The Sabbath has been advanced by Adventism as ‘divine rest for human restlessness.’ Anyone familiar with Jesus and His gospel of the Kingdom would know that that divine rest for human restlessness is Jesus Himself. Such an assertion must raise the question, ‘Is Adventism Christian?’
Adventism arose out of the Great Disappointment - the great mistake that occurred when people ignored Christ’s word that ‘no one knows the day or the hour’ and set a date for His appearance. The teachings of Adventism arose from the fiasco of His ‘No Show’ and rationalizations of the original error with the help of the supposed revelations that became the writings of Ellen White. Unfortunately she knew nothing of the new covenant, little of the teachings of Paul and the new testament doctrine of the apostles wherein Christ alone is life. With the help of the pioneers who were equally ignorant of the new covenant and the radical disjunction of post-cross life with pre-cross existence they managed to concoct a mixture that became a sect based on a sad ignorance of the colossal accomplishment of the cross. Out of this confusion with fables disguised as inspiration came the cult of Adventism and a people whose hearts became fascinated with and in love with in an imagined, special identity of their own.
But it is impossible to worship Jesus with our heart when our heart is solidified in the rock of the law and when we have ‘another husband’ to whom we are married and a Day that is a substitute Christ.
Speaking to this kind of issue Jesus said, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observeyour own traditions!’ Mark 7.6-9 NIV. The commands in this age are the teachings of Jesus.
I have remarked on aspects of what Adventists call their ‘distinctives’ in other places. A scripturally reasoned deconstructions of the Adventist imagination can be found in the blog Gently Broken. A scholarly and scripturally sound refutation of ‘Sabbath-Keeping’ may be found in D. A . Carson’s From Sabbath to the Lord’s Day. Contrary to the Adventist special pleading of history, the papacy did not change the Sabbath to Sunday. Christians never kept the Sabbath. Sunday, being the Lord’s Day was never a substitute Sabbath and attempts to make it so were rejected by the astute. There is no holiness about Sunday. People worshiped on that day entirely because the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday morning began the unremitting advance of the new creation kingdom of God.
It would be difficult to find a more blatant expression of iconic idolatry and a piece of law as a substitute for Christ Himself. Any addition to Christ entirely annuls His efficacy and eliminates His vicarious ministry for humanity. I mean the touting of The Sabbath as ‘divine rest for human restlessness.’ Here The Sabbath is elevated to the status of a false Messiah. This folly extinguishes Jesus as our rest and our peace. It exposes a confident ignorance of Christ our life as God for us and in us in perpetuity. It obliterates the centrality of the incarnation for our life as sons in God. Being a law-driven belief system this culture is all about externalities. It turns the gospel of the Kingdom into a trivial pursuit. But our inheritance of life to the full is found in Jesus and His fullness.
‘In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe’ Hebrews 1.2 NIV.
The vanity of the Adventist message is that it undoes the at-one-ment, denies grace, eliminates the work of Holy Spirit, replaces life in the Spirit with life in the law, makes us mechanical tin-men of brain and will, shrivels the mind, dulls intelligence, substitutes life in the Spirit with life in the health message and fosters an illusion.
The folly of purporting that Believers have a method of coping with the multitudinous details of the law through the false Messiah of The Sabbath makes a nothing of the cross and Christ’s incarnation in His people. “The Sabbath” is not capitalized for nothing in Adventism. Not only is Sabbath the chief god. It is the icon that connects Adventism to the old covenant, the law of sin and death, a life in Adam and the over-arching authority of Satan. Rather than being a sign of ‘rest for human restlessness’ it is the evidence of disobedience arising from religious hubris and wrongly dividing the word of truth.
‘For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience’ Heb 4.3-10.
The Sabbath is both the sign of Adventist identity and the symbol of disobedience to a life that is Christ from first to last. Adventism undoes Father’s accomplishment in Jesus and places Believers firmly back in the knowledge of good and evil with Adam. It is an ideology that we need to come to Christ to repent of. Rather than protecting our little Sabbath we would do well to live in our abundant Jesus. In Christ veils of misunderstanding are removed and replaced with the fullness of Jesus Himself. Christ our life is our Sabbath and all that it means to be sons and daughters of God.
‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ 2 Cor 3.18 NIV.
Paul warned of the curse of the law. Adventism, with its emphasis in ‘Advent’ and Second Coming has its focus on an external event - a happening outside the person and outside the church. This together with its focus on the externality of the law and compliance with a list dulls the perception of the key truth of this age - the reality that Christ has come in our flesh. Sidelined by false doctrine is the truth that the trinity dwells in our being and that the living Christ imparts Himself to us and transfigures our being with His Spirit and life. Christ come in our flesh is the reality of Christ our life. Christ in us is the working out of all that heaven accomplished for us in spirit and in truth. Here the reality is Christ and that reality is His life in ours. But here is the deceit: The incarnation in Adventism is a shadow and the law is the reality. This is the false reality typified in The Sabbath, the devil’s scheme that smothers Jesus and dwarfs those who have embraced this false, non-gospel of another kingdom.