The evangelical Sabbath Restoration Movement
By Bill Diehl, editor of Present Truth Magazine,
Today the evangelical Sabbath-keeping restoration movement is being inundated by false teachers within its midst proclaiming every wind of false doctrine. The heresy of the "moral influence" view of the atonement which denies the substitutionary blood atonement of Christ is one of the most prevalent of these false doctrines being advocated by many teachers, pastors, and administrators. Another unbiblical teaching is the "final generation theology" which claims that the final generation of believers living at the time of Christ's second coming will be absolutely as sinless as Adam before the Fall. A third large group is the liberal segment that is mostly found in the academia of the universities which are advocating billions of years of theistic evolution, feminism, women ordination, the social gospel of humanism, doctrinal pluralism, and homosexuality as a mere genetic inheritance rather than a willful choice to sin. A fourth group within the Sabbath restoration movement is advocating the doctrinal distortion of "Universal Legal Justification" which falsely teaches that all the world was justified and saved at the cross. A fifth popular heresy is the false teaching of "Quietism" which claims that sanctification is totally a work of the Holy Spirit without any needed effort on the part of the believer.
Of these false teachers who distort God's word, our Lord says:
"But woe to you. . . .because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in." Matthew 23:13.
The apostle Paul's warning to Timothy could certainly apply to these false teachers:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables". 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
And Jude also speaks of these false shepherds:
"They are like clouds blowing over dry land without giving rain, promising much but producing nothing. They are like trees without fruit at harvest time. They are not only dead but doubly dead, for they have been pulled out by the roots. They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the dirty foam of their shameful deeds. They are wandering stars, heading for everlasting gloom and darkness." Jude 1:12-13
However, this restoration movement, in its truest Protestant and "evangelical" expression as God intends this movement to be, is a "restoration" of bible truth rather than an "innovation" of strange new things which our Lord and His apostles never taught. Just look at the true essence of the gospel message that is being proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people:
1.) We affirm and proclaim the everlasting gospel of the vicarious atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
John 3:14-18 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the promised "Seed of the Woman" who has fulfilled all the righteous legal and moral demands of God's Law for us so that in Him all repentant sinners who put their faith in His blood are accounted sinless and righteous in His merciful reckoning even unto the coming of the Lord. The justification of repentant believers is by God's unmerited grace alone through faith in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ alone as revealed in the Bible alone. From the beginning of life in Christ to the end of life in Christ, the repentant believer in Christ will always confess that he needs the covering of Christ's forgiveness and imputed righteousness. The Holy Spirit indwells all believers in Christ to empower them and help them to begin to walk in obedience to God's holy Law in sanctified holy living. But the sanctified life of even the most godly of God's people will still need to be covered by the active righteousness (His sinless life) and passive righteousness (His atoning death on the cross of Calvary) of Christ's imputed or "reckoned" righteousness even unto the Last Day when Christ comes again. Thus we affirm and proclaim the message of "repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ". This message is a warning and a witness that God is about to destroy all the unbelieving world and that all who refuse to repent, believe the gospel of Christ, and allow Christ to begin to write His Law upon their hearts through the indwelling Holy
2.) We affirm and proclaim the apostolic teaching that the "hour of God's judgment" has come. All the world is being called out of the kingdom of Satan, called spiritual "Babylon", and being invited to receive the seal of God's justification, forgiveness, and eternal life through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Those repentant believers who receive the "seal of God" are filled with the Holy Spirit and will acknowledge the Law of God, the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, as their moral guide in sanctified holy living. The message of the "Three Angels of Revelation 14" is the same message that the apostolic church proclaimed. This final restoration message has been raised up in the providence of God to restore this apostolic "judgment hour" message that our Lord Jesus Christ as our High Priest has entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary as the one Mediator between God and Man to plead the merits of His blood for all repentant sinners who put their faith in Him. The saving message of the Sabbath reform movement is the same message as the early church's apostolic call to repentance towards God and faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. The gift of God is the forgiveness of sin and eternal life by God's unmerited grace alone for all who believe.
3.) We affirm and proclaim what the Protestant reformers called the First, Second, and Third Use of God's holy Law.
