I Renounced the Sabbath After 47 Years
By Robert K. Sanders
This article only covers the Seventh-day Adventists and their prophetess' teaching on Sabbath keeping.
My Sabbath understanding came by accepting Ellen G. White's (EGW) visions and interpretations. Prophetess White told how the Sabbath would be the great test before the return of Christ separating those that kept the Sabbath and those that keep Sunday. Christians that worshipped on Sunday would receive the "Mark of the Beast" after a national Sunday law was enacted. She also told us how to keep the Sabbath, which included some Old Testament laws and excluded others.
Ellen White, as well as Seventh-day Adventism, have distorted the understanding of the Old Covenant and the first five books of Moses called the Torah in order to support Sabbath keeping. When you understand that all the Old Covenant laws ended at Calvary, it is easy to understand that the Sabbath is not a law for Christians—only a law for ancient Israel. More on this later in this article.
After 47 years of Sabbath keeping, why have I now renounced the Sabbath? It is because the arguments of the Seventh-day Adventist Church were perverted in such a way that I did not see the true Biblical meaning of the Old and New Covenant.
Please keep an open mind and let the Word of God speak and put to rest your preconceived ideas of Sabbath keeping.
Do God and the angels keep the Sabbath? No!
EGW: All heaven is keeping the Sabbath, but not in a listless, do-nothing way. On this day every energy of the soul should be awake, for are we not to meet with God and with Christ our Saviour? We may behold Him by faith. He is longing to refresh and bless every soul. Testimonies for the Church, Volume Six, page 362.
This is real cute. EGW says "All heaven is keeping the Sabbath." Do God and the angels keep the Sabbath sundown to sundown in every time zone in the world? The Bible said the Sabbath was made for MAN not ANGELS (Mark 2:27), so why would angels be keeping it?
Jesus tells us that he and the Father works on Sabbath.
John 5:16-18 (NIV) So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
How does Sabbath keeping work in the New Jerusalem where there is no night or darkness to start the beginning and end of the Sabbath?
Rev 22:5 (NIV) There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
EGW tells us that people will be lost if they do not keep the Sabbath!
The visions given to Ellen White at the outset of her mission brought the importance of the seventh-day Sabbath prominently into view as the testing truth, which in the last days would divide the inhabitants of the earth into two classes—those who obey God and will be eternally saved and those who reject his law and will be eternally lost. The attitude of the individual toward the seventh-day Sabbath would be the determining factor. —Selected Messages, Book 3 (1980), page 380, paragraph 2, Chapter Title: Lessons From Meeting the Sunday Law Crisis of the Late 1880's and Early 1890's.
EGW: The Sabbath was made for man. God designed that upon that day men should engage in no secular pursuits, but should worship him. And those who reverence the commandments of God, will, after seeing the claims of the fourth precept of the decalogue, obey it without questioning the feasibility or convenience of such obedience. But if light on this subject is presented from the word of God, and men reject that light, they thereby refuse to obey God, and cannot be saved in their disobedience. —The Watchman, June 23, 1908, paragraph 3, Article Title: The Rejection of Light Mrs. E. G. White.
The Sabbath was never made for any man till God gave it to Moses. I have no fear of losing my salvation because I reject the twisted Sabbath interpretations made by EGW and promoted by the SDA denomination. If EGW were a true prophetess, she would have understood the old covenant ended at Calvary and that the new covenant does not have a Sabbath command.
EGW Says There Is No Tithe Law Or Sabbath Law In the NT—Wow!!!
EGW: A tithe of our income is "holy unto the Lord. "The New Testament does not re-enact the law of the tithe, as it does not that of the Sabbath; for the validity of both is assumed. —The Faith I Live By, page 244. Taken from the Review & Herald, May 16, 1882 par. 29.
EGW ADMITS that there is no tithe or Sabbath law in the NT. In order to validate these laws you have to assume they exist for Christians. Do we also assume we should stone Sabbath breakers to death because it was not "re-enacted" in the NT? For a law to be valid for Christians, we should have a thus saith the Lord. By making tithe paying and Sabbath keeping part of the new covenant she has illegally altered the new covenant making herself a false prophetess.
Below is a list of list of EGW and SDA denominational guidelines on how to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. Is this legalism?
- Having baths and shoes polished before the Sabbath.
- Not cooking on the Sabbath. Having food prepared the day before.
- Not eating out in restaurants on the Sabbath.
- Not letting children play on the Sabbath. Have Sabbath (Bible) games for children.
- Only talking on spiritual things on the Sabbath.
