7th DAY ADVENTISTS:
The 7th Day Adventist Voice of Prophecy broadcast is The Voice of False Prophecy. They broke the 9th commandment by bearing false witness twisting the following quote in an attempt to confirm the 4th, keep the Sabbath holy.
In a 31 page pamphlet, Authoritative Quotations on the Sabbath and Sunday, they omitted portions from the encyclopedia quote shown in red italics:
“Sunday (dies-solis. of the Roman calendar, day of the sun, because dedicated to the sun), was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship. The sun of Latin adoration they interpreted as the “sun of righteousness”... Sunday was emphatically the weekly feast of the resurrection of Christ, as the Jewish Sabbath was the feast of creation. It was called the ‘Lord’s Day,’ and upon it the primitive church assembled to break bread (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). ... No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor, indeed is its observance even enjoined.... yet Christian feeling led to the universal adoption of the day in imitation of Apostolic precedence. In the second century its observance was universal.”1
A SDA pastor blushed with embarrassment in my home trying to explain the obvious deception.
They claim to be “the remnant church” and all Sunday worshippers are part of the great apostasy of Babylon. They agree “God has his children in all churches,” but add: “Through the remnant church He proclaims a message that is to restore true worship by calling His people out of apostasy [Sunday worship] and preparing them for Christ’s return.”
You must leave your church and “come into the truth.” This mindset makes them very divisive, controlling, mean spirited, harsh and legalistic. They call the Catholic church “the Harlot of Babylon” and Protestant churches “daughters of Babylon.” Adventists want us to think they are mainstream Christianity.
THE SATURDAY SABBATH
Sabbath observance was a memorial of creation (Exodus 31:16-17). Later, it was a memorial of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery (Deuteronomy 5:15). And in the New Testament it was fulfilled by Jesus in the rest we have in Christ (Hebrews 4). Here we see that throughout history it was celebrated for different reasons: first, creation; second, the exodus from Egypt and third our rest in Christ. “Wicked are like a troubled see that cannot rest but casts up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20).
“Don’t judge in meat, drink or Sabbaths that are a shadow, a symbol, of the reality found in Christ” (Col.2:16,17). At an airport, a large shadow crossed my path. Looking up, I saw a jumbo jet, something greater than its shadow, coming in for a landing. The Sabbath rest was a shadow of Jesus who was to come and give us eternal rest (Hebrews 4). Dietary laws were fulfilled by the Bread of Life, Jesus. Adventists put all emphasis on symbols and forget what they symbolize. Pharisee means “separate.” They were separated by clothes, food and days and also from sinners but Jesus was a friend of sinners.
God told Israel to keep the Passover forever (Exodus 12:14). Jesus fulfilled it for he is our Passover lamb sacrificed for us (1 Cor. 5:7). The Passover feast continues today in a different form, the communion service, with grape juice as a symbol of his blood (1 Cor. 11:25).
The children of Israel were told to keep the Sabbath forever as a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt (Deut. 5:15). The Sabbath continues today in a different form, our rest in Christ (Heb.4:1-12; Matt.11:28,29). Adventists in the shadows, adhere to symbols not knowing what they symbolize. The Sabbath points to Jesus not to a day on the calendar but in remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt by the Passover Lamb, Jesus (Deut. 5:15). Here we see it is not a legalistic prescription to relax on a certain day but like the Passover it is a celebration of a Person, Jesus, the substance that fulfills the symbol.
Come out of shadows into the Light. There is a vast difference between abolishing law and fulfilling it. Love fulfills the law. If you love someone you will not kill him. “You shall not kill [murder]” is fulfilled in this way. True love protects the innocent so it is within the law to have police and armies to subdue criminals and murderous nations. Rulers do not bear the sword in vain (Romans 13:4). We must distinguish between killing and murder. Some think the moral law was abolished but have a rude awakening in jail after they are caught. It was written in our conscience long before the time of Moses (Romans 2:14,15). “Whosoever sheds man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6). Civil, dietary, and ceremonial laws were fulfilled. Adventists are like Jews and others who keep feasts and Sabbaths not realizing they was fulfilled.