The "First Use of the Law" is to define proper social norms as a restraint upon lawlessness and crime in society at large.
The bible also affirms and proclaims that the Holy Spirit employs the "Second Use of the Law" as a "schoolmaster" to continually define what "sin" is. It convicts us of our sinful nature and our need to repent and call upon the name of Christ for forgiveness. We are continually drawn to Christ by the Holy Spirit to be forgiven and justified by faith in His sinless life and atoning death on Calvary. Daily the believing repenting Christian will need forgiveness and the imputed righteousness of Christ in justification until the Last Day. The believing Christian also will daily need the imparted enabling grace of the Holy Spirit as he grows in sanctification throughout his earthly life:a.) at the first day of conversion of a sinner to Christ,
b.) during the entire Christian sojourn in this world,
c.) and even unto the coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven.
This side of eternity, the believing people of God will alsways pray in repentance towards God and ask for the forgiveness of sin. We will always need the imputed righteousness of Christ and justification by faith in the sinless life and atoning blood of Christ.
The bible also affirms and proclaims the "Third Use of the Law" as a moral guide for the Christian believer which is so important in this lawless diabolical age in which we live. The Holy Spirit in the new covenant promise begins to write the holy Law of God upon the hearts of all repentant believers who are born again through faith in Christ's blood. This impartation of the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit is called "sanctification" and it is an ongoing growth in Christ throughout our earthly sojourn. The true gospel of Christ rejects any lawless teaching which denies the Ten Commandments or any part thereof.
4.) We affirm and proclaim that God truly calls and invites all the world to come to Christ in repentance towards God and faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. He graciously offers forgiveness of sin and the free gift of eternal life to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. God has not predetermined or predestined who will be saved or lost. Christ's sinless life and atoning blood can cover any repentant sinner who calls upon His name. Hyper-Calvinism, Double Predestination, the Augustinian teaching of "limited" atonement and "irresistible" grace for a predetermined elected number of people are rejected as unscriptural. The Holy Spirit attends the proclamation of the gospel and invites all to come to Christ, but His call to repentance and His invitation to salvation are resistible.
5.) We affirm and proclaim the glorious truth of the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of Christ as the blessed hope of the believer. The Grecian view of an "immortal soul" which lives on eternally after death is unscriptural. All attempts to contact the dead are forbidden as Satanic and unscriptural.
6.) We affirm and proclaim the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and His unique incarnation as fully God and fully man. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are revealed to us in God's word as the three eternal persons of the God of the bible. The Lord Jesus Christ is the One through whom God has created, sustained, and redeemed the world. Arianism and Semi-Arianism are rejected as being false heretical views on the nature of Christ.
7.) We affirm and proclaim the harmony yet distinction of the Law and the Gospel. This harmony yet distinction is a necessary bulwark against the prevailing error of antinomian Dispensationalism which is sweeping through the evangelical Christian world today and foolishly focusing on the Zionist events in the middle east, a rebuilding of the Levitical temple, and a "secrete rapture" of the church. Darbyism is rejected as unscriptural.
8.) We affirm and proclaim the seventh day Sabbath of the fourth commandment of the Decalogue as a memorial to Christ's having created the universe approximately 6,000 years ago in six literal days. The Sabbath is God's emphatic "No!!" to the abomination of Darwinian evolutionism. Sunday sacredness is rejected as unscriptural.
9.) We affirm and proclaim the Biblical truth of the literal fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as the origin of sin and suffering and death. This truth is denied by all forms of Darwinism including so-called "theistic" evolution and "progressive creationism".
