Thursday, January 27, 2011

Work Out Your Own Salvation? I Don't Think So!

The Bible Says in Philippians 2:12 (KJV)….

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

The aforementioned text is often used to emphasize the fact that ‘work’ is involved to secure our salvation.  And yes, The Bible Says in James 2:20,“ But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” 

When Seventh-day Adventists present this argument, they are referring to the work of keeping the Ten Commandments and more specifically, the 7th day Sabbath.  But when James makes the statement that faith without works is dead, what ‘works' is he referring to?

I would like to suggest that these ‘works’ have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation.  Why? Because for those who believe, salvation is already theirs NOW!  The Bible Says in John 3:16, 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.”
The latter part of Philippians 2:12 reads, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”Let’s analyze this statement. ‘Work out’ according to the dictionary means ‘to do physical exercise.”  ‘Your’ is a personal possessive pronoun (showing ownership).  ‘Own’ means to have ownership or possession of.  ‘Salvation’ (the act of delivering from sin) is the object of the statement. In brevity, we are to give the salvation we already have (your own salvation) a good work out.  The Bible Says it even plainer in the New Living Translation, “….Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”

Obeying God for New Covenant Christians is NOT referring to the Ten Commandments.  The Bible Says in 1 John 3:23-24,  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

‘Working out’ and ‘Working for’ are two different processes. Working out says we have it but we need to exercise it and become stronger as a result.  Working ‘for’ means we don’t possess it and we have to work to earn it. Whatever effort we put towards earning or ‘working for’ our salvation is done in vain. How can we work for what we already have?

So, what does this work out involve? The Bible Says, “And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:21(NIV)  Love is an action word, so let's work it!
 Work Out Regiment:

1.      Work out your salvation by EXERCISING faith in God.
2.      Work out your salvation by GIVING of your time and talents.
3.      Work out your salvation by SHARING your faith.
4.      Work out your salvation by PULLING away from false doctrine.
5.      Work out your salvation by LEANING on God for power.
6.      Work out your salvation by WALKING in the Spirit.
7.      Work out your salvation by RUNNING for the prize.
8.      Work out your salvation by LOVING God and others.
9.     Work out your salvation by never SKIPPING Bible Study and prayer.
10.  Work out your salvation by SPREADING the Good News of the Gospel.
11.  Work out your salvation by allowing the Holy Spirit to PULL UP all malice, envy and unforgiveness in your heart.
12.  Work out your salvation by PRAISING God from Whom all blessings flow.
13. Work out your salvation by RESTING in Him every day!
14. Work out your salvation by FORGETTING your past and walking in a newness of life.

If we believe the Good News of the Gospel and allow God, the Holy Spirit, to dwell in us, He does the work and His commands are not burdensome.  The Bible Says, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,” 1 John 5:3 (NIV)

Reader, please note that this regiment has everything to do with relationship and not the written letter of the law.

The Bible Says in 1 John 2:27 “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. Says, “ (NLT)

If the Spirit dwells within us, there’s no need for the written law because The Bible Says, But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13 (NIV)
With God, the Holy Spirit, in our hearts and as our guide, why the need for tablets of stone?

 With much Christian love.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seventh-day Adventist's Amazing Facts Are Really Amazing

The Bible Says in Galatians 1:6-9 …
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Once the people are gathered under the 'big tent' or the rented hall to be taught, the objective from day one is to slowly convince these potential converts that the 7th day is the Sabbath and the evangelist proceeds to prove it from the Bible. But does he REALLY prove it?

A friend and I were passionately discussing the Sabbath so he decided to give me Lesson 6 of the Amazing Facts series to study. I did and l read some amazing facts that I'd like to share with you.  I am more and more convinced that everything happens for a reason because it dawned on me that this would be great to use as an illustration of the deception being taught by the Adventist church.

Let's look at what is being taught regarding The Law in the Amazing Facts series, Lesson 6, entitled, Written In Stone.   Click here if you care to print Lesson 6 or follow along with me.

The lesson begins by stating, “Centuries ago, God wrote His law in stone, and you are still supposed to keep it today.”  The study begins by neglecting the fact that the Law consisted of 613 commands. The writers deliberately restrict the Law to the Ten Commandments because the Ten were the only ones written ‘in stone’.  The law was the Torah, a unit of 613 commands of which the Ten Commandments was a part.

Below are questions and answers taken from the Lesson 6 followed with my Rebuttal. Please take note that all emphasis (bold, CAPS, underlinedcolored text) in the Scriptures that I am quoting are mine and I am using the NIV unless stated otherwise.

Question 2What is the definition of sin?

Amazing Facts: Sin is breaking God's Ten Commandment law.

Rebuttal: All wrongdoing is sin.... 1 John 5:17 NIV. When Jesus was on earth speaking to the Jews, He raised the bar regarding the Torah.  For instance, Matthew 5:27-28 reads, "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:43-44 reads,  "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

Note that in Matthew 19, Jesus was referring to the Torah and not just the Ten Commandments. "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy" is not one of the Ten Commandments. Also it is important to note that Jesus is speaking to Jews. Gentiles were not and never was under the law.

Amazing Facts is specifically using the terminology 'God's Ten Commandments' because they are leading up to the Sabbath (the Sabbath is included in the 'Ten') AND they will also teach that there is a distinction between the Law of God and the Law of Moses.