Revelation 12:17 is a key verse in Adventism:
“The dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
How do we know what commandments John is referring to in the above verse? Is it the “eternal ten” from the Old Testament or the two Jesus gave, “Love God and love your neighbour?” (Matt. 22:36-40). The only way to accurately interpret Scripture is to see what the Bible says about itself. John wrote Revelation and also four other Bible books. Read his words in 1 John 3:23,24:
“...keep his commandments...and this is His commandment that we should believe on his Son, Jesus, and love one another.” This is God, the Father, commanding us to believe on his Son. “And this commandment we have from Him that he who loves God loves his brother also” (1 John 4:21). Revelation 22:12-14 tells of Jesus and to “keep his commandments.”
There are moral, civil and ceremonial laws. Moral aspects of the law such as “do not steal or murder” are universal today in dealing with lawless people (1 Timothy 1:9). With God’s love in our hearts we don’t need laws to restrain us from murdering our neighbours. We treat them the way we want them to treat us. Legalism refers to ceremonial laws concerning days, diets, dress codes and other things pertaining to works, culture and outward appearance. Under the law people were put to death for working on the Sabbath and were forbidden to light a fire so were out of luck if they had a gas or wood stove. “We are ministers of the New Testament for the ministration of death engraved in stones was done away” (2 Cor. 3:6,7).
“The sign or seal of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation...the mark of the beast  is the opposite-- the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.”5
They teach that Sabbath observance is “the seal of God” that separates them from Sunday observers who are followers of the beast. This is fiction for circumcision of the flesh was the sign and seal of righteousness in the Old Testament (Rom. 4:11) and was a symbol that was fulfilled by heart circumcision. God requires a “circumcision inwardly of the heart” (Rom. 2:28,29). The Holy Spirit is the seal in the new covenant (Eph. 4:30). If Sunday implies sun worship then Saturday speaks of Saturn worship!
Their harsh judgment is the lake of fire for not observing the Sabbath. If Sabbath breaking is such a deadly sin, why is it never included in any New Testament list of sins and why is its observance not mentioned for gentiles in the New Testament? Neither the Pope nor anyone else changed the Saturday Sabbath. On Sunday we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
Blood of animals covered sin in Old Testament times. A post-dated cheque does not erase a debt but covers it until a certain date when money is deposited in the bank. In like manner, animal blood covered sin until, figuratively speaking, money was in the bank at Calvary where Jesus paid it all. He paid a debt he did not owe since we owed a debt we could not pay.
The old covenant had blood of animals but the new has the blood of Jesus (Luke 22:19,20). The wicked are like a troubled sea that cannot rest but the weekly Sabbath is fulfilled when we enter God’s rest for our souls by faith in Christ (Heb. 4). In our church we have Saturday and Sunday meetings.
Most Christians celebrate Christ’s resurrection by worshipping on Sunday (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). Choose the day of worship and diet you prefer and accept those weak in faith who eat only vegetables (Romans 14:1-6). “Nothing is unclean of itself but to you it is unclean if you think so” (Rom.14:14). Eat fish! Jesus ate the Passover meal of lamb, multiplied fish and fed thousands (John 6). They ate roast beef when the prodigal son came home (Luke 15). “No food should be refused if it is received with thanksgiving and sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Tim. 4:1-5).
No meats that enter our stomachs can defile us but evil thoughts and other things that come out of our hearts defile us (Mark 7:18-23). Keep in mind that the best way to become fat is to eat fat for it goes from lip to hip. It is suicidal to smoke or overeat. If you become like a Buddha, a blimp or a sumo wrestler you will not be able to move and exercise to lose weight. Do smokers get to heaven sooner?
Many sinned without the law (Rom. 2:12). The moral law makes sin known but cannot forgive. You could drive 100 miles an hour down main street and not be charged unless a law limited speed. We have all broken God’s moral laws but Jesus paid our death penalty on the cross.
Disciples preached Jesus Christ in the temple and in every house every day of the week (Acts 5:42). They entered the temple to preach Jesus not to observe the Sabbath. Jesus knew there would be non-Christian Jews that would flee to the mountains during tribulation of the last days so he said to pray their flight would not be on the Sabbath (Matt. 24). “What is the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions UNTIL the seed [Christ] should come” (Galatians 3:19). Jesus was “wounded for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5).