10.) We affirm and proclaim the existence of a real fallen angel named Lucifer who became Satan along with one third of the angelic host. Satan tempted Eve to believe that she was immortal and that she could ignore the divine warning against eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam joined Eve in her sin and rebellion and thus they were cast out of Eden. Sin and suffering and death thus came upon the world and the entire human family. However the Lord's plan of forgiveness, redemption and salvation through the promised Seed of the woman was revealed to them and to all the world through repentance towards God and faith in the atoning blood of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Just before the very end of the world, Satan, the deceiver, himself will be permitted to visibly appear and deceptively announce and claim to all the world that he is the true creator, savior, and god of the world. Just as he deceived Eve in the garden of Eden, he will claim that humanity is naturally immortal and that the "immortal soul" of man can never die. Also as the "Lawless One" he will claim that he alone has the authority to determine what is good and what is evil. He will claim to have changed the seventh day Sabbath of the fourth commandment of the holy Law of God. He will demand that all the world must bow down to him and worship him by recognizing Sunday, the first day of the week, as the day to honor him as the creator and savior of the world. In this final world-wide crisis and testing time, this over-powering deception if possible would deceive even God's elect. At this time, in spite of world-wide persecution and threat of death, those bible-believing Christians who keep the true Ten Commandments of God and who trust in the atoning blood of Christ will not be deceived by Satan's end-time lies and deceptions.
11.) We affirm and proclaim a literal world-wide flood approximately 4,000 years ago which destroyed the lawless unbelieving antediluvian world and the saving of Noah and his family by God's unmerited grace. The "local flood" teaching is rejected as unscriptural.
12.) We affirm and proclaim that God will punish and then totally and eternally annihilate sin, Satan, and all unrepentant sinners at the end of the millennium at the final executive judgment rather than punish sinners in an eternally burning hell-fire in unending pain and suffering throughout eternity. Eternally burning hell-fire and unending suffering of the lost is rejected as unscriptural.
13.) We as true children of the Reformation affirm and proclaim that the papacy is the anti-Christ beast of Revelation 13 and that the truth of the gospel is an ongoing rebuke to the abominable errors of Roman Catholicism — the intercession of the saints and Mary, transubstantiation, purgatory, priestly absolution of sin, penance, infant baptism, the infalliability of the pope, eternal suffering of the lost in hell-fire, Sunday sacredness, the immortality of the soul, and most importantly the error of justification because of infused righteousness by the Holy Spirit within the believer rather than justification because of the imputed righteousness of Christ's meritorious sinless life and sin atoning death on the cross reckoned to all who call upon the name of Jesus Christ in repentance towards God and faith in the atoning blood of Jesus shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of sin.
14.) We affirm and proclaim the non-immortality of the soul and this is a rebuke to modern day Spiritualism which seeks to contact and communicate with the dead. The bible teaches that death is a "sleep" until the resurrection of the body.
15.) We affirm and proclaim adult baptism by immersion for all repentant sinners who put their faith in the atoning death of Christ on the cross. Infant baptism by sprinkling is rejected as unbiblical sacramentalism.
16. We affirm and correctly proclaim that in the Old Testament "Day of Atonement" ceremony the goat chosen to be "sacrificed for the Lord" which was slain and whose blood was carried into the Most Holy Place of the Levitical temple foreshadowed and symbolically represented the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood on Calvary. His shed blood "vicariously" or substitutionally atones for the guilt and sins of God's people. The second goat called the scapegoat or Azazel goat which was not sacrificed in the ritual, but rather is led out into the wilderness to die, symbolically represents the punishment and destruction of Satan and all the unbelieving world. They atone for their own sins by being punished and destroyed outside of the New Jerusalem after the 1000 years are fulfilled.
17.) We affirm and correctly proclaim that at the second coming of the Lord, He will raise from the dead all those who have called upon His name since the Fall of Adam. At the coming of the Lord, He will not touch down upon the earth, but rather the believing saints who are alive at His coming will be "caught up" together with the resurrected saints to meet the Lord in the air. The unbelievers who are alive at His coming will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. Satan and his fallen angels will then be bound to the desolated earth for 1,000 years. During this time Christ and the saved in heaven will determine the punishment to be meted out to Satan and each of the fallen angels, and also to those unbelievers throughout history who refused to repent and call upon the name of the Lord. At the end of the 1,000 years of the Millennium, Christ and the redeemed will descent in the New Jerusalem down to the desolated earth. All of the lost throughout the ages will then be raised from the dead. Satan will deceive them again into believing that they can attack and defeat those who are within the walls of the New Jerusalem. But as they approach the holy city, fire will rain down upon them from heaven. They will all then be punished according to the measure of their lawless deeds during their lifetime and then finally be consumed. Satan himself along with his demons will be totally destroyed and annihilated forever. The earth will then be recreated in Edenic beauty as it was before the fall of Adam and the entrance of sin and death.
