The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been blessed with great light and many precious opportunities for gaining still more light. The ministry of Ellen G. White, a divinely inspired messenger, has provided valuable insight into the final conflict engulfing the entire world in the last days of earth's history. This brief period of time just before the Second Coming of Yahushua is referred to as the "Time of Trouble" by Seventh-day Adventists. While the writings of Ellen White are invaluable in preparing for the days ahead, Seventh-day Adventists have taken her writings and developed an entire end-time scenario based on their preferred interpretation of her writings. This interpretation focuses on a Saturday versus Sunday conflict. It is commonly believed that a Sunday law will be passed before the close of probation that will make it impossible for anyone worshipping on Saturday to buy or sell. Because this apocalyptic scenario appears to be supported by the writings of Ellen White, many people have rejected the idea of a lunar Sabbath outright. It does not fit their preconceived ideas of the time of trouble, so therefore it must be wrong! The truth is, the principles contained in the writings of Ellen White do support a lunar Sabbath. When these principles are clearly understood, the many objections raised by sincere SDAs who love the Sabbath and value the writings of Ellen White are found to be without a foundation. Scripture and Ellen White agree: conflict over the true Sabbath is central to the Time of Trouble.
Question/Objection: Jesus could have returned in the 1890s. The lunar Sabbath cannot be true because no one in the 1890s knew of it so it could not have been the final test.
ANSWER: In 1888, in pre-session meetings to the General Conference Session, Yahuwah commissioned two young men to bring a powerful message to His people. This message, if accepted and acted upon, would have prepared His people for the closing events of earth's history. Writing of that time almost 10 years later, Ellen White stated:
"The . . . [Saviour] in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders [E.J.] Waggoner and [A. T.] Jones." (Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 1895, pp. 91-92.)
These pre-session meetings focused on a passage of Scripture that had agitated the brethren for at least 20 years: the law in Galatians. The point under discussion was whether "the Law" spoken of in Galatians was referring to the moral law that was still binding or the ceremonial law that was fulfilled at the cross? The leading brethren of the older generation were adamant that the law in Galatians was referring to the ceremonial law which had been done away with at the cross. Thus, they believed none of the statutory laws were still to be observed.
Young Jones and Waggoner were presenting to the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church concepts that would have led to the recognition of statute law as still binding. The opposition to Jones and Waggoner grew so heated that Sister White told those present that if the Saviour had walked through the door the evening before, they would have crucified Him, because the spirit that crucified the Saviour had been present at that meeting. It appears Jones and Waggoner themselves did not fully understand the reason behind the opposition to their message. However, the leading brethren seem to have recognized that if the statutes were still binding, then an additional level of obedience was required - obedience they did not wish to render. Uriah Smith had rejected using the law of Moses as a reason to abstain from eating pork, stating:
"We believe there is better ground on which to rest than the ceremonial law of the former dispensation, for if we take the position that that law is still binding, we must accept it all, and then we shall have more on our hands than we can easily dispose of." (MR852, 2.1, emphasis supplied.)
The same reason appears to have prompted the determined resistance to Jones and Waggoner over the law in Galatians. Jones later recalled:
"In that meeting and conference the tide of things was indicated by what one of the Battle Creek leaders said one day to a cluster of men after one of Bro. Waggoner's studies. He said, 'Now we could say Amen to all of that if that is all there were to it. But away down yonder there is still something to come. And this is to lead us to that. And if we say Amen to this we will have to say Amen to that and then we are caught.' Thus they would not say Amen to what they knew was true for fear of what was to come after, to which they would not say Amen anyhow . . . ." (A. T. Jones, letter to Claude Holmes, May 12, 1921, original emphasis.)
Acceptance of statute law, leads to recognition of all which the statutes require - including observance of the annual feasts. The annual feasts can only be calculated by the Biblical calendar. Thus, acceptance of statute law will inevitably lead to the true lunar Sabbath. Sister White herself believed that statute law was still binding.
