Test. V.4.-391). "Many are going directly contrary to the light which God has given to his people, because they do not read the books which contain light and knowledge in cautions, precious, coming from the throne of God, is hid under a bushel. God will make His people responsible for this neglect." (Test. V.4.-391). 

So, of course, her books were pushed and sold in large numbers, and as a result, she received large financial, returns through receiving royalties on everything she has written. Her royalties received from one publishing house alone, in Washington, DC., in the year 1911, amounted to 8,000 dollars, which was more than the net profits for the publishing house itself for that year. From one book alone she received over 40,000 dollars, and from all her books over 100,000 dollars up till her death in 1915, and they are fixed that since her death her son is to receive the royalty and still is. Think of it, God giving revelations to anyone to sell to the people! I wonder how much royalty Moses, Isaiah, .Jeremiah, Daniel, Paul, and John and the others received, that is, comparing them with Mrs. White as the Conference does.  "The White Elephant of Seventh-Day-Adventism?" by R. Vowless (New Plymouth, New Zealand, P. F. Burrows Ltd., Eliot Street, New Plymouth. Can be accessed at:








Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. (Deut. 14:22 through Deut. 14:29 (NIV))

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the biggest "little" Church in the world.  Historically, Adventists have given more money per capita than the members of any other denomination in the world.  Its business operations span the globe with churches, publishing houses, food factories, hospitals, colleges and universities, a world-wide welfare agency that handles far more money in one year than does its Church parent, and a huge bureaucracy of thousands of church administrators to keep everything going.  No other denomination even comes close!  None of this would be even remotely possible if it were not for the fact that its cult members believe in the Sabbath and the direct, divine inspiration of its prophetess, Ellen G. White, and her visions. 

In the first years of Adventism, the business model chosen to finance the Church was conceived by James White and called "Systematic Benevolence."  James' system was adopted by the Advent believers after Ellen White was "shown" by a god that it was the system God wanted for His Church. Interestingly, the Whites rejected the twisted and non-biblical "Levitical" tithing system that the Church would adopt later because it was thought to be insufficient to fund the grand scale of "the work:" 


"We do not urge the Israelitish tithing system as embracing the whole duty of the believers in the third [angel's] message....That system was necessary in God's plan of the Levitical priesthood; but in closing message presents a far greater call for something of the kind." R&H, April 9, 1861, p. 164. [Cited in Sanders, TITHING NOT A LAW FOR CHRISTIANS at Truth or Fables.Com]

The Systematic Benevolence system, however, proved to be a failure in generating enough income to fund the visionary plans of the Whites for the Church. Apparently the god who showed Ellen White that the Systematic Benevolence plan was the one he wanted for the Church was lying about the plan's potential for success. Ironically, it was D. M. Canright who introduced the so-called "Levitical" tithing system that has made the Seventh-day Adventist Church the biggest little money-making Church of all time:

Dudley M. Canright: in a series of articles in 1876, emphasized Malachi 3:8-11 as "the Bible plan of supporting the Ministry." He urged Adventists to adopt this plan to glorify God...." R&H, February 17, 1876, p.50, 51. See also Spectrum 1986, Adventist Tithepaying-- The Untold Story, p. 139. [Cited in Robert K. Sanders, "Tithing Not a Law For Christians']

A little unbiased common sense should tell us that the True God could not bless both systems, but, sure enough, Ellen White's god gave her a second vision "showing" her that the "Levitical" tithing system developed by D. M. Canright was the right plan for the Adventists. Neither system was Levitical, much less "biblical." Perhaps the god who "blessed" D. M. Canright's "Levitical" tithing system saw its potential to create financial corruption and misery for poor Advent believers who would be moved by the deception of this lie to give up food for their children in order to pay their tithe. Canright's system, "blessed" by Ellen White's god, was so perverted from the biblical model of tithing that it could not have even been used in Israel during the Theocracy, much less than in the Christian dispensation! It appears these early Adventist leaders were so busy looking for biblical and historical evidence to prove that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was the one and only true church in the World that they were too busy to study what the Bible actually taught about tithing and a host of other questions. Their neglect created a monster, as we will soon see. For now, let us consider what the Old Testament teaches about tithing and how Adventists unlawfully used, and continue to use, the threat of a non-existent Bible teaching in a hypocritical effort to separate Adventist believers from their hard-earned money. You will be amazed, later, to see how these Adventist leaders were using the tithe money back-handedly by the 1970's to create personal gain for themselves!




Credit for the research on tithing goes to my associate, William H. Hohmann.


A biblical tithe is defined as being the tenth of the increase of crops and livestock. These things are dependent upon the land, and under the economy of Israel, the land is what produced wealth. If Israel received rain in season, and the weather was favorable, the land produced abundantly, and all prospered. This reflected the blessings of God bestowed upon the people through the land.

If drought struck Israel, and the resultant shortage of food was extant, both people and livestock suffered, and the people did not prosper. There were other factors that could affect the production of food, such as foreign invasions where such forces devoured the produce and livestock of the land as they proceeded, and the ravages of insects and other pests such as mice, locusts and rats that could devastate the land. These things were perceived as God withholding His blessings due to the collective sins of the people.

The Israelites were commanded to tithe of the increase of their produce and livestock. This tithe was used, or distributed, in basically three ways:

  1. The tithe was given to the Levites,
  2. The tithe was given to the widow, orphan, poor, and foreigner (stranger).
  3. The tithe was used by the owner of the tithe at the festivals held in Jerusalem.

The post exilic rabbis were confused by this division of the tithe, and concluded there were, instead, three separate tithes. To these rabbinical teachers of the law, everything had to be spelled out exactly, and the ambiguity of the tithe law as codified did not fit their sensibilities.

These are the same Rabbis that are identified in Scripture as the ones who added their own twists to the law, making many points of law overly burdensome. Is it any wonder therefore that they would conclude there were three tithes, taking up to 30% of the increase of those who grew crops and raised livestock?

When the Scriptures surrounding tithing are examined, these three ways the tithe were allocated and used include the support of the Levites! Were the Levites triple-dipping their fellow Israelites?

There was only one tithe. If there were two tithes, or three tithes, then, instead of 10% of one's increase, it was actually 20% or 30%! Imagine your government informing you, as a parallel, that they were going to tax your income at the rate of, say, 15%, but then informed you that you were required to pay three income taxes! You may well complain, and they would respond with, "hey, your tax is only 15%, quit griping!

In this light, look at how a person's tithes were to be handled in the third year:

At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest. — Deut 14:28-29

When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; — Deuteronomy 26:12

In the third year, the tithe was to be brought to the gates of whatever city one was near to, and provided to the poor, and also to the Levites who shared in the tithe the other two years.

In many respects, the law was ambiguous when it came to how the person with a tithe was to divide it up. Perhaps this was intentional. A land owner who controlled the basis of nearly all wealth had to decide how generous or how stingy he was going to be in relation to the Levites and poor of the land. A land owner with much in the way of crops and/or livestock, along with his family, could only consume so much of the tithe of their land at the festivals held in Jerusalem. Those, then, who had much could give much from that tithe of the land. Those who had little may well have only been able to give a little.

In this regard, consider the command not to harvest the corners of one's fields:

And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God. — Leviticus 23:22

How far in from the corners did this entail? If the land owner wanted to be generous, he could leave a large corner, for example. But also note the purpose of leaving the corners and gleaning was so that the poor of the land could go there and collect food for themselves to eat. So tithing was not the only means whereby the poor attained sustenance. Could this then have been a test designed by God to search out a land owner's heart? The law said to give a portion of his tithe to the poor. How much was left up to the owner of the tithe. How much of the corners of his fields he left for them was also up to him. Merely complying with the law did not reveal the heart of a person. Their behavior outside the confines of the law could.

These, then, were some of the things that were performed by those who owned land wherein they raised livestock and produce from the ground and their responsibilities in relation to the rest of the people.

In regard to all these instructions, God made this statement, more than once:

Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. — Deuteronomy 4:1-2

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. — Deuteronomy 12:32

This last citation comes from a chapter in Deuteronomy where God addresses the Israelites in regards to tithes.

So now the logical question that is raised by all this-- Why do so many churches, especially Seventh-day Adventists, violate the very law they claim was not to be altered even down to jots and tittles, and to which God specifically commanded in relation to the tithing law that it was to be observed as commanded; that no one was to "add thereto, nor diminish from it?"

Tithes were never commanded of the people based on their income. Only those who had crops and/or livestock tithed.