Question 3: Why did God give us the Ten Commandments?

Amazing Facts: As a guide for happy, abundant living;  to show the difference between right and wrong; To protect me from danger and tragedy; It helps us to know God.

Rebuttal: God did not give the Ten Commandments to us, the Gentile Christians. He gave them to the Israelites only. Romans 2:14 reads: “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law....”  Ephesians 2:11-13 explains it beautifully. It reads...

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

This clearly states that the Gentiles (non-Jews) were uncircumcised, separated, excluded, foreigners and not part of the covenants of the promise until the Seed (Christ) came. Christ's coming was when the mystery (equality between Jews and Gentiles) was revealed. Now that Christ has come, suffered, died for our sins and rose again, we, too, (Gentile Christians) are heirs to the promise under a New Covenant.

Question 4: Why is God's law exceedingly important to me personally?

Amazing Facts: Because the Ten Commandment law is the standard by which God examines people in the heavenly judgment.

Rebuttal: So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. James 2:12

Notes for 2:12
As Christians we are saved by God's free gift (grace) through faith, not by keeping the law. But as Christians, we are also required to obey Christ. The apostle Paul taught "for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2Corinthians 5:10) to be judged for our conduct. God's grace does not cancel our duty to obey him; it gives our obedience a new basis. The law is no longer an external set of rules, but it is a "law that gives freedom" — one we joyfully and willingly carry out, because we love God and because we have the power of his Holy Spirit to carry it out (see Jas 1:25). —Life Application Bible Notes

In my rebuttal, I used the same text that Amazing Facts used. Obviously they are interpreting the Law of Liberty as the Ten Commandments, which is incorrect. The Law of Liberty is the same as the Royal Law of Love.  We shall be judged by the Law of Liberty not the Ten Commandments.  The Law of Liberty or Royal Law instructs us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  James 2:8 NLT

Question 5: Can God's law (the Ten Commandments) ever be changed or abolished?

Amazing Facts: Absolutely not! ...If the law could have been changed, God would have immediately made that change when Adam and Eve sinned instead of sending His Son to die in the sinner's behalf to pay the penalty of the broken law.  This was impossible.  The commandments are revealed principles of God's holy character that will always be true as long as God exists.

Rebuttal: Amazing Facts is saying that the law was in effect before Adam and Eve sinned. The Bible clearly says otherwise. Romans 5:13 NIV says,  for before the law was givensin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.

Adam and Eve did not break a Ten Commandment law; they broke the command not to eat of the tree.

Matthew 5:15:  "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

When Jesus (a Jew born under Jewish law) was on earth, the law wasn't changed nor abolished. Simply put, when Christ died for our sins, the terms of the covenant agreement between God and the Israelites were fulfilled and no longer binding. Remember, the law was given UNTIL the Seed came. It had a beginning and ending point. It ended when it was fulfilled on the cross, not before.

Amazing Facts also say that the Ten Commandments are principles of God's holy character or as I was taught, a transcript of God's character.  To know God's ways and His character, check out what Moses had to say in Exodus 34:5-8..

5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."   8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.

As His children, He desires us to develop the Fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, long-suffering. gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  Against such, THERE IS NO LAW.

Question 6: Did Jesus abolish God's law while He was here on earth?

Amazing Facts: No, indeed!

Rebuttal: It was abolished AFTER His death on the crossEphesians 2:15: ''by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.  The New Living Translation reads, “He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations.  He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.”

When Jesus died on the cross, the law with its commandments and regulations ended. Abolish means to ‘get rid of’ or ‘do away with’. So yes, according to Scripture it was abolished because Jesus met and fulfilled its conditions. It is my belief that Amazing Facts is trying to make the point that the Ten Commandments as a unit (including the Sabbath) are still to be obeyed today and the conditions were not met on the cross.

Question 7: Will people who knowingly continue to break even one of God's commandments be saved?

Amazing Facts: The Ten Commandment law is the guide we must use in finding our way to God and holy living. If I ignore even one of the commandments, I am neglecting part of the divine pattern, or blueprint. If only one link of a chain is broken, its entire purpose is undone. The Bible says that when we knowingly break any command of God, we are sinning (James 4:17) because we have refused His will for us.  Only those who do His will can enter the kingdom of heaven. 

Rebuttal:  The above comment is setting the people up for Sabbath-keeping.  If they neglect the keeping of the Sabbath, they have broken a link of the chain and thwarted its purpose.  We are not under the law as stated numerous times in Scripture. 

Christ kept the law for each of us and bore our sins on the cross.  We are saved by grace through faith.  If accepted, the Holy Spirit leads us, guides us, teaches us truth and empowers us.  Believers  live by the Spirit. 

The Bible Says in Romans 8:14 "14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."

Again, the Ten Commandments and Sabbath keeping are not the standard.

Question 8: Can anyone be saved by keeping the law?

Amazing Facts: No! The answer is too plain to miss. No one can be saved by keeping the law.  Salvation comes only through grace, as a free gift from Jesus Christ, and we receive this gift by faith not by works. The law serves only as a mirror to point out sin in our lives.  Cleansing and forgiveness from that sin come only through Christ.

