Transcript from the video
Is obeying the Sabbath a requirement for salvation? Now let me just be clear that not every single adventist that you meet is going to believe this but adventism as a whole does teach this and let me prove it to you. Ellen G White says this “The Sabbath is the golden clasp that unites God and his people. It means eternal salvation to keep the Sabbath holy unto the Lord.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that. She is basically saying and if people are following her teachings and her teachings are being taught in their churches she says “The Sabbath is the golden clasp that unites God with his people. It means eternal salvation for you to keep the Sabbath.” Implication: if you don’t keep the Sabbath you don’t have eternal salvation. That’s what she’s teaching. Then she says this “The seal of the living God is placed upon those who conscientiously keep the Sabbath of the Lord.” If you want to have the seal of God on your life, you have to conscientiously keep the Sabbath of the Lord. This is what she’s saying. Let’s see what the bible says about this idea of the seal. The bible says in ephesians 1:13-14 “In him you also after living listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed you were sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance.” Let me read Ephesians 4:30 “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” The bible says that when we believed in Christ, we were sealed. What was the proof of that seal? The Holy Spirit living in us is the proof that we are sealed. The bible doesn’t say that the proof that we’re sealed is obeying the Sabbath or in order to get sealed you have to obey the Sabbath. Nowhere in the bible does it say that the Sabbath is the seal that guarantees your salvation. Doesn’t say it anywhere. There’s not a scripture that says that but this is what they are being taught coming down from Ellen G White.
This passage here could be perhaps one of the strongest proof texts against keeping the Sabbath – Acts chapter 15. Acts 15 says this: While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses you cannot be saved.” Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them arguing vehemently. Let me give you the background. Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch. There were some Jewish believers that came down to Antioch and they were trying to tell the people there “If you really want to be saved, you have to obey the law of Moses and be circumcised.” Because that’s not true, Paul and Barnabas started arguing with these people and said “That’s not true.” So you have this church that’s now confused, has Jews and Gentiles and they don’t know what to believe. And so they say “Paul and Barnabas, go up to Jerusalem, to the headquarters and get an answer for us, so that we will know exactly what we should do, like what parts of the law should we agree, what parts of the law should we obey and which ones shouldn’t we because there’s too much tension in the church. You have Jews that said one thing, Gentiles saying another.” In acts 15:10-11, as they were talking amongst themselves in Jerusalem – that was called the Jerusalem council – they said “So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?” They were saying “Why are we going to place an extra burden on these Gentile believers to obey the law, which clearly we haven’t been able to do either?” They’re saying “This is a yoke that we have not been able to bear. If we’ve been proven that we can’t bear it, why would we then now place them on the backs of Gentiles, who we know can’t bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” It doesn’t say “we are saved by obeying the Sabbath”, it says “we’re saved by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” This is the decision that they come up with at the church. “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.” No mention here of keeping the Sabbath. You would think that if the inspired writers of the New Testament, the group of Christians, the leaders of the church, if obeying the Sabbath was a requirement for salvation, you would think at this council that they would have included this as a requirement for salvation whenever they were telling the Gentiles how they needed to be saved as they come into the church. You would have assumed they would have put that in the list. They put sexual immorality in there, they put eating food offering to idols in there. You would think that they would have also said “And make sure these Gentile believers keep the Sabbath, it’s necessary for their salvation.” No mention of it in Acts 15 because it’s not a requirement for salvation; it’s a gift that God gives us. It’s an option for us to take.
Galatians 2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified…” By keeping the Sabbath? No. “…by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the lost no flesh shall be justified.” All over the New Testament I can find scriptures that talk about that. We are not justified by keeping the Sabbath or by any work of the law. If you talk to an average adventist, they’ll say “We don’t believe that either” but the teachings of their organization say otherwise.