18.) We affirm and proclaim that all of the natural-born children of Adam inherit a fallen sinful nature with inherited propensities to sin and selfishness. This sinful moral and legal inheritance from Adam is called Original Sin. Christ's human nature which was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary did not inherit this fallen sinful human nature and propensity to sin. He was tempted in all points as are we, yet He was without sin or any inclination to sin.
Christ's deity and divine nature as the Son of God who has always existed from all eternity, with no beginning or end, was incarnated in the person of the man, Jesus Christ. Only Christ's human nature was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary. The incarnate Christ was and is and will always be fully God and fully man.
19.) We affirm and proclaim that the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper are symbolic of the body and blood of our Lord. The bread and wine are a remembrance of the Lord's sinless life and atoning death on the cross and proclaim the gospel of the forgiveness of sin until He comes again. Transubstantiation and Consubstantiation are rejected as unscriptural.
20.) And finally we affirm and proclaim that the Bible alone is the final authority in all matters of doctrine and faith.
Unbiblical and questionable teachings of various Sabbath-keeping groups
Unbiblical Teaching #1. The belief in foot washing before observing the Lord's Supper.
Correction: The first century apostolic church understood that the Lord and the apostle Paul were speaking in metaphor to "wash one another's feet"— meaning to love and serve one another in humility. The apostles never required the believers to literally practice foot washing before observing the Lord's Supper.
Unbiblical Teaching #2. The belief that the Lord's Supper should only be practiced once every quarter.
Correction: The first century apostolic church observed the Lord's Supper every Sabbath when they assembled for fellowship. The weekly observance of the Lord's Supper was instituted by the Lord so that all repentant believers would never forget that they are justified, forgiven, and accepted by God only on the basis of faith in the meritorious sinless life and atoning death of Christ on the cross of Calvary.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.
Matthew 26:28 "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Unbiblical Teaching #3. The belief by some that mandatory tithe paying should be a test of fellowship and church membership.
Correction: Mandatory tithing was never advocated and imposed upon the Christian believers by the apostles. "Fee-will offerings" were collected to meet the needs of the church. "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Unbiblical Teaching #4. The belief that the "investigative judgment" began in AD.1844.
Correction: The apostles taught that the pre-advent judgment and time of the "last days" had arrived in their day and that the entire world was being judged for eternal life or eternal death through its acceptance or rejection of Christ as Savior and Lord. The prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, 9, and 10-12 were all fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ in His incarnation, sinless life, atoning death, resurrection, ascension into the most holy place as King and High Priest after the order of Melchesidek, and His intercession in heaven for repentant sinners. "Being justified by faith in the blood of Christ" means that the believing repenting sinner who daily continues to call up the name of Christ has the forgiveness of sin, eternal life, and the justifying verdict of the final judgment.
Unbiblical Teaching #5. The belief by some that Christ only entered the "first apartment" called the "Holy Place" of the heavenly sanctuary at His ascension in A.D. 31 and then entered the "second apartment" called the "Most Holy Place" of the heavenly sanctuary in the year A.D. 1844.
Correction: Our Lord as our great High Priest entered into the most holy place in heaven at His ascension to begin the antitypical Day of Atonement. The apostle Paul tells us in his epistle to the Hebrews that the first apartment or "holy place" of the Mosaic tabernacle symbolized the pre-Christian era of the Levitical priesthood. While the second or "most holy place" symbolizes the Christian era and the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ as the "high priest" of the priestly "order of Melchesidek".
Hebrew 2:17-18 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,
Hebrews 6:19-20 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 8:1-2 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
Hebrews 9:6-11 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience -- concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
Hebrews 9:24-26 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another -- He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 10:19-22 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Unbiblical Teaching #6. The belief in post-apostolic era date setting like 1844 and 538-1798.