Rebuttal: They say 'No' but 'in practice' they teach that the 7th day Sabbath has to be kept because it will divide believers from unbelievers. The Sabbath will be the end-time test and seal for believers. So, if one doesn’t keep the Sabbath and as a result isn’t sealed, he will be lost. Obviously, their answer should have been ‘Yes’ because they have to keep the Jewish Sabbath to be sealed and saved. 

Often their response is, “We don’t keep the Sabbath to be saved.  We keep the Sabbath because we love God and because we love God we keep it because He asked us to.”  Under the New Covenant, God has never asked anyone to keep the Old Covenant Sabbath. Under the New Covenant, it is Today!

Question 9: Why, then, is the law an absolute essential for perfecting Christian character?

Amazing Facts: Because the full pattern, or 'whole duty', for Christian living is contained in God's law.

Rebuttal: The law is not an absolute essential for perfecting Christian character. The law is powerless.  When it was binding, it could only point out sinThe work of the Holy Spirit is to perfect us; He leads and guides us into all truth and righteousness.

Question 11: But isn't a Christian who has faith and is living under grace freed from keeping the law?

Amazing Facts: No! The Scriptures teach the very opposite.  Grace is like the governor's pardon to a prisoner.  It forgives him, but it does not give him  freedom to break one single law on the statute books.  The forgiven person, living under grace, is under double obligation to keep the law.  A person who refuses to keep God's law, saying that he is living under grace, is mistaken.  He is living under disgrace.

Rebuttal: Yes! The Ten Commandment law is not binding on New Covenant Christians. Notice that in Question 8, Amazing Facts agrees with the Bible by saying we can't be saved by keeping the law but in this question they say we are not free from keeping the law? Adventists speak with forked tongue again. If we aren't saved by keeping the law but we are not free from keeping the law, that means we have to keep the law! Why so much confusion and contradiction in their answers? 

The Bible Says in Ephesians 2:8-9, "8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast."

Question 12: Are the Ten Commandments of God reaffirmed in the New Testament?

Amazing Facts: Yes, and very clearly so.

Rebuttal: No, and very clearly not so. The Ten Commandment Law as a unit is not reaffirmed in the New Testament.  The fourth commandment is missing.  Even their prophet, Mrs. White, wrote, “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, and their deep spiritual import explained. {RH, May 16, 1882 par. 28}

To say that the Sabbath is reaffirmed in the New Testament, Amazing Facts use Hebrews 4:4, 9,10:

4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

This portion of Scripture is referring back to God’s rest at the completion of His creation on the 7th day.  Howeverinstead of Amazing Facts citing the entire passage, they conveniently omit key Scripture that declares a New Day of rest, thus deceiving the people.  Hebrews 4:4-10 in its entirety reads:

4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." 5 And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest." 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice,  do not harden your hearts." 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.

God wanted the Israelites to enter into His rest.  Initially, on Mt. Sinai, He gave them the 7th day to rest from their work even though He had a better rest in mind. According to Hebrews 4:6 they failed to enter because of unbelief, so Hebrews 4:7 states that God AGAIN set a certain day, calling it Today! Again means 'once more, renew’. In other words, God replaced the 7th day with Today.

We have a new day of rest called Today. Everyday that we are blessed to be alive is called Today. Jesus is our eternal rest and is inviting us to rest in Him everyday. He invites us to come unto Him and He promises to give us rest; not just one out of seven days but everyday. This is a spiritual rest of not trying to work our way in or be good enough.  It’s a rest of complete confidence and assurance in His completed work for us on the cross IF we believe the Good News!

So no, the 7th day Sabbath is not reaffirmed in the New Testament even according to their prophetess Ellen White.

Question 13: Are God's law and Moses law the same?

Amazing Facts: No, they are not the same. Moses law contained the temporary, ceremonial law of the Old Testament. It regulated the priesthood, sacrifices, rituals, meat and drink offerings, etc. all of which foreshadowed the cross. This law was added 'till the seed should come.' and that seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16,19). The ritual and ceremony of Moses' law pointed forward to Christ's sacrifice. When He died on the cross, this law came to an end, but the Ten Commandments (God's law) stands forever. That there are two laws is made crystal clear in Daniel 9:10,11.

10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. "Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you

Rebuttal: Yes, they are the same. The Law of God and the Law of Moses can be used interchangeably. 

The Bible Says in Luke 2:22-24 and Luke 2:30....

22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord" ), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons (clearly what he is quoting from the Law of Moses did not come from the Ten Commandments and clearly what he is quoting from the Law of the Lord is not from the Ten Commandments. What he is quoting comes from the 'Book of the Law' which is God's Law AND Moses' Law).

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.

Please note that the Law of the Lord in these verses is NOT referring to the Ten Commandments but the 'so-called' ceremonial laws. So Amazing Facts cannot correctly say that Moses' Law was strictly ceremonial.  Furthermore, God's law was a unit (613 commands) and could not be divided.

The text that Amazing Facts references does not prove otherwise. Daniel was praying to God and was rehearsing how the people had sinned against Him. You have to read the verses preceding the texts that Amazing Facts chose. Starting at Daniel 9, verse 7 sets the backdrop...

7 "Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame--the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 O LORD, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.  "Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.”