Jesus had an interesting observation in relation to this sort of behavior:

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. — Matthew 15:8-9

Is demanding tithes of people based on their wages biblical? No! But they have their excuses; their rationales for altering the same law they claim is unalterable down to jots and tittles as well as the tithing law that was commanded by God not to be added to or anything taken away from. Even a bank robber has his rationale and excuses.

The most common rationale put forth for altering the unalterable is to claim the change in circumstances today:

"There is no Levitical priesthood to give tithes to. We live at a time where we no longer have an agrarian society."

What sort of society did we have in 1888 when the SDA produced their version of the tithing law that they commanded of the members, upon pain of eternal damnation should they not tithe? An agrarian society!

They were not interested in livestock and produce. Adventist leaders were, and still are, interested in money. Furthermore they are not interested in you sharing your tithes among the widow and orphan and the poor. They want it all. Oh, they may throw a bone to an occasional widow and orphan alright, but it was never the responsibility of the Levites to turn around and give the poor of the tithe they were given; it was up to the individual whose tithe it was.

What does a wolf want? How would a wolf go about getting it? Would a wolf, disguised as a minister of God, resort to dire warnings of what will happen to you should you fail to tithe of your wages to them? Would they resort to claims of faithlessness on your part?

What rationalization have Adventists fallen for that made them end up believing and practicing the commandments of men? What justification is there for doing the very same thing they accuse other churches of doing as evidence those churches are of the devil, altering times and laws as cited from Daniel 7:25?

The apostle Paul made his case to the churches in I Corinthians that those who preached the Gospel had a right to live of the Gospel. They were entitled to support. But was this support through the Old Covenant law of tithing? No, for Paul does not use tithing as a justification, but rather the command not to muzzle the ox that treads out the grain as an analogy. Ministers were to be provided for through free will offerings, and not by compulsion. It can be a hard concept for many to understand, but once something is a requirement, then it is no longer done through faith and love. It is done out of fear of retribution. Here is what the apostles thought about using the Gospel for gain. They wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole:

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. — Acts 3:1-6

What would have been the circumstances here if the early church were indeed paying tithes of their wages to the ministry? Would Peter have been without gold or silver?

To claim the tithing law changed to accommodate the changing times is hypocrisy. If you level the accusation against other Christians and their faith by demanding they explain how it is they could change the day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday, while changing that same law yourself when it comes to tithing, is the greatest expression of hypocrisy. If anything, you are more guilty than those who worship on Sundays, for nowhere in the Scriptures does it say the people were to gather on weekly Sabbaths for the sake of communal worship! The Christian law of Liberty allows believers to worship whenever and wherever they so desire.

Adventists have demonstrated themselves to be guilty of the very crimes they have charged others with. Even Jesus Christ commanded His followers not to make such condemnative judgments as Adventists do even now.






There was no extensive financial corruption in the Seventh-day Adventist Church prior to the 1970's. However, during the 1970's a pattern of nearly continuous and sensational financial corruption has characterized Adventism. There is a major unresolved scandal at the time of this writing of which most Seventh-day Adventists know nothing. Douglas Hackleman of Members for Church Accountability says in his salient book on the phenomenon of Adventist Church corruption, Who Watches, Who Cares?—Misadventures in Stewardship:

Since the late 1970s, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination has been buffeted by a concatenation of corporate church financial scandals that have resulted in the unnecessary loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. Ours are lesser losses, in absolute terms, than those of the United Nations food-for-oil fraud, or than the betrayals of stockholders by Enron, WorldCom or Arthur Anderson. But the church losses may be considered more serious because they continue in waves, one after another, and because we believe each instance not only betrays the institution and the members that comprise it but the Higher Source whose selected stewards we claim to be.


There is one question that begs to be answered. Is there a correlation between what Adventist leaders knew about the impossibilities of their three key doctrines and the amount of corruption and hypocrisy that came along about the same time? After what my research has uncovered, it is my belief that there is a strong relationship of cause and effect between the two. With human behavior as complex as it is, there are undoubtedly other factors involved. Western society is getting increasingly liberal. A culture war against traditional values began in the 60's with the hippie generation. I will simply present the facts and let you draw your own conclusions.







With the Davenport Scandal, we see Adventist leaders en masse behaving like there is no Heaven to win or Hell to shun, much less that they believe the special SDA doctrines of the Sabbath, Ellen White's inspiration, or the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment! By fate or Providence we find one fearless man, Walter Rea, embroiled in both the expose of the Church's cover-up of the fraudulence of Ellen White and the incredible financial corruption of top Adventist leaders in the Davenport Scandal.

While doing some research on Ellen White, Dr. Rea noticed strong similarities between extensive sections of her books with the writings of the authors of books that she kept in her personal library. In short, he discovered massive plagiarism of the writings of those authors. This problem was particularly of concern because she had claimed that God had showed her these things in vision. He approached SDA leaders with his findings, but his discoveries were not welcome. After being double-crossed by the Church he was defrocked and fired. Subsequently he published the New York Times best-seller, The White Lie, in 1982.

At the same time Dr. Rea was a member of one or more Church finance committees. His work on these high level committees gave him the ability to monitor the ever-increasing misuse of Church tithe funds in the shaky and illegal investment schemes of Dr. Davenport, a Seventh-day Adventist physician and real estate developer. Davenport promised Adventist denominational entities and church leaders, who were treated as private investors, a much higher than average return on their official church and individual investments with him. In fact, he usually paid individual investors, many of whom were high-ranking Church officials, a higher rate of interest than he paid the conferences they worked for.

Soon something happened that would later add greatly to the Church's damage control challenges. Dr. Davenport and his wife divorced. His wife was a member of the Adventist church Dr. Rea was pastoring at the time, and she came to him with their divorce decree in hand, asking for advice. Immediately Dr. Rea noted that the Dr. Davenport's disclosure of their financial assets and liabilities was far shy of what he knew about the extent of the Church's investments with him. He knew this as a result of the inside knowledge he had of the Church's ties with Davenport. To make a long story short, the Church, in addition to firing Dr. Rea for his expose of Ellen White and his inside knowledge of the Davenport Scandal, took away his retirement benefits. Dr. Rea was able to get those retirement benefits restored by agreeing not to publish his book about the Davenport Scandal, Pirates of Privilege, which Rea would otherwise have published in 1984.

As of the time of this writing (Summer-Fall 2009), Dr. Rea is 87 years old and enjoying every penny of the "hush money" the Church has been paying him not to expose the extent of their financial iniquities over the last few decades. Wonder of wonders! Adventist leaders are guilty of bribery, showing themselves willing to do almost anything to cover up the TRUTH about their lies and wrong-doings! The statute of limitations of the California court case that prohibited Dr. Rea from publishing this book has expired, and Pirates of Privilege is available now at a few places on the Internet and from Dr. Desmond Ford's Australian web-site, Good News for Adventists. Recently this author edited and reformatted this book for electronic publication. It is posted by me on with Dr. Rea's permission.



For years the Church owned Harris Pine Mills, a large furniture manufacturing operation that had been donated to the Church by Harris himself in 1951. By 1984 its annual income had reached nearly $60 million and it employed 2,282 Adventist students. There was a financial set-back in 1985, and Douglas Hackleman gives us the details:

In 1985 financial and management difficulties panicked the chairman of the board, Neal C. Wilson, who was also president of the GC Corporation. As chairman of the board, Neal Wilson forced Harris into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, even though its assets outweighed its debits by roughly $15 million. After changing the liquidation filing to a more flexible Chapter 11 reorganization status, bankruptcy trustee John Mitchell told the February 6, 1987, East Oregonian, "It's the best situation I've ever seen for restructuring. Harris Pine basically is back in operation. . . . We should be able to restructure and be profitable by the end of June."

Wilson has never explained why, when the bankruptcy trustee made clear that the business was recoverable, he was unwilling to be reunited with the business that, weeks earlier, he had described to Adventist Review readers as "this marvelous asset."

Eventually most of Harris' timber holdings became the property of the Louisiana-Pacific Corporation. Harris' primary lumberyard and sawmill in Pendleton, Oregon, is now the site of a Wal-Mart store. The loss to the denomination is incalculable.


Members for Church Accountability

PO Box 1072, Morrison, CO 80465







David Dennis, General Conference auditor, with a reputation for tight accounting practices and the courage to confront GC leaders with account discrepancies, was nearly railroaded out of office by a host of GC leaders who were smarting at his attempts to restrain their questionable business practices. Elder Russell R. Standish and 15 other retired General Conference leaders successfully protested and blocked, by only one vote, a scandalous attempt to oust him. These individuals were verbally abused at a union conference meeting by then union president Elder Robert H. Carter and two other union conference presidents. (Standish, The Twenty-eight Fundamentals: apostasy proclaimed in silence, p. 121. excerpts posted at Google Books.)






