Falsities of Seventh-Day Adventism

Built on a False Foundation, the Movement Has Been Propped Up With Numerous Other Falsehoods! A Careful, Biblical Examination

Recently we wrote a young man a long letter, explaining why we are confident that Seventh-day Adventism is a false cult. Since we went into such detail, we felt readers of THE SWORD would appreciate this information in capsule form. We wrote as follows:

Dear Mr. G______:

I certainly accept your apologies for your "hastily written first letter and the defensive way in which" you expressed yourself in it. I have gone over, very carefully, the six full pages of your present letter and I must confess that I have found nothing therein to change my convictions about Seventh-day Adventism. Let me list some of the problems I have.


Seventh-day Adventism has a totally false foundation: its understanding of the 2,300 days in Daniel 8:13,14. With this faulty foundation, the whole movement has been built upon an error. You know the history. William Miller, on the basis of this text, changed the 2,300 "days" into 2,300 "years" and concluded that Christ would return "about 1843." He felt it could be anytime between March 21 of that year and March 21 of 1844. When Christ did not return during that period, Miller and his associates went back to their charts and figures to reevaluate the situation. One of them, Samuel S. Snow, came up with a new date (the "seventh month" movement) for the autumn of 1844.

October 22 was the day settled upon, but Miller expected all opportunity for sinners to be saved would end a few days before that basing his belief on the shut door of Matthew 25:10. October 13, a Sunday, was the time he determined for the door to be closed, saying, "I am strong in my opinion that the next will be the last Lord's Day sinners will ever have in probation and within ten or fifteen days from thence, they will see him, whom they have hated and despised." Christ did not return and that time became known as "the great disappointment." The overwhelming majority in the movement including Miller, who never subscribed to the 7th-day Sabbath, Mrs. White's "inspiration," soul sleep or annihilation then totally repudiated it and a few others, including the early founders of Seventh-day Adventism, came up with substitute ideas to explain the dismal failure. Your group invented (I choose that word deliberately because there is not the slightest suggestion for it in the Word of God) the "investigative judgment" theory.

I will examine that theory in a moment, but right now I want to show that Seventh-day Adventism was established upon a foundation of sand, not upon a scriptural rock. Is it honest biblical hermeneutics to change the 2,300 days, found in Daniel 8:13,14, into 2,300 years? Not in the slightest! In the first place, these 2,300 "days" relate to "the daily sacrifice" being trodden underfoot. In the second place our King James translation of "days" is not the exact meaning of the passage. The usual Hebrew word for "day" is yom translated thusly in the Old Testament a total of 1,167 times. However, instead of yom in Daniel 8:14, the Hebrew consists of two words, ereb boqer the word ereb meaning "evening" and boqer meaning "morning." Daniel 8:14 literally speaks of 2,300 "evening-mornings."

There is not the slightest justification for turning the literal Hebrew "evening-mornings" into years. Doing so would violate every known rule of intelligent biblical interpretation, since "evening-morning" is obviously a 24-hour period and a literal solar day is intended.

Not only so, but since the question relates to the Mosaic worship and the twice daily sacrifices one in the evening and one in the morning some commentators have argued it could well be that the 2,300 "evening-mornings" are stating the sum total of the sacrifices, meaning that only 1,150 days are involved. If this is true, any changing of days to years would end up 1,150 years instead of 2,300 years! Yet on the basis of the 2,300 "evening-mornings," Miller and other leaders in the movement simply changed them, ipse dixit, into years! While I think the correct understanding of the passage is 2,300 days (not 1,150), the results and events in 1843 and 1844 should conclusively convince any intelligent individual that the whole idea of changing the time into years was a horrible mistake of immeasurable magnitude. In fact, it did convince most of them Miller included.

Incidentally, while Daniel 8 is the only place where ereb boqer is found in the Old Testament, the one New Testament counter- part is II Corinthians 11:25, relating to Paul's being "a night and a day" in the deep. If the 2,300 "evening-mornings" in Daniel were years, Paul must have been floundering around "in the deep" for a year!

