Commentary on "Equipping for Evangelism and Witnessing"
Day 2: Sunday, May 20, 2012 - The Need for Training
Jesus’ command to “Follow Me, and I will you fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19, Mark 1:17) is set in context to the great commission to make disciples (Mt. 28:19).
The questions are asked:
The questions asked expose the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s unique understanding of Revelation and how they see themselves in relation to the rest of the world.
The SDA church relies on the three angels’ message as a means to identify themselves as the true remnant church of the last days. They see themselves as the fulfillment of each angel’s message. They have the spirit of prophecy (Ellen G. White) who has given them the truest “everlasting gospel” to proclaim to the nations; they are the remnant church that has left Babylon (Roman Catholicism); and they are the commandment-keepers of God who keep all His commands (most specifically the Sabbath).
However, it is important to note that while Adventism uses Revelation 14 to distinguish themselves as the remnant church with the “everlasting gospel”, the distinctives (Ellen White, the Investigative or Pre-advent Judgment, and the Sabbath as the seal of God) they add into those passages are qualifiers as to why they believe they are the remnant; they are not the gospel itself. Unfortunately though, Adventism has made these distinctives (the doctrine read right into the passage when it doesn’t exist) to be synonymous with the “gospel”. The gospel shift is subtle, but it does turn the “everlasting gospel” of Jesus saves (Rev. 14:6) into a different or false gospel; turning the focus away from Jesus to their own unique status as a group.
Using the three angels’ message as their spring-board for evangelizing the everlasting gospel reveals the motivation behind Seventh-day Adventist evangelistic efforts. The motivation is to bring the “lost” to the truth of Sabbath-keeping.
Adventists see the “lost” as those who worship God on Sunday. These Sunday worshippers, as they interpret Scripture, are “Babylon” because they understand Sunday worship to be rooted in pagan Rome (Sun god) and the Roman Catholic Church changing Sabbath to Sunday; not in celebration and as a memorial to Christ’s resurrection and therefore the believer’s new life in Christ (through His death and resurrection).
For SDAs salvation is ultimately determined by the day one worships God (Saturday/Sabbath v. Sunday) instead of by faith alone in Christ alone. Let’s take a look at how Ellen G. White explains it:
The Sabbath is the sign of God; it is the seal of His law. Isaiah 8:16. It is the token of His authority and power. It is a sign whereby we may know that He is God, and therefore it is appropriately said to be placed in the forehead. The worshipers of the beast (Revelation 13) are said to receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands. As the forehead represents the intellect, the hand represents power, as Psalm 89:48, “Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” Compulsory worship is not acceptable to God; His servants are sealed only in their foreheads. But it is acceptable to wicked powers; it has always been craved by the Romish hierarchy. See chapter 25 for proof on the nature of this mark. The sign or seal of God is his Sabbath, and the seal or mark of the beast is in direct opposition to it; it is a counterfeit Sabbath on the “day of the sun.” According to Revelation 14:9-12, they who do not receive the mark of the beast keep the commandments of God; and the Sabbath is in the fourth precept; they keep the Sabbath of the Lord; they have his sign or seal. The importance of this sign is shown in this, that the fourth commandment is the only one in the law which distinguishes the Creator from false gods. Compare Jeremiah 10:10-12; Acts 17:23, 24; Revelation 14:6, 7, etc. and it is that part of his law for keeping which his people will suffer persecution. But when the wrath of God comes upon the persecutors who are found enforcing the sign or mark of the beast, then they will realize the importance of the Sabbath,—the seal of the living God. They who turn away from that which the Lord spoke when his voice shook the earth, will confess their fatal error when his voice shall shake the heavens and the earth. Hebrews 12:25, 26; Joel 3:9-16, and others. See also pages 639, 640 of this book. (The Great Controversy 1888 691.3)
As a result of this unique or distinct understanding, the greater emphasis of Seventh-day Adventist’s evangelistic efforts are geared toward proselytizing to anyone who doesn’t keep the seventh-day Sabbath which would include many already born again Christians who attend church on Sunday.
Their concern is that most professed Christians are Sunday Sabbatarians, not seventh-day Sabbath worshipers of God; thus Sunday worshippers will receive the mark of the beast. This is the third angel’s message as SDAs interpret it—worship the beast (on Sunday) and receive the mark of the beast. Or, keep the commandments of God (observing all His commandments including the true seventh-day Sabbath) and receive the seal of God.
Copyright 2012 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised May 18, 2012. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
The Sabbath School Bible Study Guide and the corresponding E.G. White Notes are published by Pacific Press Publishing Association, which is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The current quarter's editions are pictured above.
Official Adventist Resources
Please Support This Project