Next question – Didn’t God institute the Sabbath at creation? This is coming from the adventist.org website. They say “The gracious creator, after the six days of creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of creation.” There’s a lot of problems in that statement right there. First and foremost, nowhere before the ten commandments were given in the bible was there a law that was written down or established that people had to observe the Sabbath. What did happen is God did rest on the seventh day but just because God did that does not mean we need to equate it and say there is now a law in place that we must obey and if we don’t, we’re not saved. Yes, God rested on the seventh day but it wasn’t until the ten commandments were given by Moses before there was actually a law in place that the people had to obey the Sabbath. It says in the adventist page. He instituted the Sabbath for who? All people? No, because when Moses came along and gave the law, he gave it to who? The Israelites. The entire mosaic law was not given to Gentiles; it was given to a specific group of people for a specific purpose for a specific time. Who were the people? The Israelites? What was the purpose? To set them apart from all the other nations so that they would be different. And what was the time period? For the time of the old covenant. Once that old covenant was done away with, because we are now living in a new covenant, that old covenant is no longer necessary. And once again you are more than likely not an Israelite, you’re not a Jewish person watching this video so that that set of commandments wasn’t even given to you specifically. You may say “How do I know which parts of the Old Testament are still valid?” Here’s the idea. The sins in the Old Testament that we are still responsible for in terms of the moral law of the of the Old Testament, those were repeated in the New Testament – thou shalt not murder, thou shall not lie, thou shalt not steal, all those are repeated in the New Testament. Have you ever asked yourself the question, when Paul came up with all of these different lists about homosexuality and sexual immorality and idolatry and coveting, why is it that not one time did he also put in breaking the Sabbath, not keeping the Sabbath? You would think that out of all the lists that Paul put in the New Testament for sins, he would have put that one in there, if indeed that was something that particularly if your salvation depended on it. But not one time do we see that. You may also say “God didn’t have to repeat that commandment again because he knew that God’s people already knew that they should keep the Sabbath.” Well if that’s the case, God didn’t have to repeat that you shouldn’t murder, you shouldn’t steal and you shouldn’t honor your mother and father. We could make the same argument: God already knew that the people knew that they shouldn’t murder so why would God have to repeat that through the New Testament writers? The reason why is because keeping the Sabbath is not a requirement for salvation
The next one: Sunday worship. Because that’s now an attack on those who are not adventists. The Sabbath is and always will be the seventh day. It’s always going to be Saturday, the seventh day. No one is changing the Sabbath. But we do choose freely to worship on another day beyond the Sabbath but that doesn’t mean that Sunday is the new Sabbath. There’s no such thing as Sunday being the new Sabbath. Sabbath will always be Saturday. Let me read to you some things from Ellen G White and some others in terms of Sunday worship, how they view Sunday worship. When I say “they” meaning “adventism” as a whole, as the movement, not every single adventist that you may meet.
If the light of truth has been presented to you, revealing the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and showing that there is no foundation in the word of God for Sunday observance, and yet you still cling to the false Sabbath, refusing to keep holy the Sabbath which God calls “My holy day”, you receive the mark of the beast.
When does this take place? When you obey the decree that commands you to cease from labor on Sunday and worship God. While you know that there is not a word in the bible showing Sunday to be other than a common working day, you consent to receive the mark of the beast and refuse the seal of God. What she is saying here is: If you understand the idea and the importance of the Sabbath, if that light of truth has been presented to you and you now purposely refuse that light, and you reject that light and you now worship on Sunday, you’ve received the mark of the beast and refuse the seal of God. First and foremost, the mark of the beast isn’t even something that you can even experience until the seven-year tribulation period so I’m not even sure exactly what this means.
God has given men the Sabbath as a sign between him and them as a test of their loyalty. (So you see whether you’re loyal to God or not, the test of your true loyalty is if you obey the Sabbath.) Those who after the light regarding God’s law comes to them, continue to disobey and exalt human laws… (What’s human law? Sunday, letting you worship on Sunday, that’s a human law.) …above the law of God in the great crisis before us, we’ll receive the mark of the beast. The rejection of God’s holy memorial (the Sabbath) will decide the fate of many professing Christians.
