The True Church not an Institution

• The New Testament teaches that the attributes of the true church are soteriological (determined by faith in Jesus) and not institutional.

• The church is one because the atonement that Christ made on the cross has “brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” (Eph. 2:14, 15).

• So, the barrier which separates fellow believers according to class, race and sex has been removed by Christ’s death on the cross. The risen Lord is therefore the exalted Head of “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17) which is His “one body” (Eph. 1:16, 19-23; 2:14).

• The community of believers in Christ is the fellowship of “who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord” (1 Cor. 1:2). So, the “saints” are those who have put their trust in Christ as Saviour, who have been born again by the Spirit, who have been reconciled to God and to each other and whom God has separated from the world to be His people (2 Thess. 2:13, 14; 2 Tim. 1:9, 10).

• The church is catholic (i.e. universal) because Christ has made atonement (payment) on the cross for the sins of the whole world and because this good news is now being proclaimed “to every nation, tribe, language and people” (Rev. 14:6).

• So, the universal church of God consists of all believers in Christ throughout the world. These are they who have received forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ’s name (Acts 10:43) and who have been born again into the family and kingdom of God (John 1:12, 13; 3:1-8). Local congregations are but the local manifestations of the one universal church of Christ.

• The church is apostolic because its faith and life are grounded solely on the testimony of the apostles whom Christ sovereignly appointed to witness and proclaim His saving work (Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2, 21, 22; John 14:26; 15:26f; 17:20).

• The New Testament has preserved for the church the content of the apostles’ teaching concerning Christ, His redemptive work on the cross, His triumphant resurrection from the dead, and His ascension to heaven where He was exalted by the Father to sit at His right hand.

• Just as the church was founded upon the apostles’ witness, so it is nourished and grows by continuing in the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42). The strongest condemnation rests upon anyone who would corrupt the purity of the apostolic Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).The apostles’ interpretation of the Gospel is the final norm of sound teaching (2 Ti. 1:13-14; Tit. 1:3, 9).This is “the faith that was once (for all) entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3), and insofar as the Christian Church upholds the true Gospel as proclaimed by the apostles, it is “the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).This commitment to the apostolic witness alone will safeguard the unity, holiness of the church.

Roman Catholicism

• Rome interprets the attributes of the church in institutional terms. Unity means lockstep conformity and submission to the demands and teachings of the hierarchical Roman structure.

The Reformers

• The Reformers denied Rome’s claim that its organization constituted the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church because they had discovered a vital truth in the New Testament—that the attributes of the church are not institutional but soteriological.

• Therefore, according to the New Testament and the Reformers, Christ’s true church is the community of all who have put their trust in Him. The marks by which we may know the true church are: it believes and faithfully proclaims the pure and unadulterated Gospel as recorded in the Scriptures by the Lord’s chosen apostles, and it faithfully administers baptism and the Lord’s Supper (by which the gospel is portrayed).

Sectarian Claims

• Certain religious institutions claim to be Christ’s only true church to the exclusion of other Christian groups, which are regarded as apostate Babylon. In attempts to find scriptural support for such self-commending claims, appeal is made to certain isolated proof-texts upon which dubious interpretations are imposed. For example, Roman Catholicism appeals to Matthew 16:18 (“And I tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church”) in an effort to establish its supremacy.

• Some religious groups make the name of their denomination the mark of the true church (e.g.“The Church of Christ”).

• Sectarianism is contrary to the principles of the Bible by denying the unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity of the Christian Church as depicted in the New Testament Scriptures. It denies the unity of all who believe in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and that all believers have a common Father in heaven and share a common new life in the Spirit constituting them members of one family. Thus does sectarianism bring division into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 3:16, 17).

• It denies the holiness of the church because it ignores the fact that the imperfections in belief and practice seen in the different segments of the Christian community are covered by the blood of Christ. It usually claims perfection for the doctrines it promulgates referring to them as “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” According to them all other denominations are steeped in darkness and error.

• It denies the apostolicity of the church by its claims to have light and knowledge in advance of the rest of Christendom and sometimes even of the chosen apostles of Christ to whom were revealed all the truth the church needs to know this side of eternity. This advance light and knowledge is usually based on an extra-biblical authority.