If Moses is the servant of God and God gave him a message or laws, then it is God's message or law for Moses, in turn, to give to the people. Example: Paul, in the New Testament, received direct communication from God as His servant and his words are as commandments or laws from God. The same with Moses. Paul and Moses both received from God to teach the people; they were willing servant vessels. They weren't Paul's or Moses' laws but God's. Paul remarks regarding his calling in Galatians 1:11-12

 11 'I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."

Thought Question #3: Don't Colossians 2:14-17 and Ephesians 2:15 teach that God's law ended at the cross?
Amazing Facts: No, these passages both refer to the law containing “ordinances' or Moses' law, which was a ceremonial law governing the sacrificial system and the priesthood. All this ceremony and ritual foreshadowed the cross and ended at Christ's death, as God had intended.  Moses' law was added till the "Seed should come," and that "Seed ... is Christ" (Gal. 3:16, 19). God's law could not be involved here, for Paul spoke of it as holy, just and good many years after the cross (Rom. 7:7, 12).

Rebuttal: I need to answer this in four parts. Firstly, they are stating that Colossians and Ephesians are referring to ceremonial laws governing the sacrificial system and the priesthood. Again, taken in context, Colossians is speaking regarding the Torah.  In vs. 13, which Amazing Facts omit, Paul says, "You were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive in Christ.  He forgave all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross." My point is that Paul is not referencing just so-called ceremonial laws, he is referencing the entire Torah.  Also note that he didn't say 'they' were nailed to the cross, but 'it' was nailed to the cross. The law is an indivisible unit.  

Secondly, Amazing Facts say, "All this ceremony and ritual foreshadowed the cross and ended at Christ's death, as God had intended." I totally agree. This ceremony even included the Sabbath.  The sabbath was/is a ceremony with it's own ritual as the other monthly and yearly Sabbaths.  For instance, a RITUAL of the weekly Sabbath was the changing of the Shewbread or Bread of Presence.   

Notes on 1 Chronicles 21:6....

Once a week on the Sabbath, a priest entered the Holy Place in the tabernacle and placed 12 freshly baked loaves of bread on a small table. This bread, called the bread of the Presence, symbolized God's presence among his people as well as his loving care that met their physical needs. The bread that was replaced was to be eaten only by the priests on duty.
—Life Application Bible Notes

So yes, the Old Covenant weekly Sabbath is ceremonial in nature and confined to a 24 hour period.  It pointed to Jesus, our Sabbath rest.  Under the New Covenant, He set aside AGAIN another day, called Today. Today is everyday and not confined to a 24 hour period.  The Bible Says in Col. 2:16-17 ... "16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."

Thirdly, Amazing Facts states, "Moses' law was added till the "Seed should come," and that "Seed ... is Christ" (Gal. 3:16, 19).  I am unable to locate the verse in my Bibles that say, "Moses' law ( meaning the so-called ceremonial laws) was added till the Seed should come." Moses law and God's law can be used interchangeably as we discovered earlier. Neither will you find a division of the law in the Bible (ceremonial, moral, civil).  These are all man-made.  Gal. 3:19 reads, "What, then, was the purpose of the lawIt was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. ...." Again, the law was the Torah, 613 commands, an indivisible unit.

Amazing Facts spoke of 'ordinances' as pertaining to Moses' ceremonial laws. According to the dictionary, an ordinance is a statute or regulation, meaning the act of controlling or directing according to rule; a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior. The Ten Commandments were ordinances handwritten by God and the rest of the Torah was ordinances given to Moses by God but they were handwritten by Moses.  Both 'commandments and ordinances' were handwritten.  Amazing Facts answer is adding to the Bible.  

Colossians 2:14 reads, "Blotting out 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;" As cited above, God and Moses hand wrote the lawso the law in its entirety was nailed to the cross.

Yes. Ephesians 2:15 abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments AND regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,

Fourthly, Paul did say that the law is holy, just and good but if you take the time to read the whole chapter of Romans 7 or even verses 1-12, you will discover that Amazing Facts is quoting out of context or proof-texting.  Paul is not promoting law-keeping. It is imperative to read the Bible in context and to be aware to whom it is speaking at the time.  Even though the whole Bible is relevant and inspired, everything in it was not written for everyone although we can learn from what was written to others.

The law is one complete unit starting in Genesis and ending in Deuteronomy. Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets on the cross.

This lesson is clearly leading up to keeping the 7th day Sabbath, which didn't and doesn't apply to us Gentiles (non-Jews). The main focus is on the Ten Commandments because inclusive in this portion of the Torah is the Sabbath. Adventists know they are misleading the people but continue to do so. The Adventist leadership has practiced deceit from its inception. They have refused to share 'truth' with its members. They have tried to suppress truth; they have tried to re-write truth; they have tried to omit 'truth' but truth has a way of being found out.

Thanks to the Internet, what was hidden in the dark is coming to light. The Seventh-day Adventist leadership deliberately and successfully suppressed truth from its members for decades. The real truth is accessible to all who want to know Jesus, the truth and the light; the Holy Spirit is lifting the veil and many are walking away and becoming Christ-Followers.  Amazing Facts is another attempt to deceive and distort God’s Word by teaching a 'different' gospel.

The Bible Says in 2 Corinthians 3:15 …‘Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.’