- Not watching TV on the Sabbath.
- Not reading the newspaper on Sabbath.
- Not buying gas or shopping on Sabbath unless it is an emergency such as medicine.
- Only thinking and talking on spiritual matters on the Sabbath.
- VCR: This is a good one. I remember the church telling it's members that they should not program their VCR before the Sabbath to record on the Sabbath as this would be breaking the Sabbath.
- Have a Sunset Table, so that you can be sure when the sunsets and the Sabbath begins and ends as to not break the Sabbath. Talk about legalism!
Ellen White broke 468 Sabbaths for nine years from 1846 till 1855 after her 1846 Sabbath "Halo Vision." She kept it from 6:00 PM - 6:00PM Friday through Saturday. God evidently forgot to tell Ellen the Sabbath should be kept from sundown to sundown. It was more important to have a vision with a halo of light around the Sabbath commandment than to know when to start and end the Sabbath. James tells us that all the commandments are equal. In one session of a Bible study with non-SDAs we teach Sabbath begins and ends, sundown to sundown, and we do not wait nine years as did EGW to discover her mistake. See: EGW and Her Critics by Nichol p. 350.
You would think that EGW would notice that the Jews kept the Sabbath sundown to sundown without the need of a modern day prophet.
EGW calls God's Sabbath laws, "senseless restrictions."
1. Lighting a fire in your home on the Sabbath is forbidden.
Ex 35:2-3 (NIV) For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”
EGW contradicts God! God commanded the Jews not to light a fire in their dwellings on the Sabbath day. EGW accuses the Jews of perverting the Sabbath, making it a yoke of bondage and calls God's law "senseless restrictions". Then EGW proclaims the scribes and Pharisees of making the Sabbath "an intolerable burden" because the Jews were not allowed to "kindle a fire or light a candle on the Sabbath." It was God that commanded not lighting a fire on the Sabbath, not the scribes and Pharisees. Poor Ellen, she just could not get it right. This shows she is a false prophetess.
EGW: The Jews had so perverted the law that they made it a yoke of bondage. Their meaningless requirements had become a byword among other nations. Especially was the Sabbath hedged in by all manner of senseless restrictions. It was not to them a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honorable. The scribes and Pharisees had made its observance an intolerable burden. A Jew was not allowed to kindle a fire nor even to light a candle on the Sabbath. As a consequence the people were dependent upon the Gentiles for many services which their rules forbade them to do for themselves. They did not reflect that if these acts were sinful, those who employed others to perform them were as guilty as if they had done the work themselves. They thought that salvation was restricted to the Jews, and that the condition of all others, being already hopeless, could be made no worse. But God has given no commandments which cannot be obeyed by all. His laws sanction no unreasonable or selfish restrictions. —The Desire of Ages, page 204, paragraph 1, Chapter Title: Bethesda and the Sanhedrin.
How many SDAs have a fire in their home on Sabbath from the furnace, water heater, gas range, etc.? Of course they can say this law does not apply to them, as EGW has given her sheep a dispensation. This part of the picking and choosing of Old Covenant laws, such as tithing, and forbidding unclean meat, that is laid on their members.
2. Staying in your place, not traveling on the Sabbath.
Ex 16:29-30 (NIV) Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day.
I have seen Adventist travel long distances to go to state parks, camp meetings, visiting relation and friends on Sabbath.
3. Not carrying a load on Sabbath.
Jer 17:27 (NIV) But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.
I have seen Adventists on Sabbath carrying baskets of food, carrying tables and chairs for meetings, and dinners and carrying TVs, speakers, and sound equipment for church programs.
4. Not to bake or boil on the Sabbath.
Ex 16:23 (NIV) He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.'"
How about the SDA ladies that cooks food on Sabbath for church potluck dinners in the church kitchen and at home for family and guests? They bake, boil and prepare food.
5. Buying and Selling is Sabbath Desecration.
Neh 13:15-17 (NIV) In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath.
I have seen SDAs accepting money for meals in SDA hospitals and academy cafeterias on Sabbath. This is selling food on Sabbath. SDA Pastors and leaders, ask for money from the pulpit for church publications on the Sabbath. The church is earning a profit by selling on the Sabbath. Is this selling or is it not? I have seen many SDAs buying gas for their cars on Sabbath, to get home after a long trip, including SDA pastors. I have seen SDA members go to restaurants with their family and friends on Sabbath. Is this buying food on Sabbath?
6. Death Penalty for Sabbath violations.
Ex 31:14-15 (NIV) “‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.
