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Exposing Adventism - Was Jesus an incompetent teacher?

Was Jesus an incompetent teacher? Did He somehow fail to get the point across about the Sabbath, leaving subsequent generations in mystery about the overwhelming significance of the Sabbath? The truth is that Jesus and the New Testament authors rarely mentioned the Sabbath, and the few times they did so, they left the impression that the day of worship was not to be a point of contention between believers.

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (Romans 14:5-6 KJV)

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: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Collosians 2:16-17 KJV)

Instead of focusing on the Sabbath, Jesus and the Apostles focused on the grand Christian themes of salvation, faith, self-sacrificing love, forgiveness, and eternal life. Why would Jesus and the Apostles focus so much attention on these themes if the Sabbath was to be the great deciding factor that would determine who was a true Christian and who was a false Christian? Why did they ignore the topic of the Sabbath instead of preparing us for the great final battle over what day to worship on?

According to Seventh-day Adventist prophetess Ellen White, the Sabbath is the great final test of mankind:

The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. (Great Controversy, 1911, p. 605)

Contrast this with the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles who never describes the Sabbath as a "final test" of any kind. Jesus is very explicit as to what the "final test" is. In fact, in one of His greatest sermons to His disciples he explains precisely what the "final test" will be when He returns to earth the second time. Here it is in the SDA Clear Word Bible:

Everyone on earth will be gathered before Him, and He will separate whose who are genuinely His from those who are not, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats during shearing time. He will call the sheep to His right and the goats to His left. Then He will say to those on His right, "You are God's children because you are so much like Him. Come! It's time for you to receive you inheritance. You have cared about others, which shows that you care about me. When others were thirsty, you gave them water. When they were hungry, you gave them food, and when they were without a place to live, you took them in. When they had nothing suitable to wear, you gave them clothes. When they were sick, you visited and comforted them, and when they were in jail, you didn't forget them." (Matthew 25:32-36 CWB)

Did Jesus say, "You are God's children because you went to church on Saturday and criticized those who went to church on Sunday?" No! The Sabbath has never been a test for gentile Christians and it never will be. The final test will be whether or not a person has the unselfish and loving character of Jesus Christ.

One could argue that the individual who most craves for the Sabbath to be the "final test" is actually Satan himself. Satan has always been portrayed in the Bible as one who seeks ways to distract Christians from the true gospel. For thousands of years he has been seeking to turn our attention to bickering over what legalistic requirements must be met in order to be saved. If he can get Christians arguing over legalism, moral laws, health laws, days and times, and other trivial requirements, then he can divert their eyes from the main theme of Christianity, which is salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Satan's strategy is to get Christians to focus on what legal requirements they must do in order to be saved rather than focusing on Christ's finished work of atonement. If Satan can make the Sabbath the "final test" then he has succeeded in substituting a legal requirement for the true final test, which is to be born again, receiving the self-sacrificing character of the Lamb of God.

Reference: http://www.ellenwhiteexposed.com/nsl/egw22b.htm

 

 
 
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Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.