The Lake Region Conference's first scandal is reported in the independent SDA-related journal, The Remnant Herald, No.2, December 1992, p. 10 as quoted in the Russell R. Standish book, The Twenty-eight Fundamentals: apostasy proclaimed in silence:


The Indianapolis Star of August 3, 1992, reported the Lake Region Conference which used unauthorized church funds to build a shopping mall in Chicago and also mortgaged the Shiloh Church in Chicago without the knowledge or consent of the members, in order to generate capital, has been used by two banks because of loan defaults. Already the Cole Taylor Bank of Chicago has won its case for $2,260,000 and the Lloyd's Bank of London is suing for 43,521,475 plus $34,931 in interest. The case is pending. Since the Lake Region Conference "has 22 cents in assets for every dollar of liability," the court in the first case has ruled that the Seventh-day Adventist church organization must pay the shortfall in the Conference ability to repay the debt. It is likely that the situation is worse. On November 11, Colin and I spoke about this matter to one General Conference official and he informed us that other banks were also suing and that the total cost to our church could be twelve million dollars. Thus dishonest activities by a Conference President [Elder L. R. Paler] have led to loss of large sums for the work of God's church. The offending Conference President is still a denominational employee with current ministerial credentials.





In 1994 the Church devised a scheme to consolidate and improve its profits from selling religious books and videos. The project was financed largely with tithe funds. This disastrous program lost 1.6 million dollars within a two year period. The consolidated organization was called Family Enrichment Resources. The story is well-worth reading and was reported by Richard Sheldon of Members for Church Accountability. The bungling use of church funds, including excess tithe monies, is particularly striking in this case.

Again, see:





In the early 1990's the Church elected an individual with a track record of questionable financial activities to the exalted position of President of the General Conference. Not long after taking office, Folkenberg maneuvered his younger brother, Robert, into a contractual position with ADRA, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and later, to the position of Associate Treasurer of the General Conference in charge of dispensing Global Mission funds to Eastern Europe. This brazen nepotism on the part of President Folkenberg should have raised red flags everywhere because Brother Robert Folkenberg had embroiled the Columbia Union Conference in the Davenport Scandal, causing that conference to lose huge sums of money back in the 1970's. With the connection of Robert with ADRA, the agency became even further plagued with financial irregularities. In 1998 President Robert S. Folkenberg was forced out of office because of his questionable business dealings with a Sacramento businessman by the name of James Monroe. Not surprisingly, Brother Donald resigned at the same time!

Monroe, who was convicted of eight counts of fraud in 1987 and incarcerated from 1989 until January 1, 1992, claimed he had given Folkenberg the $8,000,000 in trust and that his money was missing. Monroe threatened to sue President Folkenberg and, by extension, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, if he did not get his money back. It appears that he did get all or most of his money back, but that the money came from the Church in the form of a Church insurance policy, rather from President Folkenberg himself. The story of how the Church came to lose an undetermined amount of money to settle with Monroe is almost stranger than fiction.

According to Standish, it appears that Folkenberg had somehow used a General Conference insurance policy to settle the $8,000,000 loss, but Folkenberg and his attorney, a Mr. Prochnower, did not go through Adventist Risk Management Services through the normal channels to obtain the policy or to achieve the settlement with James Monroe. Standish concludes the story on page 142:

When a GC representative called the insurance company to inquire about the money paid to Folkenberg, the claims representative refused to speak to him. The representative said that the GC would have to speak to Folkenberg's attorney because Prochnower had told the insurance company that the settlement was confidential and ordered the company's employees not to speak about it to General Conference representatives.

The GC representative replied, "What do you mean, you can't speak to me? We pay the premiums on these policies!"

To which the claims representative replied that the GC would have to speak to Folkenberg's attorney.

The GC representative called Prochnower who refused to speak about the settlement, claiming attorney-client privilege.

"We've opposed a settlement since we first became aware of this case," the GC representative stated to Prochnower, but he refused to discuss the matter.

"We may never know exactly what happened or how much money was spent," stated the GC source who was admittedly "very angry" about the situation. (Article entitled "Folkenberg Uses Insurance Money Secretly" - parenthesis in the original).

As far as we have discovered, The General Conference does not yet know the amount which the Insurance Company had paid to settle the law suit claims of Mr. Moore against Elder Folkenberg.




In 1994 David Dennis's lawsuit against the Church for his wrongful dismissal as General Conference auditor alleged that the Adventist Development and Relief Agency was guilty of serious financial and ethical misconduct. The court records show that Dennis charged that Adventist leaders had tolerated the misuse of millions of dollars in charitable donations and overseas government relief by ADRA. My source is a report from the ultra-conservative Adventist "reform" organization, Pilgrim's Rest, HCR 77, Box 38A, Beersheba Springs, TN 37305 USA. (This organization's point-of-view is that the cause of the Church's abysmal corruption is its failure to follow the writings of Ellen G. White.) The reporter summarizes and comments on August 14th, 1998 Los Angeles Times article about ADRA which carries this title and sub-title, "A HISTORY OF COMPLAINTS DOGS ADVENTIST AID AGENCY: Questionable spending, poor oversight alleged. Group, which gets U.S. funds, says controls are tighter now."

Here are some selected things uncovered by the Los Angeles Times reporter, summarized by Pilgrim's Rest, and further condensed by me to focus on the most important facts:

  1. Tennis courts at a Seventh-day Adventist-owned and operated compound were built with funds provided by a Rwandan government agency. These "government" funds represented money from a kick-back by corrupt government agents in the area who had been funneled a large shipment of food and supplies by ADRA which was intended for the poor people of the country, but which ended up being retained by these local better-off Rwandans for their own personal use. A second tennis court was built near-by with "government" funds because the first court had been built at an angle that forced the SDA churchmen who played on it to have to look into the sun. This crime was settled with the Government of Rwanda by a promise from ADRA that it would not engage in corrupt activity in the future. The auditor who dealt with this situation, Wayne Vail, expressed disgust that with all the poverty in the country, funds intended to minister to the poor had been diverted for such a shameful purpose.
  2. In Haiti during the summer of 1997, auditor Vail investigated a complaint from government officials who were questioning the misuse of ADRA funds. One example was that ADRA employees repeatedly visited Miami at government expense to purchase supplies that were available on the Island.
  3. During a two year period, ADRA received $85,000,000 in federal cash from the U.S. government and tens of millions of dollars from other nations and private donors. Out of 400 such organizations that received government funding, ADRA had the third highest over-head.
  4. Records from The Agency for International Development, the U.S. Government agency that funnels money to ADRA and other world relief organizations, show "a vexing pattern of warnings, upbraidings, and occasional funding suspensions of ADRA during the last decade."
  5. In just one year's auditing period, 1995, AID auditors found $2,800,000 in improper ADRA billings and suspected that ADRA "had charged the government twice for the same items, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in possible double-billings."
  6. In 1997, AID auditors reported that ADRA's overhead rate was the second highest of the 10 biggest recipients of government money. Overhead expenses reflect salaries, travel and other administrative expenses subsidized by the government. It's 11.1% over-head rate was just behind that of Pathfinder International, a family planning, abortion group, and well above the average 7.4% of this group of the 10 largest recipients of government money.
  7. Over a two year period, $85,000,000 was received by ADRA, and at an 11.1% rate of over-head, that would mean a non-profit "profit" of $9,435.000.
  8. Confirming the allegations of David Dennis in his suit against the General Conference for his illegal dismissal from his position of auditor, the Los Angeles Times said, "Federal records show that in some cases, documentation to substantiate the expenditure of millions of U.S. dollars was found to be 'inadequate or nonexistent."
  9. In the last four years (previous to the date of the article), government auditors "have questioned nearly $5,000,000 in ADRA billings for public relations, fund-raising and rent."
  10. The writer of this Pilgrim's Rest article adds that the General Conference is not permitted to audit any monies handled by ADRA, yet "in a given year, more money passes through the hands of ADRA than through all the rest of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."


For the complete story, use this link:





October 30, 2001, David Dennis withdrew his lawsuit against the General Conference for his unjust dismissal as General Conference auditor. By this time the Church had spent an estimated five to seven million dollars to settle with Dennis out-of-court. These legal fees came from tithe funds because tithe money is what funds the operations of the General Conference in the first place. By the time the Church reached this out-of-court settlement with Dennis, his charges of wrong-doing had been proven to be right on target—especially his warnings about Folkenberg's financial activities and the squandering of government and private donor finds by ADRA.