Correction: (The "time prophecies" of the New Testament apocalyptic portions of the Bible are symbolic metaphors and are not to be interpreted as literal time periods. The "1260 days" are a metaphor for the entire Christian era, not a literal 1260 years from AD 538 to 1798. Our Lord's messianic ministry encompassed a literal 3 and 1/2 years. But the Church age for Christian believers is figuratively or symbolically represented in Revelation as the era when they would "prophesy" in the "wilderness" for a metaphorical figurative symbolic period of "3 and 1/2 years or "1260 days". This apocalyptic metaphor is borrowed from the literal 3 and 1/2 years that Elijah was in the wilderness fleeing from persecution of Jezebel.)
Unbiblical Teaching #7. The belief that the "Three Angles Messages" of Revelation 14 only began to be proclaimed in A.D.1844.
Correction: The Three Angels Messages of Revelation 14 figuratively symbolize the full proclamation of the everlasting gospel which began to be proclaimed on the day of Pentecost. The open disclosure of the "mystery of God" and hour of God's judgments upon the kingdom of Satan then began. "Babylon" was legally defeated when our Lord ratified the Everlasting Covenant with His atoning blood. The complete physical fall and destruction of Satan's kingdom will come at the final judgment of the Beast after the millennium.
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. Hebrews 10:12-13
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. Romans 16:20
The "Seal of God" symbolically represents the unmerited gift of justification and the free gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit for all repentant sinners who flee Satan's kingdom of Babylon and embrace Christ as Savior and Lord.
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30
The "Mark of the Beast" symbolically represents God's rejection of all who refuse the gospel invitation to repent and believe in Christ as both Savior and Lord. Those with the "Mark" are those who willfully refuse to abandon the false religions, deceptive teachings, and blasphemous doctrines of Satan's kingdom.
The final deceptive unbiblical teachings of Satan which are being exposed by the evangelical reformation movement in the finishing up of the Protestant reformation are: 1.) the blasphemous belief in the intercession of the "Saints" and Mary, 2.) the blasphemous belief in the sinless perfection of the "Saints" and Mary , 3.) the blasphemous teaching of transubstantiation in the saying of the "Mass", 4.) the blasphemous belief in "purgatory", 5.) the blasphemous belief in celibacy for "nuns" and "priests", 6.) the blasphemous practice of priestly absolution of sin, 5.) the blasphemous belief in meritorious sacramentalism 6.) the blasphemous practice of infant baptism, 7.) the blasphemous practice of saying prayers for the dead, 8.) the blasphemous practice of chanting in prayer to God and Mary and doing "penance" to atone for sin, 9.) the blasphemous making of and bowing down to a graven image 10.) the blasphemous teaching of the eternal conscious suffering of the lost in hell-fire, 11.) the blasphemous teaching of "apostolic succession" of Peter and the "popes" of Rome as the infallible head of the Christian church, 12.) the blasphemous wearing of clerical vestments and special religious attire, 13.) the blasphemous mumbling of Latin in church, 14.) the blasphemous belief that the writings of the "church fathers" and "church tradition" are of equal authority with the bible in determining true doctrine, 15.) the blasphmeous belief that civil governments should enforce the religious dogmas of the church, 16.) the blasphmeous belief in Sunday sacredness, 17.) the blasphmeous belief in the immortality of the soul, 18.) the blasphmeous belief in Rome's error of justification because of infused love and righteousness within the believer rather than justification because of the imputed righteousness of Christ's meritorious sinless life and atoning death on the cross reckoned to the believer.
Regarding the blasphmeous satanic antinomian error of Sunday sacredness, and also the false blasphmeous belief in the natural immortality of the soul—the "Lawless One" will openly appear at the very end of time and will deceive the entire unbelieving world through these two diabolical false doctrines.
Unbiblical Teaching #8. The belief that the United States of America is the "lamb-like beast" of Revelation 13.