"In consequence of continual transgression, the moral law was repeated in awful grandeur from Sinai. Christ gave to Moses religious precepts which were to govern everyday life. These statutes were explicitly given to guard the ten commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon men in every age as long as time should last. These commands were enforced by the power of the moral law, and they clearly and definitely explained that law." (The Review and Herald, May 6, 1875.)
Heaven tried to bring the truth of the Biblical calendar and the true Sabbath to the people, but it was rejected. Ellen White recognized that Yahuwah was trying to advance His people still further in the path of truth, but they had refused. In 1901, she sadly observed:
“God's people have been far behind. Human agencies under the divine planning may recover something of what is lost because the people who had great light did not have corresponding piety, sanctification, and zeal in working out God's specified plans. They have lost to their own disadvantage what they might have gained to the advancement of the truth if they had carried out the plans and will of God. Man cannot possibly stretch over that gulf that has been made by workers who have not been following the divine Leader. We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel . . . .” (Manuscript Releases, Vol. 20, p. 313.)
What was rejected in 1888 has come once again to prepare a people to stand in the great day of Yahuwah Almighty.
"The Author of our salvation will be the Finisher of the work. One truth received into the heart will make room for still another truth. . . . A flood of light is shining from the word of God, and there must be an awakening to neglected opportunities. . . . Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving to the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God" (Ellen White, Testimonies, Vol. 6, pp. 449-450.)
Question/Objection: If this is true, why would God wait clear until now to reveal this to us? Why would He allow His people to continue worshipping on the wrong day all this time?
ANSWER: A similar question arose regarding why the early Adventists had kept the Sabbath from 6 pm to 6 pm for 10 years without being corrected. Such questions stem from not understanding the role of the Spirit of Prophecy.
In the Review & Herald, James White wrote:
"The question naturally arises, If the visions are given to correct the erring, why did she [Mrs. White] not sooner see the error of the six o’clock time? . . .But . . . the work of God upon this point is in perfect harmony with His manifestations to us on others, and in harmony with the correct position upon spiritual gifts.
"It does not appear to be the desire of God to teach His people by the gifts of the Spirit on the Bible questions until His servants have diligently searched His Word. . . .
"The sacred Scriptures are given us as the rule of faith and duty, and we are commanded to search them. If we fail to understand and fully obey the truths in consequence of not searching the Scriptures as we should, or a want of consecration and spiritual discernment, and God in mercy in His own time corrects us by some manifestation of the gifts of His Holy Spirit, instead of murmuring that He did not do it before, let us humbly acknowledge His mercy, and praise Him for His infinite goodness in condescending to correct us at all.
"Let the gifts have their proper place in the church. God has never set them in the very front, and commanded us to look to them to lead us in the path of truth, and the way to heaven. His Word He has magnified. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are man’s lamp to light up his path to the kingdom. Follow that. But if you err from Bible truth, and are in danger of being lost, it may be that God will in the time of His choice correct you, and bring you back to the Bible, and save you." (James White, Review & Herald, February 25, 1868, emphasis supplied.)
Heaven tried to lead Adventist leadership to the true Sabbath in 1888. Heaven tried again in 1938. When the leaders saw the ramifications, they buried the issue as too difficult for the common person to understand. Now that Yahuwah has again brought this truth before the people, it should be carefully studied and gratefully accepted. Let no one be found bringing a charge of neglect against Heaven for not previously correcting the error of a Saturday-Sabbath!
Question/Objection: Ellen White's classic, The Great Controversy, repeatedly speaks of a Sunday law and the persecution brought on the righteous because of their refusal to worship on Sunday. Where does the lunar Sabbath fit into this?
ANSWER: The Great Controversy is a fascinating, divinely inspired look into the future. It clearly lays out what the final conflict is about, and it is all over worship:
"The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator." (E. G. White, Great Controversy, p. 605.)
