Sabbath, June 26, 2010
“Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth.” Psalm 60:4.
The day of rest under attack
1. How does the Catholic Church defend its apostasy from the law in opposition to the three angels’ messages? What do the Protestant churches tenaciously cling to, thus affirming their fall from the law and the three angels’ messages?
2 Thessalonians 2:2-4 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Matthew 28:1-6 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
“When the secretary of Cardinal Gibbons was asked in November 1895 whether the Roman church had changed the Sabbath, his answer was: ‘Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change (Saturday Sabbath to Sunday) was her act…. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical authority in religious things.’” –H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, November 11, 1895.
“Protestants now urge that the resurrection of Christ on Sunday made it the Christian Sabbath. But Scripture evidence is lacking. No such honor was given to the day by Christ or His apostles. The observance of Sunday as a Christian institution had its origin in that ‘mystery of lawlessness’
Deviation among Adventists
2. How did the Adventist Church attempt to cover its apostasy from the law of God? What Scripture verses were used in support of this position?
Romans 13:1-5 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
1 Peter 2:13, 14 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
“As soon as the war began in Europe, this subject was thoroughly studied in America….
“We decided that everyone should act according to his own conscience in this matter….
“We should allow each citizen to take a position before the government according to his own conscience….
“While we do not have certain limitations and guidelines regarding our position before the government, we should let each one act according to his own conscience. The brethren from America have taken the same moderate and tolerant stand as our brethren from Europe. We have followed the same way as our brethren in England, France, and other countries.” –President of the General Conference, A.G. Daniells, in Friedensau, July 1920, in the Protokoll der Verhandlung mit der Gegenbewegung (Minutes of the Negotiations with the Opposition Movement), pp. 33-38.
“The delegates of the Southern German Conference declare that they agree with the point of view of the leadership of the work regarding military service in time of war. They consider it the duty of the citizens to obey the government, because, according to the authorities established by God referred to in 1 Peter 2:13, 14 and Romans 13:4, 5, they have the right to demand compliance. The General Conference Commission also considered this point of view and in its session of November 1915, as an answer to the question of the brethren in charge of the leadership in Europe, expressed its position in the following way: The brethren in the different countries of the world are totally free, in the future, as they have been until now, to comply with the respective legal determinations.” –German Adventist magazine Zionswächter, Hamburg, March 6, 1916; see also Curierul Misionar Bucuresti, No. 3, 1916, Romania. This resolution was approved and published in all the Conferences in Germany.
3. How did the Spirit of Prophecy warn about such actions by the people of God?
Jeremiah 12:5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
“There is a prospect before us of a continued struggle, at the risk of imprisonment, loss of property, and even of life itself, to defend the law of God, which is made void by the laws of men. In this situation worldly policy will urge an outward compliance with the laws of the land, for the sake of peace and harmony. And there are some who will even urge such a course from the Scripture: ‘Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers…. The powers that be are ordained of God.’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 712.
Believers are disfellowshipped
4. Under what pretext did the Adventist Church disfellowship the members who remained faithful to the law and the three angels’ messages during World War I?
John 18:14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
John 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
“At the beginning of the war there were isolated members who either out of a lack of solidarity or due to an exaggerated feeling of solidarity did not want to serve in the war. These people started to spread in the church and in writing their scruples of conscience in order to seduce others to do the same thing. They were warned by the congregation, but they had to be disfellowshipped because they stubbornly clung to their ideas and endangered our inner and outward peace….” –E.G., pastor and leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Mission in Württemberg, Germany, Stuttgarter Neue Tageblatt, September 26, 1918.
5. How were the Bible statements twisted to deceive the people?
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
“In everything that was said up to now, we have proved that, on the one hand, the Bible teaches that participation in the war is not a transgression of the sixth commandment and on the other hand that participation in the war even on the Sabbath day is not a transgression of the fourth commandment.” –From a treatise written by Josef Wintzen, called Der Christ und der Krieg (The Christian and the War), p. 18.
“What voice will you acknowledge as the voice of God? What power has the Lord in reserve to correct your errors and show you your course as it is? What power to work in the church?… Faith rests upon evidence, not demonstration. The Lord requires us to obey the voice of duty, when there are other voices all around us urging us to pursue an opposite course. It requires earnest attention from us to distinguish the voice which speaks from God. We must resist and conquer inclination, and obey the voice of conscience without parleying or compromise, lest its promptings cease, and will and impulse control.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 27, 28.
6. How were the disfellowshipped believers considered?
Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 24:23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
Exodus 23:6, 7 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause. Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.
Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
“But the position of those who believe that because of their conscience they cannot take part in the war leads directly to anarchy, and this is a sin, a transgression of the law.” –Leaflet published in Dresden, November 1915.
“At the beginning of the war our denomination divided into two parts. While ninety-eight per cent of our membership took the position on Bible grounds that it was their conscientious duty to defend the fatherland with weapons and that also on the Sabbath…; two per cent, however, did not submit themselves to this united resolution, and therefore had to be disfellowshipped…. They falsely call themselves preachers and Adventists, but they are not; they are deceivers….” –Dresdener Neuesten Nachrichten, April 12, 1918.
A reformation was necessary well before this
7. What had the Lord asked of His people many years before?
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
“God is testing and proving His people, and many will not endure the test of character, the measurement of God. Many will have close work to overcome their peculiar traits of character and be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, unrebukable before God and man. Many professed Sabbathkeepers will be no special benefit to the cause of God or the church without a thorough reformation on their part. Many Sabbathkeepers are not right before God in their political views. They are not in harmony with God’s word or in union with the body of Sabbathkeeping believers. Their views do not accord with the principles of our faith. Sufficient light has been given to correct all who wish to be corrected. All who still retain political sentiments which are not in accordance with the spirit of truth are living in violation of the principles of heaven. Therefore as long as they thus remain they cannot possess the spirit of freedom and holiness.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 533, 534.
“A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work…. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.” –The Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.
“God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children.” –The Review and Herald, February 25, 1902.
8. Under what circumstances was a reformation seen?
Isaiah 60:1, 2 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
“… The world is stirred with the spirit of war.” –(November 24, 1904) Christian Service, p. 54.
“Five years later, or in the year 1909, she solemnly charged the representatives at the General Conference assembly to prepare their hearts for the terrible scenes of strife and oppression beyond anything they had con-ceived of, soon to be witnessed among the nations of the earth. She said, ‘Very soon the strife and oppression of foreign nations will break forth with an intensity that you do not now anticipate.’ (General Conference Bulletin, 1909, p. 57). Five years after this prediction was made, the great world war was precipitated….
“While these calamities were witnessed among the nations of the earth, another scene was presented–a great reformatory movement among God’s people.’” –The Time and the Work, pp. 12, 13, published by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church after World War I.