Seventh-day Adventism

• In many respects the Adventist understanding of the church is very much like that of Roman Catholicism.

The True Church and Remnant

• Adventism regards itself not merely as “a church” but as “the church.” It claims that its denomination is the only true church on earth today. All other denominations it denounces as Babylon.Therefore, according to Adventism, it is the only legitimate visible church in the entire world. As stated above, such claims are only made by sectarian cults of which the Roman Catholic denomination is the greatest.

• Adventism not only claims to be the only true church on earth today, it also claims to be God’s remnant—His end-time church. The two main proof texts for this claim are Revelation 12:17 and 19:10. Based on these two texts it states that the true end-time church—the remnant—must observe all ten commandments and have a prophet. Accordingly, Adventism claims that it alone qualifies as “the remnant church.”

Adventism’s 1844 Theology

• The above claims by Adventism are also based on its unique interpretation of its cardinal text of Scripture—Daniel 8:14. Mrs. E. G.White, Adventism’s end-time prophetess, states: “The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith was the decla ration:‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Daniel 8:14” (GC 409).

What can be said of Adventism’s 1844 theology? Just as Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection event (1 Cor. 15:1-4), so Adventism stands or falls on the “1844 event.” If there were no resurrection, there would be nothing salvage- able in Christianity. If no event of redemptive significance occurred in heaven on October 22, 1844, there is nothing salvageable in Adventism.

• Adventism is adamant that God had revealed the true meaning of Daniel 8:14 to its pioneers and Mrs. White and that He has entrusted it to the Adventist denomination as His end- time message to Christendom and the world. This is the basis of Adventism’s triumphant self-image:“a special people with a special message for a special time” (to quote a popular Adventist slogan).

• Not only, however, is there no biblical data—a clear ‘Thus saith the Lord’—to support the 1844 date and Adventism’s explanation for the Great Disappointment debacle, the 1844 theology is contrary to the New Testament Gospel.

• Christ’s finished work of atonement (redemption) on the cross and His once-and-for-all entrance into the heaven itself—Heb. 9:24 to sit down at the Father’s right hand exclude a redemptive event beginning on October 22, 1844 (such as the ‘final’ atonement, the blotting out of sins started from 1844, the transfer of sin onto Satan, justification ‘full and complete’, the latter rain, the final seal of God, etc).

• In proclaiming such an event and exhorting people to place their faith in it, Adventists are preaching “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-8)—a gospel with features not found in the writings of the New Testament apostles.

• At best, Adventism’s 1844 theology can only rest on an extra-biblical authority—that of its prophetess, Mrs. White. Raymond F. Cottrell, one of Adventism’s leading scholars, frankly admitted this. (See his paper submitted to the Glacier View Sanctuary Review Committee, August 10-15, 1980, entitled, A Hermeneutic for Predictive Prophecy, esp. pp. 28-30).

• So, in promulgating their 1844 theology, Adventists go beyond the apostolic witness as recorded in the New Testament. It cannot therefore claim to be a church based on the apostolic teaching of the Gospel.

• The remnant motif first appears in the Old Testament in reference to the minority in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:18).

• But the New Testament apostles employed the remnant motif to describe the New Testament community. (Acts 15:14- 18; Rom. 9:27-29; 11:1-5). Therefore, in the light of the New Testament, the Christian Church or Body of Christ IS the remnant since its inception on the day of Pentecost and will remain so until the last day when Christ will come again.

• The pioneers of Adventism developed their 1844 and end- time-remnant doctrines on the assumption that the last days did not arrive until 1798 (1844 era).

• But the apostles declared that they were already living in the time of the end and that the Gospel they were preaching was God’s end-time message for the world (Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:1, 2; 9:26; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 1:1

• Therefore, Adventism’s claim that the last days arrived when it arrived on the scene in 1844 is way off the mark by about 1800 years! No, the last days arrived when Jesus arrived on the public scene 2000 years ago. This is the witness of His apostles.

• To now go beyond what the apostles preached and wrote is cultic. Adventism has officially denied what the New Testament says in this regard in order to maintain its unique 1844 theology and all that goes with it.


• In view of the above, what arrogance is manifested in Adventism’s claim to be the remnant church while not possessing that which alone makes a person part of God’s remnant—the true Gospel of Christ as promulgated by the New Testament apostles. Faith alone in this Gospel made the Gentiles part of the end-time remnant.