Let me emphasize again: there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for changing a clear biblical statement of "evening- mornings" into years. It would be as logical to say that "the evening {ereb] and the morning (boqer]" of the six creative days in Genesis I (vss. 5,8,13,19,23,31) were six years! Adventists love to refer to the two instances in the Word of God where days meant years as proof of their theory. In the first case (Num. 14:34), it was a special judgment by God upon the Israelites because of their unbelief and the forty days the spies had spent searching the land of Canaan became forty years of wandering. But this judgment was clearly declared to be turned from days into years by God Himself. It was not some speculative conclusion by later exegetes. The other case was when God told Ezekiel to lie on his left side 390 days, then on his right side 40 days, as signs of the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Ezek. 4:4-6). Again, it was specifically stated by Jehovah that He had "appointed thee each day for a year." Carefully note that all these days were literal days which were given specific applications only after the literal days were concluded. When God changed days into years, He specifically stated what He was doing. And those days were not "ereb boqers. "


Seventh-day Adventism has a totally false, unscriptural teaching of "investigative judgment. " It is made "out of whole cloth." One of the early leaders of Adventism, Hiram Edson, claimed to have had a vision revealing this doctrine while walking in a cornfield the day after the great disappointment, although he did not report it until later. This explanation of the 1844 failure was picked up by his protege, Owen R. L. Crosier, who developed it to the extent that the latter is usually given credit today for being the father of the theory. Yet Crosier later gave it all up as a bad mistake just as he did Sabbath worship and opposed both positions vigorously until the day of his death.

It is interesting that Mrs. Ellen G. White, Adventism's inspired prophetess, claimed the Lord told her that Crosier had the truth about the heavenly sanctuary matter. In a letter to Eli Curtis, which she later reproduced in A Word to the "Little Flock" (p. 12), she said: "The Lord shew me in a vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary, etc.; and that it was his will, that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star, Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint." This in spite of the fact that the article, Crosier himself admits, was primarily written "to support the theory that the door of mercy was shut, a theory which I and nearly all Adventists who had adopted William Miller's views, held from 1844 to 1848." Every Adventist later repudiated the "shut door" idea including Mrs. White herself yet she claimed to have had a vision in which the Lord said, "Brother Crosier had the true light" and had "fully authorized" her to say so. All Adventists now acknowledge the "shut door" theory to have been erroneous. Why not go on and admit the rest of the matter that she was wrong about the sanctuary cleansing, too?

One Adventist, Desmond Ford, recently did exactly that. He said: "This was a face-saving device, an endeavor to explain why the end of the world in 1844 hadn't happened. So they came up with the 'investigative judgment.' But it's not taught in the New Testament or the Old." Ford was rewarded for his openness by being banned from the denomination's ministry.

Quite frankly, we challenge you or any Adventist to produce one clear statement in any of the sixty-six books of the Bible offering even the slightest suggestion of any cleansing of a heavenly sanctuary. Totally to the contrary, the sanctuary cleansing theory gives a wicked denial of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. It repudiates the clear teaching of Scripture that the atonement has already been completed, "once for all" (Heb. 10:10-14). And to suggest that there is anything in Heaven needing cleansing is utter blasphemy.

The theory demands taking a position that our Lord, following His resurrection, ascended to Heaven and entered only the holy place, where He remained for a little over eighteen hundred years. Then, on October 22, 1844, He left the holy place and entered into the most holy place. Yet the most holy place would be where the Father's throne is located and the clear teaching of Scripture is that Jesus went immediately to the Father upon His return to Heaven, taking His rightful position at the Father's right hand (Mark 16:19; Acts 5:31; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1 and Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 12:2). Stephen saw Him there (Acts 7:55,56). Paul said He is there (Rom. 8:34). And Peter gave his testimony to the same effect (I Pet. 3:22). To deny it is to deny the Word of God itself.

Notice also, in Hebrews 1:3, that the atonement is something spoken of as already completed. It is not a matter the Lord has been trying to finish for the last 125 years and more it is something He settled nearly 2,000 years ago through His death, burial, and resurrection! Seventh-day Adventists ought to be honest enough to admit that setting a date for the Lord to return was a mistake, the date was wrong, and it was even worse to invent an imaginary "investigative judgment" to cover the blunder.

If the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary is a biblical teaching, how come no one ever discovered it before October 23, 1844? Why didn't any of the apostles mention it? Why is its truth not discussed by any of the church fathers? Why did none of the giants of the Christian church down through the march of the centuries including the reformers who rediscovered and re-emphasized forgotten truth ever say a word about it? The truth of the matter is, it is only a wild imagination hurriedly conceived to cover a horrendous blunder.

That Jesus entered the most holy place immediately upon His return to Heaven is settled beyond all cavil by Hebrews 6:19,20:
"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, AND WHICH ENTERETH INTO THAT WITHIN THE VEIL; WHITHER THE FORERUNNER IS FOR US ENTERED, EVEN JESUS, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec."

Note the truth in those verses which we have placed in capital letters for emphasis.