Paul, a Pharisee, was not a Christian but blameless as far as the law was concerned (Philippians. 3:1-14). Moses taught the ten commandments: “The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers but with us” (Deut. 5:3-23). From creation to Moses there was no command to observe the Sabbath. Adam transgressed the command “You shall not eat” not the ten. Noah obeyed the command to build the ark. Legalists are self-righteous control freaks who suffocate you in a straitjacket of external demands.
Seventh Day Adventists with tunnel vision think the Old Covenant is primarily the 10 commandments but that is only a small part of it. The main difference concerns the blood of bulls and goats versus the blood of Christ, a better Priesthood, Jesus, and we become the temple (Hebrews chapters 9 & 10; 1 Cor. 3:16)..
Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God was strong on Sabbath and feast keeping. After his death, church leaders became Christians and now even the Plain Truth magazine tells the truth. His son, Garner Ted Armstrong in Texas, and many splinter groups continue to flounder as they flog their founder’s errors. Those in Judaism seek enlightenment by keeping 630 laws or through social improvement but remain in darkness waiting for the first coming of the Messiah but we expect his second coming. Many in Messianic Judaism recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. The Bible tells precisely when he will come, when you least expect him like a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10).
The voice of false prophecy continues today. Prophetess, Ellen G. White (1827-1915), is co-founder of the SDA Church.2 A rock struck her head at age nine and she lost reason for two weeks at a time. Physicians diagnosed her problem as hysteria.
“In times past God spoke by prophets but in these last days spoke by his son” (Heb. 1:1,2). John the Baptist was the last prophet (Luke 16:16). Ellen White, Joseph Smith, William Branham, Charles Russell, Benny Hinn, Van Impi, Y2K prophets and all other end time speculators are wrong 100% of the time. True prophecy today is a repetition of words of Old Testament prophets, apostles and Jesus. There is nothing new for they said what would happen until the end of time. Two identifying marks of “wolves in sheep’s clothing” are false prophecy and wonderful works (Matt. 7:15,22-23). Faith without works and works without faith are both dead (James 2:17; Hebrews 9:14).
White also predicted she would be among the living saints when Christ returned.4 She also said England would destroy the USA and the civil war was a sign of Christ’s return. A false prophet’s predictions fail. White declared herself a false prophet when she said, “If my prophecies do not come to pass you know I am a false prophet.” (See Deut. 18:18-22; 13:1-5). The best place to see true signs of the last days is in the mirror. When 7th Day Adventists look there they see Bible twisting false prophets.
Ellen copied 80% of her writings from others then copyrighted them. N.C. Wilson, SDA president, said, “The degree of borrowed material and literary dependence is of alarming proportions.” Believing the lie that she is the true “spirit of prophecy” is a condition for church membership. They have the spirit of prophecy mentioned in 1 Kings 22:22: “A lying spirit in the mouths of prophets.” Pastor Russell, Jehovah’s Witness founder, learned the art of false prophesying from Adventists. Both are non-prophet organizations designed to deceive.
This Doomsday cult is based totally on false prophecy so is self destructing. They pontificate in deceptive Revelation seminars masquerading as reliable Bible teachers but lost their compass in 1844 when Jesus did not return as predicted. They should read their tea leaves again. When it started, the first casualty was truth. Most are motor mouths with the gift of gab so getting a word in edgewise is an exercise in futility. False prophesying is like shooting an arrow into a tree then painting a bull’s eye around it. 278 of the 404 verses in Revelation are from the Old Testament so one cannot be understood without the other.
A generation is about 40 years. Jesus prophesied the temple would be torn down in his generation. It was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans under General Titus (Luke 21:5,6,32).
William Miller used the day-year theory to predict Jesus would return and cleanse the sanctuary, Earth, on October 22, 1844. He changed 2300 days of Daniel 8 and 9 to 2300 years then counted from 457 B.C. Ellen White at age 17 placed her prophetic stamp of approval on his dates. They waited until midnight but Jesus did not show up so they cried until morning.