I say, ‘God cannot kiss His bride until the veil is lifted.’   Patricia Allen

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Torah and The Ten Commandments

The Bible Says in Matthew 5:19, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

Negating the fact that the law 'in its entirety' was fulfilled and nailed to the cross when Jesus died, Seventh-day Adventists enforce the Ten Commandments because they say that they are God's eternal moral laws. It is true that moral laws are still enforced today but moral laws were in effect through the conscious before the written law was given on Mt. Sinai. Seventh-day Adventists maintain this position because they buy into the division of the law into categories such as moral, civil and ceremonial. They also maintain this posture because included in the Ten Commandments is the 7th day Sabbath command, which according to their teaching, is the end-time test and seal for those who will be saved. 

According to the teachings of the Adventist church, only the ceremonial laws (sacrifices, etc.) were nailed to the cross.  The irony is that the 7th day Sabbath commandment positioned in the middle of the Ten Commandments is a ceremonial law.  Furthermore, no where in the Bible will we find that the Ten Commandments are God's eternal moral laws. The Bible Says in 1 Cor. 13:13 NLT, "Three things will last forever -- faith, hope and love -- and the greatest of these is love."  The Bible also says, the Ten Commandments was a covenant statement between God and the children of Israel. The covenant statement summarized the entire law or Torah, which consisted of 613 commands including the Ten Commandments.

The Bible Says in Exodus 34:28 (NIV), “Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant--the Ten Commandments.” (emphasis mine)

Although man has taken the liberty to categorize God's law, God did no such thing.  In fact, He told the Israelites that they were to keep ALL his laws, decrees and commands. They were a unit and could not be separated. If the Israelites broke one of these 613 laws, they were guilty of breaking them all.  

During my studies, I found no division of the law so out of curiosity I decided to inquire of a Rabbi via email to see if his answer agreed with what I had learned in Scripture. Why a Rabbi? Because they were given the law and are an authority regarding its purpose and interpretation.  Following is a copy of the email correspondence: 

From: Patricia Allen
I understand that the Torah consists of 613 laws including the Ten Commandments. Are the 613 commandments considered a unit or are there categories like civil, moral and ceremonial laws? When Scripture speaks of The Law is it speaking of the entire law (Torah)? Can the Ten Commandments be separated from the Torah?

Thanks for your response.

Shalom Patricia,
I like your question, as there are some very important key concepts contained within, important to Jews, and important to non-Jews. You have classified yourself as a ben Noach, which is quite correct, as anyone who is not Jewish is under G-d's Noachide Covenant. It is a positive thing to identify oneself honestly and straightforwardly as a ben Noach for this is the direction G-d wants every non-Jew to take. BTW: One should not think that G-d's Noachide Covenant is a simple set of seven laws. It is nothing of the kind. It is an entire way of thinking, an entire way of living, and it is a philosophical and intellectual exercise without end.

As to the Ten Commandments, there is no such thing. I realize that everyone thinks it is the Ten Commandments, and therefore calling it anything else would be troublesome, and as so even most knowing people stick to the title. However, the Hebrew term for "Ten Commandments" would be, "Aseres Mitzvos," and that is NOT what these commandments are called. They are called the "Aseres HaDibros," the Ten STATEMENTS. The Rambam (Maimonides) explains to us that the Aseres Hadibros are actually 14 commandments, couched within Ten Statements.

You ask if the Aseres Hadibros stand alone away from the Torah, away from the 613? No, they do not. They are a reflection of G-d's complete law to the Jewish people. The 613 do not stand alone either. AND, the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach (Seven Laws of Noah) also do not stand alone. G-d's covenants to the Jews and to the rest of humankind are all encompassing modes of daily behavior. What needs to be clearly understood is that G-d's laws to the Jewish people are NOT the same as G-d's laws to everyone else, and a person is to learn and follow HIS set of laws, be they Jewish or Noachide. He is not to become confused and think he is to follow the other person's rules.

The laws making up BOTH G-d's Jewish and Noachide covenants were both given over at Sinai, and are both incorporated within G-d's Torah. The key to understanding those laws, both Jewish and Noachide, lie with the knowledgeable and observant of the recipients of those laws at Sinai, that is, the Jews. The Aseres HaDibros (Ten Statements) are NOT incumbent upon a ben Noach, and there are sections, such as Shaboos observance, which is not even allowed for a ben Noach. However, righteousness can be achieved BOTH by a Jew and by a ben Noach if he understands and follows his own set of rules, and makes them the basis for his continual improvement throughout his life.

I do hope this is helpful.

Regards, Eliahu Levenson

What the Rabbi cites is indeed compatible with Scripture. Also note that he said that Shaboos Observance (Sabbath Observance) is not even allowed by a Ben Noachide (Gentile). Israelite law was not meant for Gentiles to observe. 
The Bible Says in Ephesians 2:11-13 (NIV), 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” (emphasis mine)

After Jesus shed His blood, died for our sins and rose again, the Gentiles (non-Jews) were given the Good News of the Gospel.  Jesus tore down the dividing wall and all people were invited in.

According to Scripture, the law was first given at Mt. Sinai to the Israelites only.  Gentile Christians were never under the law.  In fact, the entire law had already been nailed to the cross and/or fulfilled before Gentiles were even extended the invitation to hear the Good News of the Gospel.

Romans 2:14-16 reads,  "14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." (emphasis mine)

The Bible is clear that the law was not given to the Gentiles and it is also clear that the law was given 430 years after Abraham and it was in effect only until Christ the Seed came to fulfill it.