It may well be that early Adventists adopted the erroneous idea of soul sleep in spite of clear biblical statements saying that the lost at death enter a place of punishment (Luke 16: 22,23) and the saved enter into Heaven with our Lord (II Cor. 5:8,9; Phil. 1:21-23)because their false teaching about an investigative judgment demanded it. If the lost were already in punishment and the redeemed already in Glory, how absurd would be such action on our Lord's part! What would there be to investigate, since there will be future judgments to determine rewards for the redeemed and degrees of punishment for the lost? Ellen G. White and her associates made a terrible mistake in interpreting Daniel 8 in this fashion.


This brings up another serious problem: Seventh-day Adventists have a totally false understanding of divine inspiration, equating the writings of Ellen G. White with the Bible! Proof of this allegation abounds, not the least of which is the official book the Adventists publish about the church's teaching, Seventh-day Adventists Answer QUESTIONS OF DOCTRINE, An Explanation of Certain Major Aspects of Seventh-day Adventist Belief. My understanding is that Adventist leaders L. E. Froom, R. A. Anderson, and W. E. Read were the chief authors of this volume published by the denomination's Review and Herald Publishing Association of Washington, D.C. It lists five "distinctive" doctrines of Adventism, the third being: "That the Spirit of prophecy, or the prophetic gift, is one of the gifts of the Spirit promised to the church in the last days, and that that gift was manifested to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the work and writings of Ellen G. White" (p. 25). As recently as its May 14, 1959 issue, The Review and Herald said of Mrs. White: "It was with her as it was with the prophets of old. 'Holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost' (II Peter 1:21)."

A man who edited The Review and Herald for nearly a half- century and was one of the cult's most prominent writers, Uriah Smith, wrote of her inspiration: "It comes to us as a divine message; it is a ray of light from the throne; it is instruction by the Holy Spirit." (Smith, incidentally, although he was in this place of leadership so long, was a heretic who believed Christ to be a created being, not God in the full sense. But that should not be too surprising since Mrs. White's husband, James, rejected the Trinity.)

As recently as last April, at its last international convention, Seventh-day Adventist delegates passed a resolution declaring Mrs. White to be "inspired in the same sense as were the Bible prophets" and, "as the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth. . . ."

Because Mrs. White contradicted herself so much, made so many prophecies that did not come true, did not obey some of her own revelations, etc., Adventist leaders today try to distinguish her inspiration from the verbal inspiration of biblical writers. They say that only her thoughts, not the words, were of God.

Yet how could one have thoughts without words? The idea is absurd. Anyway, many of her "thoughts" were totally erroneous and later repudiated, some by her and some by Adventism as a whole. Where were any of the Bible prophets mistaken in revelations from God, either in word or thought?

The truth of the matter is that Mrs. White was a humbug, one who was wrong repeatedly and who plagiarized profusely. Concerning her theft of the words of others, in a book first published in 1889 by D. M. Canright, long an Adventist leader and associate of Mrs. White, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, he revealed:
"She often copies her subject matter without credit or sign of quotation, from other authors. Indeed her last book, 'Great Controversy, ' which they laud so highly as her greatest work, is largely a compilation from Andrew's History of the Sabbath, History of the Waldenses by Wylie, Life of Miller by White, Thoughts on Revelation by Smith, and other books.

"This she pretends was all revealed to her directly from heaven. It is not something she has heard or read, or studied out, but it is what God has revealed to her by the Holy Ghost. . . .

"The Pastor's Union of Healdsburg, California, investigated the matter and published many examples out of hundreds where she had copied her matter directly from other authors without anything to show it was copied. They went through several works and scores of pages finding the same thing all through her books. This proves her guilty of stealing her ideas and material from other authors and putting them off on her followers as a revelation from God!" (p. 139).

While this was acknowledged nearly a century ago, revelations in the past few months have indicated that previous suggestions of her plagiarizing only scratched the surface of its reality and not merely in historical and health matters, but the very core of her doctrinal content. The pastor of the Long Beach Seventy-day Adventist Church in California, Elder Walter Rea, charged last year; "She copied and borrowed for almost everything. Some of this was known before, but not the immense extent of it. What we've now discovered magnifies it tremendously, much of it at the very heart of her theology." He called it a "shocking amount" of copying. [Incidentally, Mrs. White's Sketches from the Life of Paul, published in 1883, plagiarized so profusely from The Life of the Apostle Paul by W. J. Conybeare and J. S. Howson, a classic on the subject, that the publisher of the latter vowed to take appropriate action. Mrs. White's work was quickly and quietly removed from the market.]