• The Jews had the Ten Commandments, observed the Sabbath and boasted the possession of more than one prophet (outdoing Adventism on this point).Yet they were excluded as a nation from the remnant because they rejected the Gospel concerning Christ and His saving work.

• Therefore, when weighed in the balances of the apostolic witness of the Gospel as recorded in the New Testament, Adventism is found wanting. Not only does it not have the true Gospel, the three or more divergent theological strands within Adventism (conservative, progressives, liberal, Sequeiran SDA gospels preached in the church) constitute nothing less than Babylonian confusion.

• And then it has the audacity to label all other Christian denominations Babylon!

• Adventism does not therefore qualify as the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” as per the attributes stated in the Bible.

(Adapted: The True Church not an institution by Christ Badenhorst (appeared on Proclamation Sept/Oct 2006)

The gospel & 1844: are they compatible?


Why the gospel and 1844 are not compatible?

  • Seventh-day Adventist’s teach that in 1844, Christ began a work of judgment. This doctrine is their special gospel message to the world, and the reason for their existence. Ellen White said this teaching is the ‘foundation’ and ‘central pillar’ of the Advent faith (The Great Controversy, p. 409). Is this message compatible with the Biblical gospel?

Let’s see what the Bible teaches about the gospel

  • The gospel is called ‘the gospel of Christ’: It is about Jesus Christ’ (Romans 1:3).

  • The gospel is about Jesus Christ fulfilling the Old Testament: He fulfils its law and prophecy (Matt. 5:17).

He fulfils the law because He is the reality of all Jewish sacrifices and ceremonies.

His fulfils the law because His perfect obedience to God is the righteousness which the law demands of the human race.

  • The gospel is about a finished thing: His last words on the cross were ‘’It is finished’’. It is the good news of Christ’s finished work.

He ‘made atonement for sin’ (Rom 3:25), ‘destroyed death’ (2 Tim. 1:10), and ‘defeated the devil’ (Hebrews 2:14).  Man’s lost dominion has been restored in this one man, Jesus, ‘who reigns over all principalities and powers’ (1 Cor. 15:25).

  • The Bible presents the gospel as a historical thing that is done and finished.

‘Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached [past tense] to you before. It is this Good News that saves you. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said’’ (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

‘He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross’ (Col. 2:14,15)

‘When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honour at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven’ (Hebrews 1:3)

The New Testament gospel is not presented as if it were an Old Testament promise of what God will do. It is message of what He has done. If anyone preaches about a gospel not already finished, it is not the gospel (Gal. 1:8).

  • The Gospel is a final thing: ‘Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son’ (Heb. 1:1-2).

God did everything for our salvation when He acted in Christ. Christ is God’s final word to man. For there is no hint that the New Testament Christians are waiting for the Spirit (latter rain), the sealing, the verdict of the final judgment. They only wait for the Son of God to come from heaven (1 Thess. 1:10).

Hence, until Jesus comes, there is no way to go on from hearing the gospel to some higher knowledge of the gospel message or some more profound experience of God (latter rain).

  • The gospel is a complete thing: ‘For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole counsel or teachings of God’’ (Acts 20:27).

We need to guard against the idea that since we are in the last days, we need to preach aspects of Christ’s redemptive work which were not proclaimed by the apostles.

  • The proclamation of the gospel of Jesus is a last day event:’But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice’’ (Hebrew 9:26).

Calvary therefore was a last day event. The outpouring of the Spirit to proclaim the gospel took place at Pentecost, which was a fulfilment of what Joel preached would take place in the last days (Acts 2:16, 17).

  • The gospel is an all-sufficient thing: It gives us eternal life (John 5:24; 3:16); it gives us the seal of God which is the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13); No new testament believer waits for the Spirit, but by the Spirit he waits for the Lord (Rom. 5:5). In Christ, believer is now perfect, without fault, blameless in God’s sight (Col. 1:20).

It is denial of the gospel to talk about a future character perfection, sealing, as if there is something above and beyond hearing the gospel that has already been given to the New Testament church.

  • The gospel is a clear and certain thing: It is not a mystery or hidden thing. ‘’If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ..’’ (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

The clear message of the gospel is Christ is the promised one who died to take away our sins so that all who believe find forgiveness and life everlasting (John 3:16).