Correction: The first "beast" with ten horns found in Revelation 13 represents pagan imperial Rome which persecuted the Christian faith prior to Rome's fall. "The lamb-like" second beast of Revelation 13 represents the false Gnostic judaising circumcision party which began to arise even while the apostles were alive. The apostles Paul, John, Peter, Jude, and James valliantly preached against these false ascetic Gnostic teachers who were within the church. (see the epistles of Peter, Jude, and John. See also Paul's epistles to the Colossians, Galatians, and Timothy.) These pseudo-Christian false teachers, also called "Ebionites", denied the finished substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross, denied the forgiveness of sin and eternal life by God's unmerited grace alone through faith in Christ's atoning blood, and denied His eternal divinity as the Son of God. These antichrist teachers attempted to corrupt the Christian faith even as early as the apostolic era. They would eventually through the years arise to even greater ascendancy within the Christian faith even until the fall (or deadly wound) of the pagan Roman Empire. Many of these false doctrines would emerge as the false doctrines of the Roman Catholic "church". These false teachers are symbolized in Revelation 13 as the "false prophet" which represents the papal pontiff of Rome who "heals" the wounded beast of imperial Rome by taking the pagan Roman gods, with their pagan demonic doctrines, and deceptively incorporating them into the doctrines of Christianity. The "image to the beast" represents the establishment of the papal Vatican in Rome with her false gospel-denying doctrines. The pope who resides and sits on the throne of the Vatican in Rome has taken over the "throne of the beast" as the successor to imperial Rome which then slowly morphed into what became known as the "Holy Roman Empire" with the "pope" as its spiritual leader. These European countries after WW1 and WW2 then morphed into the European Union of today. The "number of his name" is 666 which can be adduced by counting and adding up the roman numbers in the pope's title "Vicar of the Son of God", "Vicarivs Filii Dei".
The historicist interpretation and analysis of the books of Daniel and Revelation by the early sabbatarian pioneers such as Uriah Smith, J. N. Andrews and others were not quite accurate in their exposition and interpretation of these apocalyptic symbols.)
Unbiblical Teaching #9. The belief by some in total pacifism which forbids the use of deadly force to defend ourselves, our families, or our country in a just war.
Correction: Christians have the God-given right to self defense of themselves and their families from threat of life and limb. Total pacifism at all times is not taught in the New Testament. Some of our Lord's admonitions in His "Sermon on the Mount" were directed towards the rebellious people of Israel and especially the Pharisees who hated the rule of the Roman empire over their nation. And thus He directed them to passively submit to imperial Rome's rule and authority over their nation at the time of Christ. The principles of God's two great commandments to love the Lord with all our hearts and to love and treat our neighbors as we would want to be treated are to be lived out even when we find ourselves in a pagan society or under the rule of a godless government like the Roman empire indeed was. Our Lord was not teaching us that criminals and law breakers should not be prosecuted and punished by legitimate civil authorities in proportion to the seriousness of their crimes against society. Christ was expanding the far-reaching outward and inward claims of God's Law upon the believer's life. However, He was not eliminating the need for, and pursuit of, legitimate social justice and equity for the individual person and society as a whole.
Unbiblical Teaching #10. The belief that the ritually clean / unclean Levitical food laws are binding upon Christians.
Correction: (The Levitical ritual food laws were never mandated and imposed upon the Christian believers by the apostles as a test of Christian fellowship in the early church of the first century. Christ cleansed all foods of their ritual uncleanness (Mark 7:19), but those who wish to abstain for health reasons should not mandate this for others who do not choose to abstain.)
Unbiblical Distinctive #11. The belief by some that just before Christ comes again and the Lord leaves the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, the intercession of Christ's imputed merit will no longer be necessary for the Christian remnant, because they supposedly have become "perfected" sinless believers and are as sinless as Jesus and as sinless as Adam before the Fall.
Correction: In the same way as Noah and his family were shut in the ark after the door of salvation for the wicked antediluvian world was closed, the intercession of Christ's imputed righteousness never ceases for Christ's remnant people. The reason that Christ never stops His intercession and imputed righteousness for the repentant believer in Him, is because the sanctified life of the commandment-keeping believer will still need the imputed righteousness of Christ to cover him even until the Lord comes in the clouds of heaven.The merit of His blood continues for the repentant believing remnant who are keeping the commandments of God and trusting in Christ's blood until He comes again. However, probation does in fact close for the unrepentant unbelieving world. But probation closes only for the unbelieving lawless world which rejects the Lord's final proclamation of the three angel's messages of Revelation 14. They reject the invitation to repent of their transgressions of God's holy Law, including the fourth commandment. They refuse to call upon Him as their Savior and Lord.