How was he rewarded for his honesty? Exactly the same as fellow revelator, Desmond Ford, an Australian. Both were "booted" out of denominational service the first to be honored with a defrocking by the cult since the turn of the century!

Mrs. White's plagiarizing has Adventists everywhere alarmed. The president of the denomination, Neal C. Wilson, has publicly admitted that "the degree of borrowed material and literary dependence is of alarming proportions." The president of the Southwestern Adventist College at Keene, Texas, Donald R. Adams, declared: "To consider her words as possibly derived from someone else and not necessarily the final authority, introduces an element of chaos into the very heart of Adventism that makes all of us uneasy." We should think so!

The secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate in Washington, D.C., Robert W. Olson, shrugged it off by saying plagiarism was a common practice in the 18th and 19th centuries everybody did it! He also sought to explain it by saying Mrs. White had a photographic mind and probably "unconsciously" used the words of others. Yet this would make others some of them not even Christians the inspired revelators, not Mrs. White. We think it would be best for Adventists everywhere to simply admit that Mrs. White got "caught with her hand in the cookie jar," and quit trying to defend what she did.

Was Mrs. White inspired of God in her visions and in her writings ?

How could she have been inspired, when, about five years after the 1844 fiasco when Adventists alleged that Jesus went into the holy place to finish the atonement, she said His work was "almost finished" and therefore, with regard to new converts, "What we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months" (Early Writings, p. 57). Those "few months" have already turned into more than one and a third centuries!

How could she have been inspired, when, in Early Writing, she predicted she would be numbered among "the living saints" when Christ returned (pp. 14-17).

How could she have been inspired, when, in one revelation, she said, "God would not have his people adopt the so-called reformed dress," saying if the ladies wore their dresses sufficiently "to clear the filth of the streets an inch or two" it would be satisfactory (Testimonies, Vol. I, pp. 421,424), yet four years later another vision revealed, "God would now have his people adopt the reformed dress," adding that nine inches above the street would now be satisfactory (Testimonies, Vol. I, pp. 521,525). D. M. Canright said: "If God ever spoke through Mrs. White about anything, he did about the dress, requiring the women to wear it. I was there and know how she urged it, heard her many times. Her Testimonies at the time were full of it." Yet after a few years of repeatedly warning others that they must "bear the responsibility of receiving or rejecting the light given," and warning of their accountability to God if they were "forgetful hearers, and not doers of the work" with regard to the dress, Mrs. White quit wearing it herself!

How could she have been inspired, when, in the early days of the Civil War, she had visions and wrote revelations to the effect that the North would lose the war, saying it was "impossible to have the war conducted successfully" (Testimonies, Vol. I, p. 256); it was "an impossibility now for slavery to be done away" (Ibid, p. 266); the United States would be destroyed ("Had our nation remained united, it would have had strength; but divided, it must fall," Ibid, p. 260); England would get into the war and it would turn into a global conflict ("When England does declare war. all nations will have an interest of their own to serve, and there will be general war," Ibid, p. 259); there would be still another war over slavery ("The system of slavery, which has ruined our nation, is left to live and stir up another rebellion," Ibid.)-, those who died in the war to free the slaves died in vain ("Blood has been poured out like water, and for naught," Ibid, p. 367); and that slavery in the United States would not end until the Lord returned, saying about events at His coming: "I saw the pious slave rise in triumph and victory and shake off the chains that bound him, while his wicked master was in confusion" (Early Writings, p. 28).

How could she have been Inspired, when she wrote about Jerusalem: "I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes. . . .I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing . . . .I saw also that Old Jerusalem would never by built up. . ." (Early Writings, p. 75).

How could she have been inspired, when she professed to have a vision verifying the "shut door" theory that no one could be saved after 1844 ("They offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left," Spiritual Gifts, Vol. I, p. 172), then had another vision that those who knew about the change in our Lord's location could be saved, then had still another vision saying that anyone could be saved.

How could she have been Inspired, when, in one of her visions, she made God a party to misrepresentation and deceit. Regarding the chart William Miller and his associates made, she wrote: "I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as he wanted them; that his hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures" (Early Writings, p. 64). What a reproach that is upon our infallible Lord "who cannot lie" (Tit. 1:2)!

How could she have been inspired, when she declared our Lord Jesus Christ had a "fallen nature"? In The Desire of Ages she wrote: "Notwithstanding that the sins of a guilty world were laid upon Christ, notwithstanding the humiliation of taking upon Himself our fallen nature, the voice from heaven declared Him to be the Son of the Eternal" (p. 112). That is blasphemy! While our Lord took upon Himself human nature, it most definitely was not fallen human nature. If He were to have taken upon Himself a fallen nature, what was the purpose or need of a virgin birth? He could have received a fallen nature from Joseph or any other mere man.