Hiram Edson on his way home took a short cut through a corn field to avoid mocking gazes of neighbours and had a vision of Christ cleansing the sanctuary in heaven not earth as was first prophesied. Ellen White with slight of mind confirmed Edson’s repackaged lie was correct. The ground-hog has a better record for prophetic accuracy. White lies continue:
False prophet, Miller, had a “shut door” theory based on Matthew 25:10. This new light [new darkness] said nobody could be saved after 1844 since Jesus left the outer sanctuary and entered the inner sanctuary of heaven to investigate people’s sins. Prophetess Ellen White said, “They offer up useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left.”3 Adventists do not believe their own prophetess who said that prayers after 1844 are “useless.” The Bible makes no reference to useless prayers. I imagine they totally defy her by praying in their churches.
This has no basis in Scripture for God forgives and forgets our sins when we confess them. Jesus was judged for our sins and became guilty on our behalf on the cross so there are no sins to investigate or judge. A super-secret committee of SDA top scholars studied the investigative judgment theory for five years but found it unbiblical. They disbanded and were told to teach it based on “traditional assumptions.”
Note the following Bible twisting: “And he said unto me, unto 2300 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” (Daniel 8:14 KJV). The SDA Review and Herald Publishing Assn. printed The Clear Word Bible and changed the text to support the investigative judgment heresy. Note the slight of hand and mind:
“After 2300 prophetic days (or 2300 years), God will step in, proclaim the truth about himself and restore the ministry of the sanctuary in heaven to its rightful place. This is when the judgment will begin of which the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary was a type.” Truly, it is a cunningly devised fable.
FALSE CHRIST & SOUL SLEEP
Adventists have the same false Christ as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Michael, and believe in soul sleep and annihilation at death. Michael is one of many “Chief Princes” (Daniel 10:13), but Jesus is God’s only Son who created all things (John 1:3). People are alive and conscious and their existence is not interrupted during sleep. After death, the rich man and Lazarus were conscious (Luke 16:22-31). Souls/spirits are “carried by angels” to places of comfort or torment at death (v.22). Humans are “body, soul and spirit” (1 Thess. 5:23). Read about false Christs, spirits and gospels in 2 Cor. 11:4.
We have material and immaterial natures, our inner and outer man (2 Cor. 4:16). After death, Christians are absent from their bodies present with the Lord, conscious in heaven (2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 6:9-11; 20:4). At resurrection we receive glorified, visible bodies of flesh and bones (Phil. 3:21). When Jesus returns with his saints, souls and resurrected bodies reunite (1 Thess. 3:13). “Graves (mnamei in Greek) were opened and bodies of saints that slept arose” (Matt. 27:52). Notice that bodies slept not souls. Hell is not the grave for they are translated from different Greek words. Jesus raised Lazarus from his grave, mnamei, not from his hades.
Man can kill the body but not the soul (Matt. 10:28). A person’s soul is IN him (Psalm 42:5). At Calvary, Jesus’ spirit departed to the Father and he preached to spirits, not bodies, in prison between his death and resurrection (Luke 23:46; 1 Peter 3:18,19). How could he preach to spirits if they were annihilated?
Disembodied souls of people beheaded for the witness of Jesus are alive, conscious and speaking at the throne of God (Rev. 6:9-11;20:4). Adventists obviously study the Bible with eyes wide shut, blinded by legalistic prescriptions. Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus thousands of years after death (Matthew 17:1-4). Adventists, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim they are the only true church, the remnant, and all others will bite the dust at Armageddon. All churches have one thing in common, none can save from sin. “Jesus saves” (Matt. 1:21).
“Judge” everything you hear or read by comparing it with God’s standard the Bible (Acts 17:11; 1 Cor. 14:29). God does not contradict himself by saying something in Scripture then give a contradictory message by some false prophet, vision or dream. Do not judge hypocritically beholding a speck in another’s eye with a beam in yours (Matt. 7:1-5; John 7:24). Some talk Christianity by the mile and live it by the inch as deeds do not harmonize with creeds.
Tradition is defined as continuing something because it was practiced in the past. Keeping laws about unclean foods is just tradition since Jesus declared all foods clean (Romans 14:14). Nothing should be refused (1 Timothy 4:4,5). Keeping ceremonial laws about feasts and Sabbaths that Jesus fulfilled becomes vain tradition. Jesus made this issue clear in Mark 7:1-24.