About the time all of this trouble between Dennis and the General Conference erupted, a woman came forward alleging that she and Dennis had had sex when she was a house-keeper for him and his wife while the Dennises were serving the Church in Singapore during the 1970's. His accuser had an extensive history of major psychological problems. Dennis denied these charges, confronted his General Conference accusers with the absurdities of their charges, and pointed out numerous cases where the General Conference had tolerated adultery at the highest levels and had even paid the legal bills of these adulterers to in order to help them retain their employment with the General Conference.

It is ironical that the Church goes out of its way to protect adulterous leaders and ministers. In my next entry you will see that the Church has even hired an outside consulting firm to help "retain" its adulterous pastors in the service of the Church. An Adventist leader can lose his job and retirement benefits for questioning unsupportable Bible doctrines and the false claims of the Church's blasphemous prophetess, or for trying to stop the financial crimes of other leaders, but he can commit adultery and find the Church right there to reach down with a helping hand! By using such a flimsy, questionable, and unsupportable excuse to get rid of whistle blower David Dennis, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has forfeited the trust and respect of every Seventh-day Adventist in the world forever, whether the Church's teachings are true or not. It is difficult to imagine how the General Conference could descend any deeper into the abyss of iniquity. There seems no limit to what Adventist leaders will do to continue on their pathway of hypocrisy, evil-doing, and lying in the name of God.

By taking shelter under the special protections afforded to religious organizations under the First Amendment and by spending these huge amounts of money in legal fees to keep Dennis's suit out of court, the Church maneuvered him into a position where he was forced to give up his legal battle against the General Conference and to settle out of court. (The First Amendment is interpreted to give religious organizations special protections against law suits which seem to be religiously motivated.) Additionally the Church declined to testify against itself, which appears to represent a disgusting appeal (for a Church) to the provisions of the 5th Amendment.

David Dennis is just now (September 2009) publishing his new book, which tells the story from beginning to end. You can order his book, Fatal Accounts-- the Audacity of an Adventist Auditor's Quest for Transparency. You can order this book from the liberal, barely tolerated, SDA-related journal, Adventist Today, at the following link:




By 2004, so many Adventist pastors were involved in adultery that the Church had to hire an outside consulting firm to salvage these ministers so they could continue in their denominational employment. According to the late ultra conservative SDA researcher, Russell Standish, one union president boasted to his brother, Colin Standish, he had "saved" at least 17 ministers from being dismissed from the Adventist ministry. Standish tells the story of how a certain Adventist pastor known throughout the Adventist world for his books and speaking engagements was retained in the ministry, despite nearly water-tight evidence that he had committed adultery. The accused adulterer's secretary, Judy Wright, was convinced of his guilt and wrote a letter to Elder Thomas Mostert, President of the Pacific Union Conference, and to Elder Steven Gifford, President of the Southeastern California Conference, regarding what her disgraced boss told her one day. She wrote:

[The Union President] stopped by my office and offered his help. He said he had counseled a number of other ministers through similar crises and that every one of them is still in the ministry. He [the accused pastor] said [the Union President] advised me to deny everything. In fact, it sounded like he thought I should deny everything, whether I was guilty or not. (Letter dated April 16, 1989. The bracketed words were inserted by Standish to facilitate clarity. See Standish, p. 137.)




The Lake Region Conference is the focus of a Federal probe, accused of financial irregularities and immigration violations (South Bend Tribute, 25th July, 2005, cited in Russell R. Standish, The twenty-eight Fundamentals: apostasy proclaimed in silence, p. 117.):

The Lake Region Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is under federal investigation in connection with misuse of funds and illegal immigration activities, which could threaten the organization's non-profit status.

The revelations shocked many of the estimated 730 delegates who attended a special meeting Sunday.

The following people were put on paid administrative leave in the wake of auditing and illegal immigration practices in the Lake Region Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, based in Chicago:

Hugo Gambetta, vice president for multicultural ministries. He was stripped of his ministerial credentials and license on Friday. He has been on paid administrative leave since July 11.

Treasurer Leroy B. Hampton resigned last week after his July 11 suspension.

Four pastors, all ministers in Chicago churches, are on paid leave: Ciro Aviles, Osmin Hernandez, William Rojas, and Alfredo Solis.

"There's been a lot of instances of lying and a case of personal enrichment," Walter Wright, president of the Lake Union Conference, told delegates (South Bend Tribune, 25 July, 2005)."




Rob van Buuren of the South Australian Conference confesses to "borrowing" huge sums of money. The Adelaide Advertiser reported this in its story:


A former senior official with an Adelaide fundamentalist church is being investigated over allegedly defrauding the church of almost $500,000.

Money is believed to have been siphoned from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church [sic] over a six year period.

The funds had been given to the official by Adelaide members in the form of trust funds and deceased estates.

He allegedly used the money to support a failing family cleaning business.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church [sic] president, Pastor Neil Watts, said yesterday the official had "succumbed to the temptation to borrow some money." "The whole thing is very said," he said.

Pastor Watts said the official "confessed" his actions to the church and planned to replay some funds, although it is not expected he will be able to reimburse the full amount. (The Adelaide Advertiser, 28th August, 1996, p. 1).


Standish reports that later the same newspaper ran a follow-up story on this event with a headline that read, 'SEVEN YEARS OF SIN—CHURCH TREASURER JAILED FOR STEALING $906,000." The writer of this story tersely observed, "Even Robert Adriaan Van Buuren must have sensed the irony as he ordered the personalized number plate ROB for his gleaming new Holden Statesman in 1991."


2005 TO THE PRESENT (2009)


Call it business as usual for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. ADRA continues to operate out of control. Despite continued pressure on the new General Conference president, Jan Paulsen, who replaced Robert S. Folkenberg, he (Paulsen) refuses to investigate, discipline, and prosecute those who were guilty of criminal activity at the GC and ADRA. If Ellen White is correct, whether she is inspired or not, those who do not rise up to stop sin in the camp are just as guilty as those who perpetrate the sin. Paulsen says he has "prayed" about it and does not believe that it would accomplish any real good for the Church. Some of the best public relations techniques in the world have been largely successful in achieving damage control, as usual. Most rank-and-file Adventist clergy and lay members have no clue that such things are going on at the General Conference and elsewhere, much less understand its significance.

Does it appear that Jan Paulsen believes in the Doctrine of the Investigative Judgment? What if his name comes up as one of the living being judged after God is through judging the dead, and he has not repented and done what God and Ellen White would expect him to do-- prosecute the guilty! Could he possibly believe that Ellen White is a prophet of God, whose counsel he refuses to follow? How can he sleep at night? What about the millions of dollars of tithe money donated by, in part, the poor and the widows of the Church? As the leader of the Church, he is responsible for every penny that is wasted.

Meanwhile, ADRA continues to solicit SDA believers with their mailing campaigns that show pictures of impoverished children in foreign lands which play on the sympathies of the reader, successfully inducing many sincere Church members to part with their hard-earned cash. My 86-year-old mother just received such a letter from ADRA yesterday! This money, which in reality is coerced from the Church members, continues to be embezzled, misused, and squandered!

The Church, confronted with absolute proof that Ellen White was a fraud repeatedly throughout the history of Adventism, continues to tote her as the inspired mouthpiece of God. Additionally confronted with the impossibilities of the Sabbath and Investigative Judgment doctrines, it forges ahead telling the same old lies it has told now for well for almost 140 years. This hypocrisy has obviously stultified the consciences of Adventist leaders and clergy to the point where they behave as if there is no Heaven to win or Hell to shun, must less believe in the Sabbath, Ellen White, and the Investigative Judgment.

By now the Adventist Church has become a mammoth business operation that is, to many, a culture of business, rather than a vehicle to preserve and foster the Christian Faith. Many Pastors and Church leaders do not believe what they are teaching others, and this hypocrisy opens the door to sin. When it comes to money, the Church has everything to lose and nothing to gain by coming to grips with the fact that, to the point of over-kill, Adventism has been proven to be absolutely FALSE. As we have seen, there appears to be a direct correlation between what Adventist leaders learned in the 1970's about the impossibilities of the Faith with the development of the unstoppable corruption that has plagued the Church ever since.

Adventist teachers, pastors, college professors, and leaders at all levels are nearly powerless to stand up and call the three pillars of Adventism by their right name—LIES— because they will lose their jobs. Unless reform happens all at once, from the top down, and with as many people as possible on the same page, Adventism may implode.