And these are just samples of her blunders, taken almost at random.

Incidentally, perhaps a word from Mrs. White's own pen about her inspiration would prove helpful. On one occasion, she insisted: "I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision" (Testimony, No. 31, p. 63). She said again, "In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days he speaks to them by the Testimonies of his spirit" (Testimony, No. 33, p. 189). And about her writings in those testimonies, she later said: "It is hardly possible for men to offer a greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities that he has appointed to lead these" (Ibid, p. 208). That is blasphemy!

The followers of Mormonism revere the writings of Joseph Smith as inspired of God. The disciples of Christian Science revere the writings of Mary Baker Eddy. The adherents-of Jehovah's Witnesses follow the writings of C. T. Russell, J. F. Rutherford, and N. H. Knorr. The followers of Herbert W. Armstrong quote his words as Gospel. Yet followers of Adventism complain when they are classified as a cult along with these others!


Here is another serious problem with Seventh-day Adventism: it has a totally false understanding of the two-horned beast and the message of the angels in Revelation 13 and 14. Believe it or not, Adventism identifies this two-horned beast as the United States of America, the image of the beast as American Protestantism (one Adventist commentator even concluded that 666 represented the number of divisions of Protestantism into sects since the Reformation), then identifies itself in the third angel's message.

Even though no respectable, responsible commentator had come to such conclusions about this prophecy in the entire history of the Christian church, Mrs. White was not at all timid. She wrote: "The application of the symbols admit of no question. One nation, and only one, meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America" (The Great Controversy, p. 440).

As for the third angel's message, she spoke with equal certainty: "The third angel's message is the gospel message for these last days" (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. VI, p. 24). Since gospel means "good news," it is a strange gospel Mrs. White has the third angel preaching. In Counsels on Health she said, "The health reform is an important part of the third angel's message" (p. 49). In another place she said, "The proclamation of the third angel's message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath truth" (Gospel Workers, p, 156). And she unblushingly boasted, "The third angel, flying in the midst of Heaven, and heralding the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, represents our work" (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. V, p. 383).

Is the above the Gospel? Not according to Paul! Here is how he defined the Gospel: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Cor. 15:1-4). And since Adventism preaches "another gospel," it has the curse and judgment of God upon it (Gal. 1:6-9).

Mrs. White has her Adventist group proclaiming a false gospel! Who do you think has the true Gospel for our day, the followers of the Apostle Paul or the followers of Mrs. Ellen G. White? Quite frankly, I am eager to take my position with Paul.


Here is another serious problem I have with Seventh-day Adventism: it has a totally false understanding of divine law. It mistakenly teaches that people are still under law during this New Testament dispensation of grace; it repeatedly equates "the law" with "the ten commandments"; and it completely disregards the clear teaching as to whom and for whom the law was given.

Note just a few facts about the law as recorded in the Word of God. It is called "the ministration of death" (and note that this description specifically refers to the Ten Commandments), and is something that has been "done away" under grace (II Cor. 3:7,11). The law could be changed; in fact it was "necessary" to do so (Heb. 7:12). The law was only intended as a schoolmaster until Christ; after that, "we are no longer under" it (Gal. 3:19- 25). Since the law was given to Jews and not to Gentiles, it was a "wall of partition" consisting of "enmity" between the two, but now has been "abolished" by Christ through His cross (Eph. 2:14-16). Christ Himself is described as the end, the terminator (gr., telos) of the law (Rom. 10:4). In Matthew 5:17,18, our Lord specifically said He came to "fulfill" the law, and hence it would be "fulfilled."

Adventists have a very bad habit of identifying the Ten Commandments in general and the Sabbath in particular every time they find the words "the law" or "commandments" in the Bible. As if God only wrote Ten Commandments! Yet, as D. M. Canright pointed out: "The ten commandments alone are never called 'the law of the Lord' nor the 'law of God. '. . .The word law occurs in the Bible over 400 times, yet in not one single instance is the decalogue as a whole and alone called 'the law.' It is never in a single instance called 'the law of the Lord,' or 'the law of God.' Of course the ten commandments are a part of the law of God, but only a part, not the whole" (p. 315).