I have yet to see any SDA stone to death members for Sabbath breaking. They do not obey this command!
7. Every Sabbath day make two lambs offering and other offerings.
Num 28:9-10 (NIV) “‘On the Sabbath day, make an offering of two lambs a year old without defect, together with its drink offering and a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is the burnt offering for every Sabbath, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering.
I have yet to see any Sabbatarians make "an offering of two lambs" on the Sabbath. If they are going to keep the Sabbath, then they are required to keep ALL the Old covenant law. Sabbatarians want to enforce the Sabbath law but pick and choose how to keep the Sabbath.
8. Numbers 15 tells us that Sabbath keepers are to wear tassels with a blue cord on their robes, it is the Law. SDA's failure to "Remember" to keep the Sabbath Day Holy is because they do not obey the Torah law by not having "tassels and blue cords on their robes. Isn't it amazing that Sabbatarians want us to keep the Sabbath, yet reject other laws of the Torah! Which sin is greater, breaking the Sabbath or not wearing robes with tassels on the corners with a blue cord?
Num 15:37-41 (NIV) The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.’”
"Mrs. White says of him [Luther]: 'Zealous, ardent, and devoted, knowing no fear but the fear of God, and acknowledging no foundation for religious faith but the holy Scriptures. —Great Controversy, p. 120.
Angels of heaven were by his side, and rays of light from the throne of God revealed the treasures of truth to his understanding. —Great Controversy, p. 122.
Now hear Luther. Carlstadt, a zealous Sabbatarian, laid his arguments for the seventh day before Luther, who examined them. Here is Luther's decision in his own words:
'Indeed, if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath—that is to say, Saturday—must be kept holy; he would truly make us Jews in all things, and we should come to be circumcised; for that is true and cannot be denied, that he who deems it necessary to keep one law of Moses, and keeps it as the law of Moses, must deem all necessary, and keep them all.' —History of the Sabbath, p. 457.
Luther heard Carlstadt's teachings on Sabbath observance and he rejected it. Mrs. White states that "angels and light from God's throne" revealed treasures of truth to Luther. If indeed God had shown Luther "treasures of truth" as stated by EGW, then Luther would have accepted the Sabbath. EGW just could not get it right.
If you were an astronaut in a space module circling the earth several times a day you would also have several Sabbaths in a 24-hour period. Ever few hours, you would go through a sunrise and sunset. How would you keep the Sabbath? Would you not touch the controls, ask for the Sabbath off from mission control to read the Bible and have a private Sabbath service every few hours? So every few hours you would be on Sabbath time, and then off Sabbath time—an interesting dilemma when the Sabbath is supposed to be a weekly event and not a daily event! The Sabbath was one part of the Torah and the Torah was the schoolmaster to lead Israel to Christ. When Christ came Israel no longer needed the schoolmaster. Israel was to look to Christ and not the Torah for their salvation.
Ex 32:15 (NIV) Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.
Ellen White in vision tells us the" two tables of stone" were folded and was not able to read them till the tables were opened. Which means nothing could be read on the outside of the closed tables. In the second vision, she describes the tables of stone "which are folded together like a book." Moses described the tablets as two independent stones, written on both sides.
EGW: Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. ....The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire. The words are so plain that all can read them. —The Great Controversy, page 639.
How can two separate tablets of stone be folded like a book? The tablets were written on both sides. If the tablets were closed like a book, why is it that EGW could not see the writings on the outside of the book seeing the tablets were written on both sides?
EGW: In the holiest I saw an ark; ... In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book. Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table were four, and on the other six. The four on the first table shone brighter than the other six. But the fourth, the Sabbath commandment, shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God's holy name. The holy Sabbath looked glorious—a halo of glory was all around it. Early Writings of Ellen G. White, page 32, 33.
EGW makes an idol of the Sabbath commandment by saying that it shown brighter than the rest with a halo around it. There is no Bible support to show that one of the Ten is more holy or important than the other nine. There certainly was no halo around the Sabbath commandment written on tables of stone. Also there is no record that four commandments were written on one tablet and six on the other.
The fact remains that the Sabbath command was never included in the new covenant. It was a law given only to the Israelites under the old covenant and not to the new covenant Christians.
Sabbath Not a Law for Christians: Explaining the Covenants
History and Overview About the Sabbath Day By Rob Chaffart
Sabbath in Christ—A new book, by former Adventist Pastor Dale Ratzlaff, that explains how Sabbath keepers have been misled. Be a Bible Berean and read this book. Thousands including Adventist pastors have left Adventism after getting their eyes opened. Order here.