The conservatives like the Standish Brothers, the late Russell, and Colin, and Vance Ferrell of Pilgrim's Rest are right, up to a point, that Adventism has become corrupt by its failure to follow the counsels of Ellen White. Let's get to the root of the problem! Adventist leaders have not followed her writings because they know that she lied about the source of her visions, the Sabbath, and the Investigative Judgment. It is my belief that individuals who refuse to search for TRUTH and to follow it at any cost must have a deep, underlying spiritual problem. God cares about TRUTH. His children should also!








By Robert K. Sanders


Many Seventh-day Adventists have written to challenge why I renounced keeping the 7th day Sabbath that begins sundown Friday through sundown Saturday. Renounced the Sabbath after 47 years. To answer their objections is the reason for this article, "Sabbath Not a Law for Christians."

When I was a sabbath keeper, I was questioned by non-sabbath keepers, "Why do you still hold on to the Sabbath and renounce the other old covenant teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church"? They asked, "would not the same arguments that I use to show that tithing and unclean meat are no longer binding on Christians be the same arguments to show the sabbath is no longer binding on Christians"? After careful study I have had to conclude they were correct.




Seventh-day Adventists arbitrarily divide the old covenant into two divisions, moral and ceremonial. They claim that the Ten Commandments are moral and the rest of the law/covenant is ceremonial. They have offered no biblical evidence to support a two-part division of the old covenant. There are moral and ceremonial commands in the whole law as well as a ceremonial command in the Ten Commandments.


  1. The Bible writers never declared the old covenant was a two-part covenant. The Jews understand that there is but one law/covenant and it is all equally holy and binding. When Israel vowed to keep the covenant, it was one covenant not a two-division covenant.
  2. Ex 24:3 (NIV) 3When Moses went and told the people all the LORD'S words and laws, they responded with one voice, "Everything the LORD has said we will do."
  3. There are 613 commands in the old covenant that Israelites were required to keep perfectly.
  4. The Ten has one ceremonial command, the sabbath which is not a moral command.
  5. Sabbath keeping was given to Israel as a weekly ritual "to rest" from labor. It was never commanded as a communal day of worship. Israel was commanded to remember their deliverance from Egypt and that God created the world. The sabbath is not a moral command as no person has ever been charged with sin for breaking the sabbath except Israel of the old covenant.
  6. The Old Covenant is a binding agreement God made with Israel at Sinai.
  7. It was made with no other nation on earth. It includes the entire Mosaic Law which includes the Ten Commandments written on tablets of stone by God. It was ratified by the blood of animals. Ex 24:8 (NIV) Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."
  8. SDA's teach that the sabbath is binding on all nations and all people for all time when in fact it was given only to one nation Israel. Circumcision was the entry sign into the covenant. Gentiles could only legally keep the sabbath and be accepted by God, if they joined the Israelite community through circumcision and kept all the covenant.
  9. The sign of the old covenant between God and Israel was the sabbath. God never made the sabbath a sign for Christians in the new testament. Do you find Christians mentioned in the text? Can you legally enjoin on Christians that which God has not enjoined on them?
  10. Ex 31:16 - 17 (NRSV) 16Therefore the Israelites shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. 17It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."
  11. Circumcision is just as much a perpetual covenant for Israel as the sabbath. Circumcision was first made with Abraham as an "everlasting covenant"
  12. Gen 17:9 - 10, 13 (NIV) 9Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 13Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
  13. God then gave circumcision to Israel along with the sabbath in the law of Moses.
  14. John 7:21 - 24 (NIV) 21Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. 22Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. 23Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? 24Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."
  15. The old covenant ended at Calvary with the death of Jesus. When a party to a covenant dies, said covenant ends. In this case it was Jesus who died, and He made that covenant with Israel. Thus the old covenant ended, even as a marriage covenant ends upon the death of either party. The surviving person is free to marry again, even as Jesus now takes the church as His new bride. If a mate dies, the surviving person is no longer married to a corpse. Rom. 7 shows this comparison of marriage and dying to the law through Christ. SDA's are married to the old covenant corpse. They read sabbath keeping in the old covenant (contract) God made with Israel and apply it to themselves. They do not accept the fact that they were never a party to that covenant. The only way for them to legally keep the sabbath is through circumcision and they are then obligated to keep ALL the old covenant with its 613 commands, which they do not do. They refuse to kill Sabbath breakers and stay at home on Sabbaths as the law requires. Thus they are lawbreakers, and subject to the condemnation of that law.




  1. Jesus Abolished Israel's law with ten commandments and regulations.

  3. Eph. 2:15 (NIV) 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.
  4. Notice, "the law" is singular that was abolished, not laws. There was just "one law" the Mosaic law with many commands and regulations, and it was abolished by Jesus.
  5. God canceled the written code and regulations nailing it to the cross. SDA's claim that the "written code" was not the Ten, but the law that Moses wrote.
  6. Both God and Moses wrote the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments written on stone tablets by the finger of God were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant, and they were also written by Moses on parchment and placed outside the Ark in the Book of the Covenant. Otherwise you would not be reading it in your Bible. Col 2 and Ex 24 explains this.
  7. Col 2:13 - 14 (NIV) 13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
  8. Ex 24:3 - 4 (NIV) 3When Moses went and told the people all the LORD'S words and laws, they responded with one voice, "Everything the LORD has said we will do." 4Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said. He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
  9. vs. 7, Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey."
  10. Jesus was taken down from the cross, but the law with the sabbath remains nailed to the cross for eternity. SDA's try their best to pry the nails from the cross to make the sabbath binding on Christians.
  11. "The first Covenant" had "stone tablets of the covenant."
  12. There is no way to avoid the fact the the old covenant included the Ten Commandments.
  13. Heb 9:1 - Heb 9:4 (NIV) 1Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.

  14. The Old Covenant with the Ten Commandments are obsolete.
  15. Heb 8:7 - Heb 8:13 (NIV) 7For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8But God found fault with the people and said, "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. 10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. 11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." 13By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

  16. The Ten Commandments were a ministration of death and condemnation.
  17. 2 Cor 3:6 - 9 (NIV) 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!

  18. Only one who was a party to that law/sabbath could die to that law/sabbath. No one alive today was a party to the old covenant. For someone to insist on keeping the sabbath and other old covenant points of law is to insist on being bound to a dead mate.
  19. Christian Jews are "released from the Law" and now serve the Spirit and not in the way of "the written code".
  20. If you have not died to the law/sabbath you are holding onto a corpse. Good luck with that!
  21. Rom 7:4 -6 (NIV) 4So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

  22. The law was a witness against Israel not Christians.
  23. God gave the law to Israel to show them their sins and the law was a witness to it. They were a stiff-necked, rebellious, idolatrous, faithless nation.
  24. Deut 31:26 - 27 (NIV) 26"Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. 27For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die!

  25. The law was a school master (paidagogos) to bring Israel to Christ, not Christians who were never under that law. How can SDA's who claim to be justified by faith, want to be under Israel's schoolmaster (law)?
  26. Gal 3:23 - 25 (KJV) 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    A paidagogos was one who accompanied a child, who was usually a slave of the parents of the child, and even administered punishment as required. Once the child came of age and was mature, the paidagogos was dismissed from this oversight of the child. Those who insist on living by that law demonstrate their immaturity; still needing a law to tell them everything they are to do or not do.

  27. Christ is the end of the Law for Israel.
  28. The law made no one righteousness and no one could keep it perfectly.
  29. Rom 10:3 (NIV) 4Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

    Rom 3:20 (NIV) 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

  30. The Law of Sin and Death is the Ten Commandments.
  31. 2 Cor 3:6 - 7 (NIV) 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was,

  32. The law was made for rebellious Israel, not Christians with the spirit of God.
  33. Do Christians need a law to tell them not to worship idols, not to murder and steal?
  34. 1 Tim 1:9 - 11 (NIV) 9We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

  35. How can Christians be righteous before God without the law?
  36. Christians will receive their righteousness from the gospel and will live by faith.

    Rom 1:17 (NIV) 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

  37. Paul was not under the Law.
  38. Be like Paul and win SDA's and other Sabbatarians that put themselves under the law.
  39. 1 Cor 9:20 (NIV) 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.

    Rom 6:14 (NIV) 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

    Gal 5:14 (NIV) 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

    Gal 5:18 (NIV) 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

  40. The Apostles opposed the Judaizers that were trying to impose the law on Gentiles.
  41. The issue was keeping the law of Moses. Notice that the sabbath was not included in the discussion. In the Jewish mind a gentile must first be circumcised before he could keep the sabbath. This would have been an excellent time to tell the gentiles to keep the Ten as do SDA's.
  42. Acts 15:5 (NIV) 5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

    Acts 15:10 - 11 (NIV) 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."