He also noted that all the ceremonial feasts, sacrifices and special days committed to Israel are included in the phrase "the law of the Lord." In that sense, not a single Seventh-day Adventist alive in the world today keeps the law of God. In Luke 2:27 we are told that the parents of the infant Jesus brought Him to the Temple and offered a sacrifice "after the custom of the law." Do Adventists today keep the law in this way and offer such sacrifices? You know they do not.

The big problem relates to the fact that Adventists do not carefully read the Bible to discern why and to whom the law, with its Ten Commandments (and the Sabbath commandment in particular), was given. In the case of the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20 commences: "And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." So this was directed to people who had been slaves in Egypt, then had been delivered by Jehovah God. It had to do with Israel, not the world in general or Adventists in particular.

This was repeated in Deuteronomy 5:3, when Moses said to Israel, "The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day." Note that the law was not even a covenant made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph or the other fathers of Israel. No, it was a covenant made with people who were alive at the time Moses wrote. With this fact in mind, Moses proceeded to list the Ten Commandments and said especially about the Sabbath: "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day" (vss. 14,15). So the Sabbath was a special covenant God made with the people He delivered from the land of Egypt.

The Lord repeated this in Ezekiel 20:10-12, "Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them." Notice very carefully that it was at the time He brought them out of the land of Egypt and into the wilderness that He "gave them my sabbaths." The Sabbath was not given prior to that time, God said. And the Sabbath was a special sign between those people and Jehovah God. It was never intended as a sign for everyone, but only for these particular people.

The same is repeated in Exodus 31:12-18: "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God." Again it is specifically called "a sign" between God and the children of Israel. Nothing is said about anyone else and the passage merely says "the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath."

In the discussions about the Sabbaths in Exodus 34, again we read: "And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel" (vs. 27). So it was a covenant for Israel, for the Jewish people.

At the time of the very first mention of the Sabbath in the Bible, when God gave it to Israel, Exodus 16:29 says, "See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath. . . ." To whom did He give the Sabbath? To "you," to Israel.

The matter is summed up in Nehemiah 9:13,14: "Thou earnest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandest them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant." It was at that time, when God came down upon Mount Sinai, that He "madest known" about His holy Sabbath. Man did not know about it before, did not keep it, and it was not revealed until it was given as a special covenant between Israel and Jehovah God.

In the law God gave Israel there were divine principles, of course, that applied to all people of every age. Those moral, ethical matters are still valid today as they were valid before Sinai but all the ceremonial signs and covenants were fulfilled in Christ and have been abolished. The seventh-day Sabbath is one of those ceremonial observances, surely not a moral law binding upon all humanity.

Let me give you some clear biblical evidence that the Sabbath observance was strictly a ceremonial matter. Perhaps the strongest argument lies in the fact that God Himself listed it as such. In Leviticus 23:1-44, He enumerated His holy convocations. The first one He listed, in verse 3, was the seventh-day Sabbath, which He identified as "an holy convocation." Following that, as further "holy convocations" (vs. 4), He listed the passover Sabbath, the unleavened bread Sabbath, the first fruits Sabbath, the wave-offering Sabbath, the blowing of trumpets Sabbath, the day of atonement Sabbath, and the feast of tabernacles Sabbath. Common rules of honest interpretation demand that, if all the others are ceremonial, then the first one listed, the seventh-day Sabbath, is ceremonial also.

I am curious about your understanding of the Sabbath as a moral law. You say that I am your brother in Christ, yet you know that I do not observe the seventh day, repudiating any suggestion that it is a command for people today. How can you consider me a Christian? According to your philosophy, I am grievously sinning against God two days out of every seven. I sin on the first day of the week because I honor God on Sunday, which is the mark of the beast. And I sin on the seventh day because I fail to obey God's command about rest on that day. So I am grievously sinning 104 days our of every 365.

Could you consider me a good Christian if I violated any of the other nine commandments in such a manner. Would you consider me your brother in Christ if I committed adultery 104 times a year? What if I murdered 104 times a year? What if I robbed banks 104 days out of every 365? Quite frankly, I do not think you have thought the matter through very clearly.

Trying to make the Sabbath observance a moral commandment is fraught with all kinds of problems. For example, if it is a matter of morality, how come another day is satisfactory with God? Romans 14:5,6 make it very clear that men may differ on the day if it is regarded unto the Lord.

If Sabbath observance is a moral matter, how could God say He hated it under certain circumstances (Isa. 1:13,14)?
If Sabbath observance is a moral matter, why did it apply to animals (Exod. 30:10)?
If Sabbath observance is a moral matter, why are Gentiles denounced repeatedly throughout the Old Testament for other sins, yet not one time for failing to keep the Sabbath (and we know they did not)?