Unbiblical Teaching #12. The belief that there is a "blotting out of sin" as a special or "final atonement" for the people of God which is different than the daily forgiveness of sins.
Correction: The term "blotting out of sin" and the term "forgiveness of sin " are used interchangeably in the Bible.
Colossians 2:13-14 (KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out (exaleipho) the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Colossians 2:13-14 (NAU) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,by canceling (exaleipho) the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Colossians 2:13-14 (NLT) You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled (exaleipho) the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross.
Colossians 2:13-14 (NRS) And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing (exaleipho) the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.
Acts 3:18-21 (KJV) But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out (exaleipho), that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Isaiah 44:22 (KJV) I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
Unbiblical Teaching #13. The belief that the "latter rain" is a special final second blessing and infilling of the Holy Spirit which totally restores the character of God's people to the original innocence of Adam before the Fall.
Correction: (All repentant baptized forgiven believers in Christ receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in both "former and latter rain" measure and begin the daily life-long battle with sin and begin to daily grow in holiness and sanctification until the Last Day at our Lord's second coming. Repentant believers in Christ will need the forgiveness of sin until the end of time. The sanctification and imparted righteousness of the most mature believers in Christ must still be covered by the imputed righteousness of Christ. Prior to the fall of Adam, he did not need the imputed righteousness of Christ. He had neither a sinful nature nor any propensity to sin.)
Unbiblical Teaching #14. The belief in sinless perfection for the "final generation" before Christ comes.
Correction: (While all true Christians are seeking to walk in holiness, obedience to the holy Law of God, and a sanctified life, total sinless perfection for the Christian community comes at translation. Repentance and forgiveness are the "daily bread" of the believing Christian until "this corruptible shall put on incorruption" at the coming of Christ on the Last Day. God's people will need both justification, the daily forgiveness of sin, and on-going growth in sanctification until the Lord comes in the clouds of heaven.)
Unbiblical Teaching #15. The belief that the "last days", the "time of the end" began in A.D.1798.
Correction: (The "last lays" and the "time of the end" began with the gospel proclamation in the apostolic era.)
Unbiblical Teaching # 16. The belief that just prior to the coming of the Lord there will be a "special" group of Christians called the "144,000" who keep the Law of God perfectly and reach sinless perfection prior to the second coming of our Lord .
Correction: (John's epistle of Revelation 7 and 14 figuratively depicts spiritual Israel in symbolic language as the "twelve tribes of Israel" and calls the Christian church the "144,000". This symbolism represents all true believers in Christ from Adam unto the final Day at the coming of Christ. All repentant sinners who trust in the merits of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, are members of spiritual Israel, the "144,000". There are no special groups in the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ alone has provided atonement for sin and He alone is the sinless One. All repentant sinners who trust in His sinless life and atoning death are justified by God's unmerited grace through faith in His propitiation of sin at Calvary and have His sinless life and atoning death imputed and reckoned to them. The symbols of the "144,000" and the "innumerable multitude" represent the same identical group, spiritual "Israel".)
Conclusion: These reforms among Sabbath-keeping Christians are absolutely necessary in order for a true reformation and revival of primitive godliness to take place among the advent people.
Acts 17:30 "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,"
Then and only then will the people of God in other folds begin to take our gospel proclamation seriously and join this God-ordained movement to restore the bible and "only the bible" as the rule of Christian faith.
The Sabbath restoration movement is not a cult. The essence of this evangelical movement is true historic Protestant Christianity. This movement, as God intends it to be, is God's final warning to all the world to repent and be justified by Christ's unmerited grace alone through faith in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ alone as revealed in the Bible alone.
This is the true restoration movement which the Lord Jesus Christ intended for this movement to be. Christ's purpose for providentially raising up this end-time movement is to finish the Protestant reformation and be the foremost voice in all the world to proclaim the commandments of God and uplift the sinless, crucified, and risen Savior as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all the world. It is time for evangelical Christians to finish the Protestant reformation and become all that the Lord intended this movement to be.
Ezekiel 2:4-5 For they are impudent children and stiff hearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. 5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
Return to the Sabbath Reformation home page