Sabbath observance is an attempt to earn salvation by works, something we DO but it is DONE, it is finished. Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves which is symbolic of human effort for salvation. Jesus cursed the fig tree.
Jesus was in the tomb three days and three nights. This does not mean he was there a full 72 hours since Jews measure time differently than us. In that culture, part of a day was considered a full day. Why make primary out of secondary issues?
SALVATION, NOT OF WORKS
The cross is the focal point of history. The whole Jewish sacrificial system was a symbol of Calvary. They looked forward to the cross, “seeing it afar off’’ (Heb. 11:13) and we look back to it for salvation. Laws written on stone on Mt. Sinai were “faulty” so were changed by writing them on hearts indicating salvation is an inside job (Heb. 8:7-13). Jesus is more concerned about the spirit than the letter of the law. In the Sermon on the Mount, he said an angry person is a killer at heart.
If you upset a glass of water, water will flow out. Whatever is on the inside comes out when you are upset. If bitterness, hate, rage, cursing and revenge appear you know what is inside. The law of love produces in us what the law demands. It takes away anger and enables us to turn the other cheek. It’s easy to act like angels if others don’t ruffle our feathers. Anger, like acid, does most harm to the container it is in. It is hard to let your light shine after blowing a fuse! A legalistic limitation was half a mile on the Sabbath but love constrains us to go a second mile. Adventists travel many miles on the Sabbath ignoring the law.
Jesus gave insight into the mindset of a legalistic Pharisee who prayed in the temple: “I’m glad I am not as other men; I fast, pray and give.” A tax collector prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner” and was justified (Luke 18:10-14). The Pharisee, clad in rags of self-righteousness, compared himself with the publican. We fall short when we compare ourselves with the holiness of God. We need “the gift of righteousness” from Jesus Christ also called “the breastplate of righteousness” (Rom. 5:17; Eph. 6:14).
Christians are called saints since they have that gift not because they are sinless but they sin less and less. They will be judged in the last day on the basis of Christ’s perfect imputed righteousness not the kind that comes from the law. If all their works are burned up they will be saved (1 Cor. 3:15). Robes of fine, white linen are symbolic of righteousness of Christians (Rev.19:8). Pray: Jesus, forgive my sins. I accept you as my Saviour from sin, and you will be given the gift of righteousness.
A person suffocating in legalism trusts his own dead works for salvation, Heb. 9:14, but a Christian trusts the finished work of Christ. Salvation is not “DO” but “DONE.” Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The word “finished” is tetelestai in Greek meaning paid in full was used by merchants on bills of sale. “Not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law UNTIL all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18). We owed a debt we could not pay but Jesus paid a debt he did not owe. “The work of God is to believe in Jesus” (John 6:28,29). We can save the dollar but it can’t save us. Jesus saves from sin (Mat.1:21). Never mind Rock & Roll; get Jesus in your soul! Working out salvation that was not worked in first is like working water out of a dry sponge (Phil. 2:12,13).
The false Christs of cults are powerless to save from sin. Accept the real Jesus, 100% man and 100% God=200% (Phil. 2:6,7). Anything less is a false Christ. Jesus is “the fullness of God in bodily form” not a created angel (Colossians 2:9).
What does this mean?: “The law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24,25). Moses, who killed an Egyptian, came down from Mt. Sainai with the law etched in stone. The first commandment was to have no other gods but at the base of the mountain Israelites already had a golden calf. Moses in anger broke the tablets by throwing them to the ground. Picture in your mind these lawbreakers, like us, standing before the broken law with a false god. Their only hope was the future coming of Christ. Moses made animal sacrifices and the blood covered their sins. Old Testament people looked forward in faith to Calvary for salvation but we look back to the same place where Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
Perhaps you try to do everything right and keep the Sabbath holy but what about past and daily sins and sins of omission, the things we fail to do? The do’s and don’ts of the law only condemn us. The law is not for a righteous man but a schoolmaster to bring sinners to Christ (1 Tim. 1:9-16). We see ourselves as sinners when we look into the mirror of the law but it has no power to forgive. Salvation produces in our hearts what the law demands.