The final conflict is over when to worship, because when one worships reveals who is being worshipped! The lunar Sabbath does not contradict the description of the final conflict as presented by the Spirit of Prophecy. Rather, it carries it on to a much wider and more complete fulfillment of those prophecies. The truth of the Biblical calendar and the lunar Sabbath is in keeping with the nature of the final conflict as presented by the pen of Ellen White. She repeatedly stated that there was much more light to come. Early in her ministry she wrote:
"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. I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully." (Early Writings, p. 85.)
The statements in The Great Controversy regarding the final conflict need to be understood in the context of a final “Sabbath reform” to take place just before the end. This is emphatically spelled out in chapter 26 of The Great Controversy:
"The work of Sabbath reform to be accomplished in the last days is foretold in the prophecy of Isaiah: 'Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, . . . for My salvation is near to come, . . . Blessed is the man that doeth this . . . that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it . . .'
"These words apply in the Christian age . . . And upon those who then honor the Sabbath, a blessing is pronounced . . .
"Again the command is given: 'Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.' It is not the wicked world, but those whom the Lord designates as 'my people,' that are to be reproved for their transgressions . . .
"The prophet thus points out the ordinance which has been forsaken: 'Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath . . . .' " (Great Controversy, pp. 451-453.)
The Time of Trouble is the climax to 6,000 years of sin.
"Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God's people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried. The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it? He commands His servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls." (Great Controversy, p. 609.)
The lunar Sabbath IS the special truth to meet the emergency now at the end of the world. The invitation to return to worship of the Creator on His original, ancient Sabbath is the last message to be carried to the world before the Saviour returns. The principles of this cosmic conflict are clearly set forth in The Great Controversy.
Question/Objection: If the lunar Sabbath is true, that means the whole world will have to be warned about a wrong Sabbath and taught a different calendar!
ANSWER: That is correct, and that is precisely what is presented in Scripture as occurring at the end of the world. In His famous discourse on the signs of the end of the world, the Saviour said:
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14, KJV)
This same thread is taken up in the first of the three angels' messages:
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear Yahuwah, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (See Revelation 14:6-7.)
The Bible links the "everlasting gospel" to the issue of worship. This message is described variously by Ellen White as:
Ellen White stated that all three angels' messages were to be presented again to the world at the very end:
"[T]he substance of the second angel's message is again given to the world by that other angel who lightens the earth with his glory. These messages all blend in one, to come before the people in the closing days of this earth's history. All the world will be tested, and all that have been in the darkness of error in regard to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will understand the last message of mercy that is to be given to men." (Selected Messages, Vol. 2, p. 116.)
Yahuwah already has His means to spread the truth. No one needs to worry how it will be done. We need only be concerned with having our wills in line with the divine will and cooperating with Him.
"Men may reject the truth, but it is the truth still. To us is committed the most solemn warning ever given to man; for us who are now upon the stage of action are reserved the most important scenes in this world's history. Many who gave the first and second messages greatly desired to see this day which we see, and saw it not. . . . The church and the world are preparing for the last great contest, in which all must act a part." (Review & Herald, January 27, 1885.)
Question/Objection: How could we possibly expect to win any converts to something this different? God would not ask this of anyone. It's too hard. How could anyone keep a job if they had to keep a "floating" Sabbath?
ANSWER: This argument has been used repeatedly by Sunday keepers against the Saturday Sabbath. Now that more light on the Sabbath brings with it an additional test, does not make it a valid argument against obedience. Truth brings with it a cross - it always has and always will.
"The great obstacle both to the acceptance and to the promulgation of truth is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. This is the only argument against the truth which its advocates have never been able to refute. But this does not deter the true followers of Christ. These do not wait for truth to become popular. Being convinced of their duty, they deliberately accept the cross, with the apostle Paul counting that 'our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory . . . ' (2 Cor. 4:17)." (Great Controversy, p. 460)
The work of Sabbath reform is now going on. The ancient lunar Sabbath is the special truth sent by Heaven to prepare a people to stand through these last days. Will you accept the cross? Will you obey truth? Probation is soon to close. On which side will you be found? Disobedient and unjust? Or obedient and holy?
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