Galatians 3:17, 19 NIV reads, 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise." 19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. (emphasis mine)

I believe that the reason there is so much confusion in the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church is because of deliberate deceit and the teaching that they (SDAs) are numbered with Israel. The following excerpt is taken from a booklet written by E. B. Jones entitled, “40 Bible-Supported Reasons Why You Should Not Be An SDA”. This is reason 24: The SDAs Teach that They, as a Denomination Are “Numbered with Israel” … “the Representatives of Heaven that Make Up the True Church of Christ”! 

In the book, “Ministry of Healing,” p 405 (edition of 1909), Mrs. White says: “We (or SDAs) are numbered with Israel. All the instruction given to the Israelites of old …, all the promises of blessings through obedience, are for us.” And in the book, Prophets and Kings,: p.74 (edition 1917), Mrs. White says: “wherein they (Israel of old) were weak, even to the point of failure, the Israel of God today (that is, the SDAs), the representatives of heaven that make up the true church of Christ, must be strong; for upon them devolves the task of finishing the work that has been committed to man, and of ushering in the day of final awards.”

The Bible teaches that Israel, the natural ‘seed of Abraham,’ and the Church, the Spirit-begotten ‘body of Christ,” are wholly distinct from the other; ….. When SDAs and other religions take huge portions of Scripture that was intended indisputably and exclusively for Jews both in meaning and application and place it upon themselves, claiming to be Israel, appropriating to themselves Jewish promises and Jewish hopes; and would put the consciences of Christians under the bondage of Old Covenant legalism, they are doing Satan’s work and making Christ’s death in vain.

Abundant blessings as you discover what The Bible Says….

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Are Believers on Probation? Can Believers be Perfect?

Are believers on probation? Will believers be perfect (cease sinning) before Jesus returns? The answer to these questions is a resounding and unequivocal NO! Believers are not on probation waiting for an Investigative Judgment to end and believers will not cease sinning before Jesus returns. As a former Seventh-day Adventist (SDA), I know this sounds like heresy but please hear me out because I can prove it from Scripture.

According to, probation comes from Middle French, meaning critical examination and evaluation, from Latin probation- probatio , from probare meaning to test, approve, prove. 1 a : subjection to a period of evaluation and possible termination at the commencement of employment in a position for which one's fitness is to be determined. 1 b : subjection to a period of review in the course of employment or education as a result of a violation of standards and with the possibility of dismissal if standards are not met.

Probation then is a test to prove our fitness for heaven with the possibility of being turned away if we don’t meet the standards. So probation for believers would be trying (as long as we live) to qualify for heaven knowing that in the end, we will be dismissed because we can never attain perfection. It’s a 'lose - lose' situation and pretty scary indeed! I lived with this fear for decades until I heard and believed the Good News of the Gospel! The Good News is that Jesus passed every test, He suffered, He bled, He died on the cross and He rose again that we might claim His victory and perfection by faith. In other words, He met the standards for us.

Our Seventh-day Adventist friends teach and believe that we are on probation, and that our name could come up for judgment at any time. They say we need to work to make sure that our character is perfect because it is the only thing that we will take from earth to glory. I believe that by beholding we become changed. If we believe what The Bible Says and if we are allowing the Holy Spirit to have active and daily control of our lives, change is inevitable, but that change is not a by-product of our works. It is God’s gift to us.

Seventh- day Adventists use the correct Christian jargon like “We teach and believe that we are saved by grace through faith.” What they really believe is that we are saved by grace through faith PLUS works (being perfect, keeping the 7th day holy, not eating meat, not wearing jewelry, giving 10% of their gross income and…. well, this is the short list). They are quick to say that they keep the Sabbath out of love for God NOT as a requirement to be saved but because He asked them to. God has never asked nor required New Covenant Christians to keep the 7th day Sabbath.

According to Ellen G. White (their prophetess), the Sabbath will be the end-time test that will divide believers from non-believers. The Sabbath keepers will be sealed and those worshipping on other days will not be sealed. So it is plain to see that it is indeed a requirement thus contradicting themselves. The Bible Says, believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit and a day of worship has absolutely nothing to do with it. In addition, God tore down the wall that separated believers and Seventh-day Adventists have built a wall separating themselves from other believers by requiring 7th day Sabbath keeping as the test of faith and calling those who choose to celebrate His resurrection on Sunday harlots. The Bible Says clearly that God gave the Sabbath to the Israelites only.

Be assured that if you choose to worship God with fellow believers on the 7th day, it is not a sin. You have the freedom to do so just as others have the freedom to worship on the day of their choosing. However, when you worship on the 7th day or any day because you believe you will not pass the so-called ‘probationary period’ or will not be sealed and saved unless you keep it, that’s where the problem lies. The Bible says in Col. 2:16-17...

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Our Adventist friends also believe that we are to follow Jesus’ perfect example of living a sinless life because they believe Jesus could have sinned. There is nothing in the Bible to support this claim. Jesus was conceived by the Spirit, He was God in the form of human flesh and as God, He could not sin and had no desire to do so. We were born in sin and unlike Him, we have a sinful nature. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Jesus was the second or last Adam (before Adam sinned), but He was victorious where Adam failed. It’s hard to grasp an understanding of how and why God did what He did for us. It’s hard for us as humans with a sinful nature to understand how He could come to earth as a human and not have a tendency to sin. It’s hard for Seventh-day Adventists to understand that He could not sin, even though He was still God.