  • The gospel is a decisive thing: Those who obey the gospel are sealed and given life eternal. Those who disobey the gospel are judged already (John 5:24). This means that the final judgement is mysteriously present in preaching of the gospel (John 3:18). God doesn’t require any further judgement to decide who are his children.

1844 : does it match up with the Biblical gospel?

  • The date 1844 and the teaching on the two-phased ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary are the nerve center of Adventism. From this teaching comes a plethora of teachings like the investigative judgment, the remnant church, the special sealing, the latter rain, and Spirit of prophecy (Ellen White).

Because the gospel given to the apostles was a finished, complete thing, and no future addition to that gospel was implied, SDA teaching on 1844 actually denies the gospel. The SDA pioneers, and members do not appear to understand the gospel.

  • Consequently, even today, the SDA gospel is being preached as a promise of what God will do for us if we fulfil certain conditions, and not as something finished! For example, He will blot out our sins if we pass the investigative judgment that began in 1844. If we keep the Sabbath, we will receive the seal of God. He will help us overcome every character defect so that we can receive the latter rain.

It’s no exaggeration to say that SDA community has lived and continue to live as an Old Testament community with a gospel of promise than a New Testament community with a gospel of something already finished.

  • The Old Testament revelation God gave through Moses, Daniel was veiled. But this was revealed or unveiled in the New Testament because ‘God has spoken’ (Hebrews 1:2) the final word about the essential meaning of the Old Testament. This means we must interpret the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament. SDA’s generally do the reverse.

When the New Testament declares Dan 7:14, ‘He was given all authority’ was fulfilled in Christ (Matt. 28:18), we must not go beyond God’s final word.

  • Since Aaron went into holy of holies in the earthly sanctuary, SDA’s reasoned that Christ must have gone into heaven to do the same. SDA’s do not get that the book of Hebrews contrasts between type (symbol) and antitype (real) more than the parallels. Unlike Aaron, Christ made atonement ‘once and for all’ and then went into the presence of God (Heb. 1:3). That’s why Hebrews says nothing about a two-phased ministration in heaven.

The book of Hebrews know nothing about a further ministration to prepare His children for his coming, because, ‘For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy’’ (Hebrews 10:14).

  • Christ’s intercession in heaven is not that of an Aaronic priest standing before God to offer the blood. His intercession is that of a king seated on His throne, exercising the rights and titles gained by His finished work.

The 1844 teaching implies that the apostolic gospel was not complete, that it did not contain all the light necessary to prepare the church for translation. All this is opposed to the gospel ‘once for all entrusted to the saints’’ (Jude 3), which was a gospel containing all necessary things to prepare people for the Christ’s coming (Rom. 5:1).

  • What can we say about 1844? It rests on one solitary text – Daniel 8:14. There is no New Testament confirmation of either the date 1844, or the new phase of Christ’s work in heaven.

The truth is SDA’s have not been able to convince a single recognised Biblical scholar that their interpretation of Daniel 8:14 is worthy of a second thought. There is not an adventist in ten who would feel comfortable ‘proving’ the 1844 doctrine from the Bible. Yet SDA’s have to hold on to it, because it alone justifies the existence of Adventism as a movement with a special message.

  • Instead of a pre-advent judgment beginning in 1844, the New Testament knows only one pre-advent judgment. It is the apostolic gospel (John 3:17-19). By this gospel, all men are tested and are thereby declared righteous or guilty.

It’s time for SDA’s to wake up, and embrace the true gospel. For the gospel is about Jesus, something He finished, therefore it is final, complete, an end time event, all sufficient, clear, and decisive!

Adapted from: Are the gospel and 1844 theology compatible? By R. Brinsmead

Is the Sabbath the “seal” of God?


  • Ellen White wrote: “The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath...” —8T 117 (1904).

Is the seal of God really Sabbath observance?

  • The Bible is very clear in what it says about God’s Seal:
  • Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13, 14)
  • Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22)
  • The seal of God shows authentic ownership, and evidence that we are His. He has approved of us as His children.