Pray: Jesus, I realize I am a sinner and unable to keep anything holy on my own strength. Forgive me for judging others regarding Sabbaths and all my other sins as I confess them and receive you as my Saviour and your gift of righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen. Catholics and others can find forgiveness by confessing their sins to a priest if they have the right Priest, Jesus Christ, the great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). We are saved by the work of Christ at Calvary not by our works.
This is not an attack on SDA people but an answer to their attacks on us. We must not roll over and play dead or act like a half-cooked piece of spaghetti with no calcium in our backbones when they claim to be the only true church and we are the harlot of Babylon with the mark of the beast. The Bible says to “give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15). I have not seen a cross on a Mormon or SDA church so obviously their salvation is by works.
Here is the gospel: God is just so our death penalty for sin had to be paid by us in hell or by Jesus, our innocent substitute. If I was guilty and sentenced to hang but someone loved me and volunteered to hang in my place to pay my death penalty, I could go free. Jesus was innocent but he hung on the cross as our substitute. God does not send people to hell; they go there by their own choice. He does not drag them, kicking and screaming, into heaven!
The way of salvation is not rocket science. It is a Down-to-Earth-Message of Jesus coming down to earth from heaven to save us from our sins. Christians are not perfect but forgiven and will never attain sinless perfection in this life. Most families have rebellious individuals who want their own way and the same applies to the family of God. When we ask God to forgive our sins we are born again, born of the Spirit from above and adopted into His family. With birth must come growth so we should grow in grace and in the knowledge of God. We start out as babes in Christ and after much stumbling learn to walk uprightly with God.
When people receive Presidential pardons, no record is kept of past offenses. God pardons us of all our sins when we repent and does not remember them anymore. Repentance is a U-turn on the road of life. For most the first step to becoming a Christian is the church step for it was there they heard of Jesus and accepted him as Saviour. No church can save us from our sins but they can point us to the Saviour. Unitarians cannot do that since their Jesus is mere fantasy similar to Christian Science which says he is an illusion. Mormons say he is a brother of Satan and Muslims say he just a prophet not God as in Christianity.
WE BE SAVED BY KEEPING
Police in Edmonton tried to promote safe driving by giving awards to courteous drivers. They noticed a man who obeyed all rules of the road by doing good turns, giving others the right of way and keeping the speed limit. They stopped him to present an award but first checked his driver’s license and found it invalid from previous violations.
In like manner, we can obey the golden rule, do good turns to others and keep the Sabbath holy but what about our past sins that need forgiveness. God stops us in the fast lane of life and declares our spiritual driver’s license was suspended in the Garden of Eden when our forefathers, Adam and Eve, sinned and passed the sinful nature unto us. The second Adam, Jesus, came to save us from our sins. “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Mary wrapped her gift to the world and laid him in a manger.
Politicians of Jesus’ day decided the whole world should be taxed so all gathered in Jerusalem to pay and there was no room for Jesus in the Inn. Not much has changed. There is to this day more interest in taxation than salvation. There is room at the cross for you.
Some find it hard to comprehend how Jesus’ death can forgive our sins. In fact, I found it difficult to understand for some time. Imagine that you were broke and fined $1000. Now imagine a rich uncle writing a check to pay your penalty. We all have sinned and the penalty for sin is death, separation from God. Now think of Jesus, who had no sin, paying your death penalty for your sin at Calvary. A person can be pardoned but he can accept or reject the pardon.
People have visible and invisible sins. Pride and unbelief are not visible like drunkenness, murder and adultery. Sins of omission are the good works we fail to do. Pride says, “I am a good person able to stand on my own two feet, not a sinner who needs a Saviour.” Cemeteries are proof that we will not always stand on our own. Sin is like a disease with many symptoms. Mine might be pride or unbelief and yours drunkenness. The human race is suicidal and does not need Dr. Kevorkian’s suicide machine. We kill ourselves with cars, alcohol, drugs, stress and cigarettes. Some think they will get to heaven sooner by smoking or drinking?