God the Son’s mission was to come to pay the price for our redemption. His mission was NOT to show us how to live a perfect life. What was needed for our redemption was a perfect, sinless, and unblemished sacrifice. Do we dare stoop to place God on our sinful level? He came so that we can be lifted out of the pig pen and claim His robe of righteousness as our own. He did all the work and all we have to do is believe Him and claim His righteousness. Remember the story of the prodigal son and His father's great love for him even though he was covered with pigs' stench? No one saw his dirt because of his father's royal robe embracing him.

Since we, in all fairness, cannot compare our sinful nature to His sinless nature, God being the wise God He is, left us plenty of sinful human flesh examples that were victorious and perfect in His sight that we can learn from and emulate. Read Hebrews chapter 11 for a short list (Abraham, Moses, Noah, Joseph, Rahab, Sarah ...) and please notice that they were men and women God honored because of their faith and belief in Him, not because they were sinless. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” and when we get to the point that we think we can explain God, at that point He ceases to be God because the God we love, adore, worship and honor is Sovereign and cannot be explained. It is His holy and majestic right to do as He pleases, how He pleases and when He pleases.

Christ came and paid the full price for our sins and to give all of those who believe in Him eternal life NOW! There was no need for Him to come if we can save ourselves and/or be sinless as He is sinless. Since we have eternal life NOW, there is no need for us to be sentenced to a life of probation to fret, wonder, hope, agonize and pray that we will somehow qualify by passing the test to enter into His rest.

Following are some Scriptures to prove that eternal life is ours NOW, at the moment we believe:

1 Timothy 6:12 NIV
"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (emphasis mine)

John 5:24 NIV
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (emphasis mine)

1 John 3:14 NIV
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” (emphasis mine)

1 John 5:13 NIV
“ I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." (emphasis mine)

John 3:16 NIV
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (emphasis mine)

If we believe God, we have already entered His rest and we don’t carry that weight and burden of guilt wondering if God has come to our name, wondering if all of our sins have been confessed and wondering what was or will be the verdict. What a fearful and insecure way to live. Believe me, I know. When Christ said, ‘It is finished” He meant just that. His atonement was complete and when He returned to the Father, He sat down. He bids us, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavily laden and I will give you rest."

We can attribute the tale of having to stand before a holy God in a righteous (sinless) state without a mediator to Mrs. Ellen Gould White taken from her book, The Great Controversy:

“When [Christ] leaves the sanctuary [at the end of the Investigative Judgment], darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor” (GC 614).

The Bible Says that God will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. Perhaps Seventh- day Adventists get it wrong by how the word ‘perfection’ is defined. To them, it means without sin as quoted in the above statement by Mrs. White. Only a sinless being can stand before a holy God and not be consumed . Does your Bible say "If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts" ? 1John 1:10 Mine does.

Let’s discover what perfection really means:

Hebrews 10:14 reads, “14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” NIV

Notes for 10:14
We have been made perfect, yet we are "being made holy." Through his death and resurrection, Christ, once for all, made his believers perfect in God's sight. At the same time, he is making them holy (progressively cleansed and set apart for his special use) in their daily pilgrimage here. We should not be surprised, ashamed, or shocked that we still need to grow. God is not finished with us. We can encourage this growth process by deliberately applying Scripture to all areas of our lives, by accepting the discipline and guidance Christ provides, and by giving him control of our desires and goals. —Life Application Bible Notes

Matthew 5:48 reads, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Notes for 5:48
How can we be perfect? (1) In character. In this life we cannot be flawless, but we can aspire to be as much like Christ as possible. (2) In holiness. Like the Pharisees, we are to separate ourselves from the world's sinful values. But unlike the Pharisees, we are to be devoted to God's desires rather than our own, and carry his love and mercy into the world. (3) In maturity. We can't achieve Christlike character and holy living all at once, but we must grow toward maturity and wholeness. Just as we expect different behavior from a baby, a child, a teenager, and an adult, so God expects different behavior from us, depending on our stage of spiritual development. (4) In love. We can seek to love others as completely as God loves us.

We can be perfect if our behavior is appropriate for our maturity level — perfect, yet with much room to grow. Our tendency to sin must never deter us from striving to be more like Christ. Christ calls all of his disciples to excel, to rise above mediocrity, and to mature in every area, becoming like him. Those who strive to become perfect will one day be perfect, even as Christ is perfect (1John 3:2,3).—Life Application Bible Notes (all emphasis mine)

The word ‘perfect’ as in the above text comes from the Greek word G5046, teleios meaning: complete (in various applications of labor; growth, mental and moral character, etc.);

Perfect does not and cannot mean sinless because we are sinful by nature and that will not change while we are here on earth. We can claim perfection by faith because of what Jesus did for us but not because we don’t sin. I John 1:9-10 says, “9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." NIV

Notes for 1:9
Confession is supposed to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It should ease our consciences and lighten our cares. But some Christians do not understand how it works. They feel so guilty that they confess the same sins over and over; then they wonder if they might have forgotten something. Other Christians believe that God forgives them when they confess, but if they died with unconfessed sins, they would be forever lost. These Christians do not understand that God wants to forgive us. He allowed his beloved Son to die just so he could offer us pardon. When we come to Christ, he forgives all the sins we have committed or will ever commit. We don't need to confess the sins of the past all over again, and we don't need to fear that God will reject us if we don't keep our slate perfectly clean. Of course we should continue to confess our sins, but not because failure to do so will make us lose our salvation. Our relationship with Christ is secure. Instead, we should confess so that we can enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with him.