    Acts 15:19 - 21 (NIV) 19"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

  43. Mount Sinai Covenant is Slavery represented by earthly Jerusalem. Jewish and gentile Christians are free in the New Jerusalem in heaven which is of faith.
  1. What was given on Mount Sinai? The Ten Commandments with the sabbath.
  2. Gal 4:21 - Gal 4:31 (NIV) 21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.24These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 2

    6 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: "Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband." 8Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman

  3. The New Covenant is God writing his laws on the Christian's heart.

Hebrews 8:10 (NIV)10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.

  1. What are the laws that God has written on our hearts?
  2. SDAs would have you believe that God is writing the same old covenant law of sin and death on our hearts. The Apostles tell us what they are.

    Law of Faith. To know we are justified before God without keeping the old covenant.

    Rom 3:27 - 28 (NRSV) 27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

    Law of the Spirit. Has set us free from the law of sin and death.

    Rom 8:1 - 4 (NIV) 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

  3. Live by the Spirit. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
  4. Gal 5:16 - Gal 5:21 (NIV) 16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  5. Law of Christ.

Gal 6:2 (NIV) 2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

  1. Law of liberty.

James 2:8 - 11 (NIV) 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder. "if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

  1. James mentions two distinct laws—that is, (1) the royal law and the law of liberty (which are identical) and (2) "the whole law" (which includes the entire Torah, all the Laws of Moses). James tells us that the royal law is "Love your neighbor as yourself." This law, found in Leviticus 19:18, is one of many laws that the Lord gave to Moses to instruct Israel regarding how to live moral lives and develop good interpersonal relationships with others. James also states that, as in the old covenant law, if you broke even one point of the whole law, you were guilty of the entirety of the old covenant, likewise, if you fail to show proper love for even one person by showing partiality, you are guilty of breaking the law of Liberty. Therefore to break one point in the Ten or in the "whole law" consisting of 613 commands, YOU are a lawbreaker.
  1. Jesus gave a new commandment to love one another.
  2. Will a Christian that loves one another, murder, steal, commit adultery, and worship idols? There is no need for that obsolete law or the Ten Commandments. Love does no harm to one's neighbor therefore love fulfills the law. Keeping the law does not fulfill it. Another way to look at this is that, if a Christian has love for even his enemies, he would not commit these acts, seeing as these things are a result of an unconverted heart, not motivated by love. Do you trust the spirit to guide you? If not you have no faith just as Israel.
  3. John 13:34 - John 13:35 (NIV) 34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." The world will know you are Jesus' disciples if you love one another.
  4. Paul tells Titus what to teach. Do you notice nothing is said about teaching the law/sabbath.

Titus 2:11 - Titus 2:15 (NIV) 11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.




Sabbatarians enjoy pointing to Jesus as our example to keep the Sabbath. Is this a valid argument? If we are to follow Jesus' examples of how he lived under the old covenant, we should consider this:


Do Sabbatarians Follow Jesus' Example? No!

  1. Jesus wore tassels on a robe with a blue cord.
  2. Jesus paid tax to the temple and supported temple worship
  3. Jesus went to a Jewish synagogue on Sabbath and read from the Torah in Hebrew.
  4. Jesus spoke out against the Jewish Leaders.
  5. Jesus limited his study only to the Torah.
  6. Jesus kept all 12 sabbaths including eating the Passover lamb.
  7. Jesus did not baptize anyone.
  8. Jesus did not own a home, did not marry, was not employed, had no income, stayed in other peoples homes, rode a donkey.

Paul Used the Sabbath For Evangelism


  1. Whenever the Apostles are mentioned in connection with the Sabbath, it was for evangelism and not Sabbath Keeping. Paul often went to the Temple and synagogues to preach Christ to both Jews and Gentiles. It is never recorded that Paul or the Apostles preached Sabbath keeping to Jews or Gentiles. Notice Acts 17:2. Paul did not go to the synagogue to keep the Sabbath or to worship. Worship was done at the Temple, not the synagogues. The synagogues were used to teach the Torah. Paul taught from the Torah how Christ fulfilled the prophecies found in the Torah. Not once in the book of Acts is the Sabbath a point of discussion. Gentiles were coming into the church by the thousands and were not taught to keep the Sabbath Command or the penalties for breaking the Sabbath.

Acts 17:2 - Acts 17:4 (NIV) 2As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.

Does Paul quoting the Ten Commandments prove that the sabbath is binding on Christians?

Paul was always silent when it came to Sabbath keeping. He does quote the Ten Commandments, but not as a duty for the church. Paul is saying the duty for Christians is to love your neighbor as yourself and it is this that fulfills the requirements of the Torah/Law. The Jewish audience that Paul was addressing believed that if they kept the Ten Commandments they were fulfilling all the Torah/Law but they were not, if they did not love their neighbor.

Rom 13:8 - Rom 13:10 (NIV) 8Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.




Here is a list of some often-used arguments to support sabbath keeping:

1. Argument: God rested on the Sabbath at creation; he made the day holy, and sanctified the day. Therefore all mankind is bound to keep the day holy.

Gen. 2:2-3 (NIV) 2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

  1. The term "Sabbath" is not mentioned in the creation account. God rested from creating on THAT seventh day; He didn't continue creating by creating a repetitive day of rest. God rested/ ceased from His creating on that particular seventh day from the creation that was completed the sixth day, and He sanctified THAT particular seventh day, and not the recurring seventh day.
  2. God "rested" from that work because He was done with that work. A lawyer in court "rests" his case when He is done and has no more to offer to the court. Genesis also shows that that day shows having no end. God is still at rest from that work, and, according to the author of Hebrews 4, believers have the opportunity to enter into God's rest that He began then. The believer enters into God's rest "Today" seeing as that day has yet to end. This is the rest the sabbath pointed to, and was a shadow of.
  3. By using this argument that "this rest couldn't possibly be just for God" a rationalization is made to include Adam and Eve, and the rest of mankind into a physical, seventh day rest. If this rest were not just for God, then mankind would be given the potential to enter into this same rest, right? And isn't that what the author of Hebrews is getting at? We can enter into God's rest, so why would we want to enter into that shadow rest that pointed to Christ, and is indeed this rest? See Col. 2:15-16. Sabbatarians' logic gets sidetracked due to their preoccupation with the weekly, physical sabbath that was but the shadow.
  4. It is not logical to conclude, that we therefore enter into another rest that God did not enter into; the weekly sabbath. God commanded Israel to rest on that reciprocal seventh day, and did not command Himself or claim He rested on weekly sabbaths.
  5. Sabbatarians desperately need to establish the recurring seventh day Sabbath here in order to make the case for it applying to Christians who were not a party to the old covenant, and to make the case that the sabbath is somehow special and "eternal."
  6. The term "Sabbath" is not used in the Genesis account and there is no internal evidence God sanctified every seventh day. It was that THAT first seventh day that God sanctified and rested; not every seventh day thereafter as recorded in John 5:16-17. God kept the manna that he gave Israel in the wilderness from spoiling on the sabbath day. God preserves life and holds the worlds in place on the seventh day.
  7. The Father and Jesus work on Sabbath.
  8. John 5:16 - 17 (NIV) 16So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
  9. 2. Argument: Adam and Eve kept the sabbath.

  10. There is no internal evidence Adam and Eve were commanded to keep the weekly sabbath, or anyone else prior to Israel being at Sinai when the law of Moses was put forth and codified. It is more wishful thinking. Their line of reasoning here has been one of "once holy, always holy" and this includes Christians, so why isn't that ground at Sinai not still holy? You can't have it both ways. Those that claim Adam and Eve kept the sabbath are doing so by speculation.
  11. The Bible does tell us that the Sinaitic Covenant which includes the Sabbath was not made with the fathers such as Adam, Noah, Isaac, Jacob and Abraham.
  12. Deut 5:2 -3 (NIV) 2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 It was not with our fathers that the LORD made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.

    3. Argument: Abraham kept all God's commandments therefore he kept the Sabbath.

    Gen 26:5 (NIV) 5because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws."

  13. This is another false claim that is speculation. The sabbath was not included in God's covenant with Abraham. Circumcision evidently was more important to God than the sabbath as God made circumcision the covenant sign and not the sabbath with Abraham.
  14. Gen 17:10 - 11 (NIV) 10This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

    4. Argument: The Sabbath is a lasting covenant. Therefore it will never end.

    Ex 31:16 -17 (NIV) 16The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.'"