Many quote the Golden Rule spoken by Jesus in Matthew 7:12: “Do unto others as you want them to DO unto you.” It is a vain attempt to lift themselves by their own shoe laces. Jesus’ death for our sins is unnecessary if we can get to heaven by doing and behaving rather than believing the gospel. We are not saved from our sins by works we DO but by what Jesus has DONE for us at Calvary. Salvation is a free gift not of works (Ephesians 2:8-10). A gift is bought by others and freely received. Adam and Even sinned in Eden then covered themselves with fig leaves which is symbolic of salvation by human effort. Jesus cursed the fig tree. God made coats of skins and clothed them which pointed to the future sacrifice of Christ to forgive sins (Genesis 3:21).
When Jesus taught the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12, he was speaking disciples who were already Christians. His sermon gave instructions on how to treat others. We are not saved by good works but for good works. Even atheists can do good works.
Imagine walking in a flower garden with a blind person trying to explain to him the beautiful sight. Non-Christians are mentally blinded by sin and spiritually dead. In Greek, bios refers to natural life and zoe refers to eternal spiritual life. Artificial flowers look real but they have no life. The death rate is one per person and we are one heartbeat from eternity. Accept Christ’s forgiveness and your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Pray, God be merciful to me a sinner. I accept you, Jesus, as my Saviour. Forgive my sins, Amen.
CAN YOU LOSE SALVATION?
A centuries old debate continues among Christians. Both groups agree the free gift of salvation comes through faith in Christ apart from works but the disagreement concerns whether or not one can lose salvation.
Think of Christianity as The good Ship Grace. Followers of Arminius say you lose salvation and fall overboard when you persist in sinning. Calvinists say you fall on board the ship and are eternally secure. They say a person cannot be born again and again. Sin breaks our communion with God not our union. A disobedient child is still a son or daughter of his earthly father and the same applies to his heavenly Father. They further say that if one continues in sin he has said faith not saving faith. “They draw near with their lips but their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13).
Calvin emphasized God’s sovereignty and Arminius stressed human free will. In extreme Calvinism all is predetermined so some are doomed from the womb to the tomb with no power to choose. They are puppets with God as a puppeteer. Most find middle ground between the sovereignty of God and our responsibility. Jesus would have gathered Jerusalem as a hen gathers her chicks but they “WOULD NOT” (Matt. 23:37). He did not say they COULD NOT.
A southern gospel preacher explained election: “Both God and the devil vote for you but, with free will, you cast the deciding vote for the one you want to serve.” Blind leaders pretend to know the sequence of last days events. Jesus said, “It is not for you to know” (Acts 1:7). Our vision of the future is like “looking through a dark glass...we know and prophesy in part” (1 Cor.13:9-12). We see some mountain peaks in prophecy but valleys are obscure. The debate on whether the earth is young or old is a secondary issue and does not affect our salvation.
Pre-destination means God, with his foreknowledge, knows our eternal destination ahead of time. He knows in advance the bad things that will come our way but he does not cause them to happen. Whether we go to heaven or hell depends on our choices. The same sun that melts butter hardens clay. Some hearts become hardened by the gospel while others receive it with gladness and turn from their sins. What about forgiving people who have wronged us? “Rebuke them and if they say, ‘I repent,’ forgive them” (Luke 17:3,4; 15:11-32; 18:10-14). There is no forgiveness without repentance.
“Where did Cain get his wife?” is an often asked question. Adam lived 930 years and begat sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4,5). Just imagine how big a family, including great, great, great grandchildren, Adam and Eve had after almost 1,000 years! The genetic code was not corrupted until the time of Moses, 1500 BC., so there was no incest. From that time marriage of relatives was forbidden (Leviticus 18). Apostate, Bishop Spong, said, “Christianity must change or die.” Man has not changed but remains a sinner in need of the same salvation so why should Christianity change? Spong must get back to the gospel that saves and have a change of heart. The Episcopal church has gone into total apostasy including same-sex marriage similar to the Anglican Church in Canada with Bishop Ingham.
Does the Bible condone slavery? In Bible days people volunteered as slaves to work off debts just as we are slaves to Visa and Master Card. Slaves were not held against their will as in the days of U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln. God used Moses and blood of the Passover lamb to free Jewish slaves in Egypt.
1.Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. 1891. Vol.4.
2. Signs of the Times, Feb. 1988.
3. Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, 172.
4. Early Writings, 14 ,17.
5. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, 117.
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Pastor, Wayne William Westby.
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