As an aside, when one leaves the SDA church, he/she is said to be lost, to have left Christ in order to be free to do as he/she pleases. That is such a lie and another fear tactic to keep its members! We (those of us who sincerely believe) find ourselves running to Christ begging Him to live His life through us and to obey Him by loving others as He commanded. We finally REALLY see that salvation is not about us and our 'doing' but about our belief in what He has done and is doing for and in us. It's such an amazing life-changing experience. One of the most difficult parts for me about leaving Adventism is constantly discovering the ingrained deception and peeling the layers that was once perceived as truth. The discoveries seem to be unending and sometimes overwhelming for having been so gullible.

True confession also involves a commitment not to continue in sin. We wouldn't be genuinely confessing our sins to God if we planned to commit them again and just wanted temporary forgiveness. We should also pray for strength to defeat temptation the next time we face it.

1:9 If God has forgiven us for our sins because of Christ's death, why must we confess our sins? In admitting our sins and receiving Christ's cleansing, we are: (1) agreeing with God that our sin truly is sin and that we are willing to turn from it, (2) ensuring that we don't conceal our sins from him and consequently from ourselves, and (3) recognizing our tendency to sin and relying on his power to overcome it. —Life Application Bible Notes

Furthermore, those who have accepted Christ and believe in Him are not judged nor condemned. Romans 8:1-2 reads, “1 Therefore, there is NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” NIV (emphasis mine)

Take note of the word ‘Now’ (present tense). If there is NOW no condemnation, there’s no need for probation or judgment.

Notes for 8:1
"Not guilty; let him go free" — what would those words mean to you if you were on death row? The fact is that the whole human race is on death row, justly condemned for repeatedly breaking God's holy law. Without Jesus we would have no hope at all. But thank God! He has declared us not guilty and has offered us freedom from sin and power to do his will.

Notes for 8:2
This Spirit of life is the Holy Spirit. He was present at the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2), and he is the power behind the rebirth of every Christian. He gives us the power we need to live the Christian life. For more about the Holy Spirit, read the notes on John 3:6; Acts 1:3; 1:4,5; 1:5. —Life Application Bible Notes

John 5:24 reads, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” NIV (emphasis mine)

Notes for 5:24

"Eternal life" — living forever with God — begins when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior. At that moment, new life begins in you (2Corinthians 5:17). It is a completed transaction. You still will face physical death, but when Christ returns again, your body will be resurrected to live forever (1Corinthians 15). —Life Application Bible Notes

In conclusion, if the Bible speaks truth when it says that Christ came and died for us so that we can have eternal life NOW, why the need to put us on probation? Neither is there a need for an Investigative Judgment because John 10:27-28 NIV says, “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I KNOW THEM, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” The Bible Says He already knows whose are His.

Notes for 10:28,29
Just as a shepherd protects his sheep, Jesus protects his people from eternal harm. While believers can expect to suffer on earth, Satan cannot harm their souls or take away their eternal life with God. There are many reasons to be afraid here on earth because this is the devil's domain (1Peter 5:8). But if you choose to follow Jesus, he will give you everlasting safety. —Life Application Bible Notes

The Bible Says that we have eternal life NOW and it is secure. No man can pluck us out of His hand. When He said,' It is finished', our salvation was complete contingent on our accepting His completed sacrifice. If you believe the Bible as your authoritative guide, that’s GOOD NEWS! Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus our blessed Redeemer!!! It’s not about us; It is ALL about Him.

By the way, the only work that Jesus asked us to do is found in John 6:28-29:

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.(emphasis mine)

Notes for 6:28,29
Many sincere seekers for God are puzzled about what he wants them to do. The religions of the world are mankind's attempts to answer this question. But Jesus' reply is brief and simple: we must believe on him whom God has sent. Satisfying God does not come from the work we do, but from whom we believe. The first step is accepting that Jesus is who he claims to be. All spiritual development is built on this affirmation. Declare to Jesus, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16), and embark on a life of belief that is satisfying to your Creator. —Life Application Bible Notes

Reader, I invite you to study to see what The Bible Says and permit the Holy Spirit to be your interpreter to see whether these things are so. Please don’t permit Ellen White to be your authoritative source or interpreter of God's Word. I saw things her way for decades and when I discovered what The Bible really Says, I was able to begin to experience a peace and joy that I didn’t know even existed in this life. Don’t just accept what you have been taught all of your life especially if you were born into an SDA family. Prove all things for yourself. Never in my life would I have thought I would NOT be a Seventh-day Adventist because I was convinced that I had the truth. I praise God that the truth of the Gospel prevailed and the veil of a different gospel was lifted simply because I decided to believe ONLY what The Bible Says.  Remember,

God cannot kiss His bride until the veil is lifted. --- Patricia A. Allen

With much Christian love.