If Sabbath observance is a moral matter, how could it be adjusted, modified and amended under certain circumstances? Could the moral commands about murder and adultery be set aside? No, but ceremonial laws about unclean foods, the showbread and the Sabbath could and were (Matt. 12:5).

If Sabbath observance is a moral matter, why are all the other nine commandments repeatedly emphasized in the New Testament, yet nowhere is seventh-day observance commanded? D. M. Canright finds the other nine commandments repeated 109 times in the New Testament, yet the fourth never commanded once. And he points out that in the major "sin passages" of the New Testament such as Mark 7:21,22 (where thirteen sins are enumerated), Romans 1:29-31 (listing nineteen sins), Galatians 5:19-21 (warning of seventeen sins), and II Timothy 3:1-4 (where eighteen sins are catalogued) failing to observe the Sabbath is strangely missing. Not once is one warned he will be punished if he works on the seventh day, nor is he told a single time that there is blessing in keeping it. No, the Sabbath sign between Israel and Jehovah is not a New Testament matter.

The word Sabbath, as I am sure you know, simply means rest. The children of Israel were to rest on that holy day; they were not to work, they were not to build fires for cooking, they were not to leave their homes. Yet Adventists do all these things (except, perhaps, work on that day), in clear violation of the symbolism of rest intended. It was never a day of worship, yet all good Adventists use it thusly today. Why, if they are observing the commandment as it was given in the Old Testament?

The conditions God outlined for Sabbath observance clearly show it was never intended as a universal matter. Is your Sabbath in conformity with the original seventh day? The simple truth is, you do not know. Determining the seventh day hinges upon where the "day line" is placed and it has been centered several different places over the centuries.

Suppose you and two of your college buddies decided to worship every seventh day. Let's say one of your friends left Collegedale, Tennessee, where you are going to school, and traveled east around the world and back home again. Let us say your other friend started west and traveled around the world, ending up at Collegedale again. Yet you stayed right where you were during the weeks it took for their journeys. Acting on the basis of observing a day of rest every seventh sunset, when you all assembled at Collegedale again, the one who traveled east would be worshiping on Friday, you would be worshiping on Saturday, and the one who traveled west would be worshiping on Sunday. Who would be correct?

Although Adventists for years started their seventh-day observance at 6 p.m. on Friday night, one day they discovered that the Scripture called for observance from sunset to sunset, so they changed. (Although it was seriously discussed in 1886 about changing it back to a standard 6 p.m. time, with Ellen G. White and her son both wanting to do so, the plan fell through.) However, if it was ever intended for something other than a covenant between God and the Israelites in Canaan, how would such a plan work for people near the top or the bottom of the globe? At certain times during the year, the sun goes down and it is literally months before it rises again. That would make a mighty long Sabbath observance, wouldn't it? And at other times of the year, the sun rises and does not go down for months. No, the instructions God gave about Sabbath observance were not intended worldwide, only for a particular people in a particular locality.

Ellen G. White and other Adventists say that the pope changed God's law about Sabbath observance from Saturday to Sunday. That is a foolish, silly charge. If so, when was it changed? Where was it changed? In your letter to me you said Sabbath observance would "be a test of obedience for God's people prior to the second coming of Christ." Yet you made that up; that is not what the Bible says.

Adventists are strong on separation of church and state. So am 1. But the Sabbath observance was given as a matter of civil obedience. It was not primarily for individuals or for families. Repeatedly you will note the expression for its observance as "within thy gates" (Exod. 20:10). That is not a phrase used for private dwellings in the Bible, but it is an expression relating to communities, to cities, to nations. The Sabbath was a matter given to civil authorities to enforce.

If, as Adventists want today, the Sabbath is for the people of the United States, then the United States government should enforce it. It should be a matter of law, enacted by our legislative bodies, ordering the seventh day of the week, Saturday, as a day of complete rest. And it would be up to civil authorities to enforce its obedience. Yet I hardly think Adventists want this, since they associate compulsory obedience to the observance of a day with the mark of the beast.

Before I close, let me say a word about Ellen G. White that I trust you will not misunderstand. It is not meant as an attack on her, but I think it is an explanation of how she acted as she did and why her actions still lead people astray. Perhaps she was a very noble, sincere, clean-living woman. I trust she was. But she had some health problems that medical science equates with nervous disease. When she was just a young girl, only nine years of age, another girl threw a rock at her, inflicting a tremendous blow to her head and breaking her nose. In fact, she tells of being unconscious for three weeks, her "nervous system was prostrated," her health appeared to be "hopelessly impaired," and the aftermath was something that plagued her all of her life. She constantly feared she would lose her reason and admits that for one period of two weeks she did. Sometimes in the middle of the night, this prophetess confesses, she would arouse her husband and cry, "I am afraid that I shall become an infidel." In short, she had a problem peculiar to females which the medical science of that day termed "hysteria." Her visions and faintings always occurred during those sickly seasons. As a matter of fact, Mrs. White herself acknowledged that the physicians had diagnosed her trouble as hysteria.