  • Similar to believers, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, was the sign or seal of approval God gave to Christ at His baptism and on the mount of Transfiguration. ‘For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval (John 6:27)
  • “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)
  • Again this is very clear—we are sealed by, and with the Holy Spirit, designated for the day of redemption, or the second coming of Christ, when He takes us to be with Him, forever.
  • Nowhere the new covenant records anything written or hinting that the seal of God that assures our salvation is dependent on Sabbath observance. It’s foolish to believe so.
  • You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? .. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse (Gal 3:1-25)
  • The Holy Spirit cannot be earned through observance or bought (Acts 8:18-30)
  • This is hugely important and should be restated: as scriptures teach here, any human effort to keep the law, including Sabbath keeping, cannot account for our identity of salvation with God or by being identified with His seal.
  • A common SDA answer or spin on this is that the Sabbath is kept in a love response to God and as a remembrance of His creation. This may be sincere, but if it is truly a love response to God, it would not be required (as SDA doctrine and Ellen White teach) and could not qualify as a sign or seal; it would be a gift of praise and only that.
  • Now let’s look at the terms “sign” versus “seal”. SDA’s have used these terms interchangeably to spin their proof texts to support the Sabbath-Seal of God doctrine. However, the original term for “seal” (Hebrew, chotham: Greek, sphragis) is never translated “sign” in the Bible. The original term for “sign” (Hebrew, oth; Greek, semeion) is never translated “seal”.
  • Romans 4:11 says Abraham  ‘received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised’. Note carefully, the “sign” is one thing and a “seal” is something completely different!
  • According to Paul, Romans 4:11 tells us that Abraham was identified with God (the righteous one or sealed as righteous ), because of what he believed by faith before he had the sign of circumcision! The point is there is no new testament confirmation that the Sabbath is a seal in anyway. It’s the Holy Spirit who is the seal, who does the sealing, and who identifies us as belonging to God (Ephesians 1:13, 14). Not Sabbath keeping.

Is the Sabbath still a “sign” between God and His People? 

  • Under the old covenant agreements, several SIGNS were instituted.
  • Circumcisionshall be a sign of the covenant..for an everlasting covenant’ (Gen. 17:9-14);

  • Passover, ‘shall be a sign…for your generations.. forever’ (Ex:12:13-14);

  • ‘Speak to the Sons of Israel…observe my Sabbaths, for this is a sign…forever’ (Ex:31:13,17).

  • Notice Sabbaths are plural which means it includes all Sabbaths (weekly, monthly, yearly).
  • Also, the Sabbaths as a “sign” was given to the children of Israel. Seventh-day Adventists claim that they are “spiritual Israel”. If so, then why do they not also practice the other “eternal signs” of obedience between Israel and God? How inconsistent!
  • Is the Seal of God found in the Ten Commandments?
  • Isaiah 8:6 reads: “Bind up the testimony, seal the law (torah) among my disciples
  • Adventists teach the word “law” refers to the Ten Commandments which is sealed on people upon observance based upon the above verse. In reality, the word “law” means the Torah, which refers to the first five books of the Bible, said to be written by Moses. In the Torah there are 613 laws which the Israelites were expected to follow. The new covenant is clear Christians are not required to keep all of the laws of the Torah. Hence, this verse has nothing to do with the Seal of God in the new covenant.
  • If the Lord’s name, title, and dominion appear in a Bible verse, is that passage the Seal of God?
  • Just because a Bible verse mentions the name (YHWH), title (Elohim or Adonay) and dominion of God does not mean that verse is describing the “Seal of God”.
  • For example, using SDA logic, one could argue that the Torah is the “Seal of God” because it contains this verse:

‘Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is’ (Deut. 10:14)