If you reject obeying the Sabbath, to an adventist, that means that could decide your fate because you’re a professing Christian and you have rejected the Sabbath so that could decide your fate.
I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear waiting saints. And if one believed and kept the Sabbath and received the blessing attending it, and then gave it up and broke the holy commandment, they would shut the gates of the holy city against themselves, as sure as there was a God that rules in heaven above.
There are so many problems with this. It sounds like they’re teaching that you are in charge of your own salvation, which is not what scripture says. The bible says “for by grace we’ve been saved through faith and this not of ourselves, it’s a gift of God, not by works.” Our salvation doesn’t even depend on us. That’s election. Election teaches that in the New Testament, our salvation did not originate with us, it originated with God, the author and finisher of our faith. It’s not about “II keep trying, I do the Sabbath and I keep working harder, then I’ll get there but if I don’t I’m shutting the gates of heaven against myself. This isn’t sound doctrine. What does the bible say?
Romans 14:5-6. In the same way some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whatever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him.
That’s what we need to be teaching people. If you want to worship God on Saturday, then be my guest. I may join you one day, my brother adventist, and let’s worship God together from sundown on friday to sundown on Saturday. But maybe you should join me in church on Sunday. It’s not a sin to go to church on Sunday. So once again if you want to do that, that’s fine, you’re not wrong in doing that but if you want to go to church on another day, Paul gives you that freedom to be able to do that. Once again, no time in the entire New Testament do any New Testament writers mandate or command Sabbath worship, nor does Jesus ever command it which we’ll talk about in a second because so many people say he observed. Why would Paul write this and lead people to take the mark of the beast? Why would the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, write something that could potentially lead people to receive or consent to the mark of the beast? If they read his writings and they could easily be like “I don’t have to go to church on Saturday, I could go to church on any day.” Paul’s encouraging me to take the mark of the beast. Is that something you think that the New Testament writers would do? No, it’s not.
Didn’t Jesus observe the Sabbath? Some people say “Jesus observed the Sabbath, so shouldn’t we?” This is a very simple question to answer. We have to understand that the new covenant that Christ brought did not render effective until Christ died. It wasn’t until he was crucified on the cross where he offered his blood as a sacrifice and a propitiation for our sins and took our place on the cross for our sins. That is what issued in the new covenant. Not his life, it was his death. So while he was alive, he observed the Sabbath because he was still under the old covenant, he was still under everything that was still under the old covenant, until he died on the cross. Now he’s issuing in a new covenant, which is why the new Testament writers point to the death of Christ, not the life of Christ. It’s the death of Christ that gives us this new freedom that we have and now the old Testament law has been nailed to what? Not his manger, not his birthplace, nailed to the cross with all of its requirements. I believe that’s Colossians 2:16. Yes, Jesus observed the Sabbath but you can’t point to that and say because Jesus observed it then therefore every Christian must because Jesus was living in the old covenant at that time and the new covenant had not yet been established or instituted.
There is so much more that I could get into as it relates to this idea of the Sabbath but I wanted to present to you what I believe the bible says about the Sabbath as well as what the adventists are teaching about this. And I just want to caution you if you are an adventist that you don’t have to live the rest of your life in fear that if you don’t keep the Sabbath, you’re going to go to hell nor should you ascribe loyalty to an organization when you know in your heart that what it’s teaching is not right. If you’re an adventist that says “We don’t follow Ellen G White in my church or we don’t follow the adventist.org website, we don’t really go by that”, then why are you a part of it if deep in your heart you already see that there is some inconsistencies with it? So I really want to encourage us all to look at the scriptures and what they say and don’t follow a human messenger or prophet or prophetess. Make sure that we follow sound biblical doctrine. The Sabbath is not a requirement for salvation. If you want to observe it, by all means be free to do it but you do not have to in order to be saved.