D. M. Canright suspected that such might be her problem and wrote to Dr. W. J. Fairfield, a physician for many years at the Seventh-day Adventist Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. He voiced his suspicions and asked Dr. Fairfield's medical opinion. The latter replied, under date of December 28, 1887: "You are undoubtedly right in ascribing Mrs. E. G. White's so-called visions to disease. It has been my opportunity to observe her case a good deal, covering quite a period of years, which, with a full knowledge of her history from the beginning, gave me no chance to doubt her attacks to be simply hysterical trances. Age itself has almost cured her."

Canright contacted another medical doctor, one who had been chief physician at the same sanitarium, Dr. William Russell, and he responded that he had long since determined in his own mind "that Mrs. White's visions were the result of a diseased organization or condition of the brain or nervous system." Quite frankly, we do not think God had anything to do with her visions and revelations. Her repeated failures adequately bear this out to unbiased and thinking individuals.

By the way, I note what you said in reply to the charge of dishonesty and falsehood practiced by Adventists in concealing their identity. But I was not talking about a speaker waiting until, as you said, "he is far enough along in the meetings to have given people a chance to hear, without any bias"although I think there is an element of deceit in that, too. I was referring to Adventists storming into a community with all kinds of fanfare, expensive advertising, etc., and telling people their crusade is an "undenominational" or "nondenominational" meeting. That is outright, bold, blatant lying!

Perhaps I should mention also your questions about where Dr. Rice got his information regarding such things as the Seventh- day Adventists claiming to be the 144,000, claiming to be the only ones chosen of

God, and the "ascension robes" story. You will surely acknowledge the extreme difficulty of asking a dead man for his documentation, and I confess that I cannot say exactly. I think the 144,000 matter could be proved from a dozen sources. How could one read Mrs. White's Great Controversy, for example, especially the chapter, "God's People Delivered," and conclude she is talking about anyone other than Seventh-day Adventists? As we have already seen, she claimed the message of the third angel "represents our work" (see also Early Writings, pp. 14-17; Testimonies, Vol. VI, pp. 14,15; etc.). As for Adventists alone being chosen of God, Mrs. White wrote to her group in Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers: "I testify to my brethren and sisters that the church of Christ, enfeebled and defective as it may be, is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard" (p. 15, 1923 edition; 8 pages later she identified the church as "the Seventh-Day Adventist Church"; see also The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. IV, p. 232). And since both Mrs. White and her husband plainly taught no one could be saved without keeping the Sabbath, the field of "chosen ones" automatically narrowed tremendously!

Whether or not the Millerites/Adventists of 1844 put on ascension robes and gathered on high hills to await Christ's coming on October 22 is something I cannot say. Beyond dispute, however, thanks to the written legacy those leaders left, many of them sold farms and other property and gave away their money, took their children out of school well in advance of the date (what was the use of educating them?), quit good jobs, and they most definitely did gather in groups to await Christ's coming on that day. Hiram Edson, the man who invented the "heavenly sanctuary cleansing" idea, wrote about his group afterward: "Our expectations were raised high, and thus we looked for our coming Lord until the clock tolled 12 at midnight. The day had then passed and our disappointment became a certainty. Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before. It seemed that the loss of all earthly friends could have been no comparison. We wept, and wept, till the day dawn." So whether they actually donned robes and were waiting in high places, as many authorities claim, is really immaterial.

I would like to close by giving you a choice as to whom you will follow regarding the way to Heaven. Mrs. Ellen G. White, in Testimonies for the Church, wrote: "Jesus has purchased redemption for us. It is ours; but we are placed here on probation to see if we will prove worthy of eternal life" (Vol I, p. 199).

On the other end of this spectrum about forgiveness of sins and eternal life is what Paul told the lawkeepers at Antioch: "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:38,39).

Note very carefully that Mrs. White says eternal life, although purchased by Jesus for us, is given only to those who "prove worthy"hence merit it. On the other hand, Paul is saying that forgiveness of sins, hence eternal life, is received by believing in Christ justification is something totally impossible to obtain by keeping the law.

Whom will you believe?