  15. So if the sabbath stands now because it was an eternal, everlasting covenant, then so does circumcision.
  16. Gen 17:13 - 14 (NIV) 13Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
  17. The new covenant will not be like the old covenant!
  18. Jer. 31:31 - 33 (NIV) 31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
  19. God told Israel the time would come that he would stop their Sabbaths.
  20. Hosea 2:11 (NIV) 11 I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed feasts.
  21. SDA's want to make just the 7th day sabbath holy and an "eternal covenant" to meet their agenda and discard the other ten rest sabbaths found in Deuteronomy 23. The sabbath was a shadow of the finished work of Christ. Why Sabbatarians want to live in the shadows and deny the finished work of Christ is a mystery to me. Paul tells us that these weekly, monthly and yearly Sabbaths are temporary-- shadows which meet their reality in Jesus.
  22. Col 2:16 - Col 2:17 (NIV) 16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
  23. 5. Argument: Isaiah proves the Sabbath is eternal, as it will be kept in the earth made new.

    Isa. 66:22 - Isa. 66:24 (NIV) 22"As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure. 23From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD. 24"And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."


  24. If the messages of Isaiah applies to the Christian Church, then we are faced with a lot of problems. Read this carefully:
  25. Isa. 65:17, tells about when God will create a new heaven and earth. vs. 20, people that do not live to be 100 will be accursed. (People will die in the new earth?) vs. 22, people will live as long as a tree. (Many trees do not live 20 years) vs. 23, women will bear children. (Jesus tells us, there will be no marriage in heaven.) As you can see this has nothing to do with the Christian belief of the New Heaven and the New Earth. If Israel had been faithful/obedient to God these blessings would have come to them. Isaiah's prophecy applies only to Israel and not to new covenant Christians. Will the saints really need a weekly sabbath to rest from their labor, to remember they were delivered from Egypt and that it was God that created the world? I think not.

  26. Every sabbath in the new earth you can go out each sabbath and view dead bodies and worms that do not die.
  27. Isa. 66:22 - 24 (NIV) 22"As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure. 23From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD. 24"And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."
  28. There is no death or dead worms in the New Earth. As you can see Isaiah's prophecy has nothing to do with the new covenant description of the New Heaven and the New Earth.
  29. 6. Argument: The Sabbath will be kept in the New Jerusalem!

    Rev 21:23 - Rev 21:25 (NIV) 23The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

    How indeed can the sabbath be kept in the New Jerusalem without any night to define the start and end of the day? Is God going to ring a bell? It is ridiculous to think the saints will need a day "of rest" once a week to commune with God or to rest from work. God does not rest on the seventh day, why would the saints?

    7. Argument: Jesus did not abolish the Ten Commandment law; therefore the Sabbath is binding. (This argument used by Robert Sanders with the permission of William H. Hohmann.)

    Matt 5:17 - Matt 5:19 (NIV) 17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

  30. The above declaration by Jesus Christ is interpreted by those who hold to sabbath keeping as proof that the ten commandments, including the sabbath command, is binding on Christians. At first glance, this appears to be true, until one subjects the above to proper Biblical scholarship and critical analysis.
  31. If it were a matter of being points of law, then the phrase "law or the Prophets" would not make sense, seeing is there is no law codified in the Prophets to "fulfill". It is erroneously concluded that it is the law that is "fulfilled" and not the prophecies located in the law and prophets. If it were a matter of being points of law, then the phrase "law or the Prophets" would not make sense, seeing is there is no law codified in the Prophets to "fulfill".
  32. The first problem that arises is over the interpretation of "fulfill" in verse 17. The Sabbatarian argument is that this "fulfill" is to be understood as "filling to the full" or "filling up" the law. Jesus came to bring it up to full strength, as it were. This view forces a conclusion that Sabbatarians overlook in this interpretation. The law was deficient or incomplete; the same law they claim to be "God's law" and a perfect, eternal law.
  33. And if it is being "magnified" in this regard, how can this be accomplished without altering it way beyond jots and tittles? What of those portions of "God's law" that are sacrificial and ceremonial in nature that the Sabbatarian insists are not binding on Christians? What happened to their "jots and tittles?
  34. And finally, how can you fill up or fulfill the law in that portion of scripture referred to as "The Prophets" where there is no codification of law? The opening declaration again states: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. How can one "destroy" the prophets, and how can one "fulfill" the prophets?
  35. So here we have a situation where one cannot fulfill that section of the Bible called the Prophets regarding law, seeing there is no law codified in the Prophets that has the potential to be fulfilled or destroyed. But this potential exists in the law and the prophets in regards to prophesies, as there are prophesies in the law and the prophets.
  36. The next question to be asked is, did Jesus come to fulfill prophesies found in the law and the prophets? Yes he did. At this point, we need to address the context of verse 18:
  37. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
  38. Seeing as the law and prophets are addressed in the preceding verse, we cannot quickly assume that now just the law, or the first 5 books (the Pentateuch) are being solely addressed, for quite often the term "the law" is used to indicate the entire old testament.
  39. Those who hold to the "fill the law to the full" view are quick to point out that not all things were fulfilled prophetically by Jesus; the heavens and earth are still here, ergo the context is about filling up the law. If not A, then B is the logic, without examining any other possibilities. This is commonly called "black and white thinking" and is poor Biblical scholarship. We have already seen how this does not hold up in regards to verse 17, and when we try to apply this understanding to verse 18, even greater problems arise.
  40. If this is about filling up the law, then we have a condition here that once the law is filled up, completed, or brought up to full strength, then it passes away with the passing of heaven and earth. Does it make sense to build up the law for the purpose of doing away with it, especially in light of a belief that insists this law is eternal?
  41. Do we run into such illogical errors when we conclude it is a matter of things prophesied to occur culminating in a new heaven and earth? Not at all. When all things foretold in the law have come to realization, then all things have been done and there is an end to those things followed by the new heavens and earth.
  42. What then of the apparent conflict where it is claimed Jesus did not "fulfill" all prophesies that culminate with the passing of heaven and earth? It is a result of trying to connect two things that are actually separate in the context of the two verses.
  43. Verse 17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
  44. This needs to be taken in the context of that moment. Did Jesus come at that time; at that moment to fulfill all things as related to in verse 18, or did he come at that time to fulfill what was prophesied concerning his coming then and there?
  45. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. — Luke 24:44
  46. Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. — Luke 18:31 Is Jesus here referring back to when he spoke the words here in Matthew 5:17? It sure looks that way.
  47. What is so conveniently overlooked by Sabbatarians is that verse 18 compliments verse 17 from this time perspective. First, Jesus came to fulfill those things written of him in the law, prophets, and psalms. Verse 18 begins a new thought that follows this same line of reasoning concerning fulfillment of scripture. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
  48. Likewise, absolutely everything written in the law culminating in the passing of this heaven and earth will also be fulfilled. Nothing will be left undone. No prophecy will go unfulfilled. Everything will be done "by the book."
  49. Jesus came at that time to fulfill "all things" concerning him for that time and place. Likewise, all things prophesied to occur in this age will also come to pass. After all these things have been accomplished, this heaven and earth pass away and the new age begins, starting with the new heavens and the new earth, as also prophesied. Jesus speaks from the perspective of then and there to the perspective of the future from then and there
  50. If we were to enter that time and listen to what was being said then, and take into account what the people were thinking then about Jesus and the confusion surrounding him and what he taught, we might have concluded he had come to do something contrary to the prophesies in scripture, seeing as he was not doing those things they thought and believed the coming Messiah would do regarding Israel and the kingdom restored to her. It would be like Jesus saying to us:
  51. Don't think I am going to act contrary to what was written and prophesied concerning me and my appearing; I am going to do exactly what was written of me. Likewise, all things will be done written in the law foretold to the end of the age and time. He then continues his dissertation to the people concerning the kingdom of God (heaven) and talks about those who will be great and those who will be least, depending on how well they heed his words that followed.

  52. This sermon on the mount was not about law; it was about Jesus the Messiah preaching the gospel and his coming kingdom, often couched in parables as a veil to their understanding. Those who attempt to read into the narrative their pet beliefs will surely not understand the gospel being preached even now.
  53. Now we come to verse 19:Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
  54. Notice the context says "these" commandments and not "the" commandments. Does the context leading up to verse 19 indicate that Jesus was talking about commandments? No. Does Jesus begin referencing commandments following this verse? Yes, unless one wishes to redefine what a commandment is, as though Jesus did not proceed to give commands to those followers of his that he was addressing.
  55. The Sabbatarian likes to conclude that Jesus was talking about old covenant commandments by force-fitting them into the preceding verses, and ignores that Jesus proceeds to give commandments to his followers in the context of that statement in what follows. Jesus then goes about, quoting from the law commandments in the law, and proceeds to alter points of law beyond jots and tittles! How is this possible if he was claiming just moments before that none of the law was to be altered even down to the strokes of the letters of the law until heaven and earth had passed? But this sort of cognitive dissonance is common when holding to misinterpretations and misrepresentations of scripture.
  56. The pattern now is one of "the law says this, but I say unto you that" where in some cases the law is totally nullified in the process. For example, performing one's oaths. But Jesus commands that his followers swear not at all. To not make an oath to begin with. It is also stated in the law that one was to hate their enemy and love their neighbor. Jesus declares we are to love even our enemies.
  57. The most telling of all is Jesus' teaching on divorce. The law (this same law called "eternal" and "perfect" and not to be altered even down to the stokes of a letter) allowed a man to divorce his wife for just about any reason. What was Jesus' take on divorce as found in the law?
  58. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. — Matthew 19:3-9

    The law allowed for an easy divorce. It was a concession in the law because the people were carnal; devoid of God's Spirit. So the law allowed for something that was wrong from the beginning. So much for the claim that the law existed from creation and was kept by the Patriarchs of old.

    (End of the argument by William H. Hohmann cited by Sanders.)

  59. Has Jesus altered the law beyond jots and tittles? Only a blind one would say no.
  60. James does not identify the "royal law" as the Ten Commandments. The "royal law" is the law of the Christ/law of the Spirit. The Torah commands Israel "to love your neighbor" is found in, Lev. 19:18 (NIV) 18"'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
  61. Christ commanded the law of love to extend love to your enemies. Matt 5:43 - 45 (NIV) 43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
  62. Those that break the Sabbath will be judged as breaking all the Torah not just the Ten Commandments. The New Covenant does not tell the church they will be judged by the law.
  63. 8. Argument: The Lord's Day is the 7th day Sabbath, because Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.


  64. This is one of many examples of Sabbatarians twisting the meaning of words in the Bible. The term "Lord's Day" is used one time in the Bible and it does not say it is the sabbath. It is another assumption.
  65. Rev 1:9 - Rev 1:10 (NIV) 10On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.
  66. The Sabbath is always called in the Greek Sabbaton or in the Hebrew Shabbath. Strong's: G4521 σάββατον sabbaton sab'-bat-on Of Hebrew origin [H7676]; the Sabbath (that is, Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself);

    The Church fathers in the first centuries called Sunday, "the Lord's Day" because Christ rose from the grave on Sunday. They choose this day as a celebration for their deliverance from sin and salvation by Christ. This tradition does not make Sunday a holy day or a Sunday Sabbath.

    9. Argument: Worshiping on Sunday is honoring the sun god and the Papal sabbath.

  67. Jesus rose from the grave early on the first day of the week, Sunday. Jesus met with his disciples on the first day of the week after the resurrection. Was Jesus honoring the sun god or the Papal sabbath? The pagans of the Roman empire never celebrated a weekly day to the sun god. It is despicable for Sabbatarians to insinuate those that go to church on Sunday are worshiping or honoring a pagan god or the Pope of Rome. Do SDA's that go to prayer meeting on Wednesday evening for example are they worshiping the pagan god, Woden, chief god in Norse mythology? As you can see this is a ridiculous allegation to make against Christians that worship the Creator.
  68. Editor's note: Recall that the Roman calendar utilized an 8-day week and the day named in honor of the sun was somewhere in the middle of that week. Therefore, the Roman day named in honor of the sun would only occasionally fall on the day of the 7-day week Jewish calendar named in honor of the sun, which was, of course, the first day of that week. Also recall that Christians were meeting on Sundays hundreds of years before there was a pope or a Roman Catholic Church and that the Gentile Christians probably never kept the Sabbath in significant numbers. Additionally, keep in mind that Mithraism, the sun worship cult in the Roman Empire, did not become developed enough within Roman society until 200-300 AD to have been a likely source of influence on Christian worship practices.

    10. Argument: The Ten Commandments are the eternal gospel from the beginning of the World.

  69. If so did Adam honor his mother?
  70. 11. Argument: Hebrews 4 proves Christians are to keep the Sabbath.

  71. Heb 4:9 - Heb 4:11 (NIV) 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
  72. Israel had the 7th day sabbath ritual, but they did not have the sabbath rest in God which is of faith. "God's rest" is rest for their souls not from chopping wood, working in a factory, etc. Now God wants Christians to have the rest in him that Israel failed to enter. If we are led by the Spirit, we will enter that rest. Christ is the Christians sabbath rest of faith and trust which we enjoy daily.

    12. Argument: Commandments in the NT means the Ten Commandments.

  73. SDA's use these two texts to show that "God's commandments" are the Ten Commandments. There is nothing in the texts that tell us this.
  74. Rev 14:12 (NIV) 12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

    1 John 2:3 - 4 (NIV) 3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

  75. Christians indeed keep God's commandments that God addressed to Christians. But if we are going to assume that this means old covenant commandments, then why not commandments God gave to other individuals in the Bible? God commanded one prophet to bake his bread over cow manure. It is a commandment of God. Shall we keep this commandment also?
  76. Baking Bread Over Cow Manure
  77. Ezek. 4:14 - 15 (NIV) 14Then I said, "Not so, Sovereign LORD! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth." 15"Very well," he said, "I will let you bake your bread over cow manure instead of human excrement."

  78. Jesus commanded his disciples to preach to people. Do you do this?
  79. Mark 6:8 - 10 (NIV) 8These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. 10Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.

  80. Jesus commanded the disciples to pay their taxes by getting a coin out of the fish's mouth. Do you do this?
  81. Matt 17:27 - (NIV) 27"But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

    13. Argument: The Ten Commandments points out sin.

  82. The Ten Commandments points out sin for those the Ten were given. God would never hold anyone accountable to a covenant he did not give to them.
  83. 14. Argument: Rich young man was told to have eternal life he must keep the commandments.

    Matt 19:16 - 19 (NIV) 16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" 17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." 18"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself."

    Matt 19:20 - 26 (NIV) 20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" 21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" 26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

    15. Argument: Aren't all Christians (even SDA's) in agreement with God today that, with the help of God's Spirit, we WILL keep His Law because we LOVE Him and we WANT to keep His Law of love?

  84. This is an assumption. The Bible never tells us that God's spirit enables anyone to keep the old covenant law!




This shows that the Sabbath was a regional, temporary command for Israel and not for the world:


From: []

Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2003 7:01 PM

Subject: Sabbath


Interesting problem in Alaska ....according to the officious SDA sunset calculator, on Friday eve, May 30th, in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the sun set below the horizon, bringing with it the Jewish Shabbat, at 11:38 PM, almost midnight. Note: AK is so far west, it is on Hawaiian time!!! Here is the quote:


Calculations for:

Longitude: -148.34000

Latitude: 70.27000 Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

Time Zone: Hawaiian Standard Time, HST


Date: 5/30/03 Friday

Sunrise: 0:07am HST (sunrise Friday morning)

Sunset: 11:38pm HST (sunset, Friday night, becoming sabbath)

Next, we find sunrise on Sabbath, May 31st, actually starts before midnight Friday night!!! and el sol invictus stays up all day Sabbath, and into Sabbath night, and into Sunday morning, and into Sunday night, for the next two months!!!!!


Date: 5/31/03

Sunrise: Sun above horizon HST

Sunset: Sun above horizon HST (meaning the sun never sets!!!! ) meaning: if you live and work in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, extracting dino remains buried and liquified by Noah's flood less than 4500 years ago, you have a problem!!!!! (no!! dummy!! not the recent age of the earth!!!!)... you have to quit working!!!


Because on Friday night, May 30th, when the sun went down at 1l:38, bringing in the holy Lord's day, you had to stop working, thou, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and all the strangers within thy igloo. But the sun came up again on Sabbath just a few minutes later, but never went down after that!!!


As I scribble this nonsense it is still Sabbath in Prudhoe Bay...cause the sun never went Saturday sunset. So if you believe literally that you must keep sabbath from sunset on Friday night to Sabbath sunset.....the next day, Sabbath, did NOT have a sunset this summer!!! Won't be a sunset for another two months!!!!! So you are faced with keeping Sabbath for two months straight, and giving up your job with Exxon!!!! Unless of course, you are the camp padre, trying to spread the word that black gold comes from dead dinos who missed the ark, or in the medical profession raking in piles of dough and salving your conscience by paying plenty of tithe to keep the hired-archy gainfully employed....



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