  • Or one could claim that the prophetic writings of Isaiah or Jeremiah are the “Seal of God” using SDA logic: (Isa. 37:16; Jer. 32:17).  Look at all of the other Bible verses that mention God’s name (God), His title (Lord), and His dominion (heaven and earth): Gen. 14:22, Gen. 24:3, Deut. 3:24, Deut. 4:39, Deut. 10:14, Jos. 2:11, 1 Ki. 8:23, 2 Ki. 9:15.
  • Just because God’s name, title, and dominion appear within a Bible verse does not prove that passage has any particular connection with the “Seal of God”.
  • Not once in the New Testament is the Sabbath ever referred to as a sign or a seal for Christians. Just as the Lord’s supper celebration replaced the Jewish Passover celebration, so has the Holy Spirit replaced the Sabbath as the “sign” or evidence that a person is one of God’s chosen people. If we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, the New Testament teaches the seal of Christianity is the Holy Spirit, not the Sabbath.
  • The truth is the rest of God on the seventh-day in Genesis 2 is without ‘morning and evening’, meaning that it was a continuous rest available for God’s people,  and not the Saturday Sabbath given to Israel. Hebrew 4 makes it clear, that God’s ‘seventh-day rest’ (Hebrews 4:4), was ‘ready since He made the world’ (Hebrews 4:3), and the ‘time for entering his rest is today’ (Hebrews 4:7), not Saturday or Sunday.

Jesus himself compared Sabbath to a ritual law. Jews to this day believe Sabbath is the only ritual law in the Ten commandments. Paul himself taught in Colossians 2:16-17: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by a Sabbath day’. Jesus nor Paul taught the new testament church that the Sabbath is a seal. See: Sabbath.

  • One may enjoy the Sabbath if he or she wishes, but if one is to remain true to the Scriptures and not the teachings of man he or she must separate “Sabbath keeping” from the “seal of being identified with God” and His people. This is the teaching of God’s word.
  • Will SDA’s listen, or will they continue in pride with the teachings of man?

The little horn of Daniel 8 is the Papacy?


  • Seventh-day Adventist’s teach that the little horn power of Daniel 7 and little horn power of 8 are Rome (Papacy). However, there is a problem with this, as there are important differences between the little horn of Daniel 7 and the little horn of Daniel 8. Here are a few:

Little Horn of Daniel 7

Little Horn of Daniel 8

Is associated with a beast representing the fourth empire (Rome)

Is associated with a beast representing the third empire (Greece)

Rises directly out of the head of the beast (Rome)

It does not come up from the head of the goat (Greece), but rises out of an already existing four horns (Alexander’s four generals)

Is a horn (ruler) that comes out of a beast (Kingdom)

Note: Horns represents rulers or kings (Dan. 8:20). Beast represents kingdoms (Daniel 7:17, 23)

Is a horn (ruler) that comes out of a horn (ruler)

Note: Horns represents rulers or kings (Dan. 8:20). Beast represents kingdoms (Daniel 7:17, 23)

  • Daniel 8:9 says the little horn (ruler) would originate from one of the four divisions of Alexander’s empire:
  • The goat (Greece) became very powerful (under Alexander the Great). But at the height of his power, his large horn (ruler Alexander) was broken off. In the large horn’s place grew four horns (four generals of Alexander) pointing in the four directions of the earth. 9 Then from one of the [four] prominent horns came a little horn (ruler from the same Grecian empire) whose power grew very great (Daniel 8:8,9).
  • Daniel 8:9 says the little horn would originate from one of the four divisions of Alexander’s empire when these were in their “latter time” (v. 23). This points us toward a power originating from the Greek world sometime after 300 BC, and not Rome.
  • Therefore, the little horn of Daniel 8 was to arise six centuries before the little horn (Roman emperor Nero) of Daniel 7 existed!

So who is the little horn of Daniel 8?

  • There is a near-unanimous opinion among Bible scholars of all denominations–Jewish and Christian, and even including a few prominent SDA scholars–that the “little horn” of Daniel 8 is Antiochus Epiphanes, a Grecian King.
  • Let’s examine the evidence:
  • The little horn of Daniel 8:9 ‘was to wax exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land
  • Antiochus’ sphere of operations was precisely in the three areas that Daniel mentions (See: Ancient History. Vol IV. P422, 1 Maccabees 1:20-42). This is not true of Rome. Many of Rome’s greatest conquests were to the North and West of Rome.

  • Since the little horn is said to wax ‘exceeding great’, SDA’s argue that compared with Medo-Persia and Greece, Antiochus was not “exceeding great,” (only Rome was), and therefore could not have been the little horn of Dan. 8:9.
  • However, a careful reading of Dan. 8:9 reveals that the prophecy never says the little horn will be exceeding great in comparison to Persia and Greece. The little horn is not compared with other powers, but merely said to wax “exceeding great” in three regions: to the south, the east, and the pleasant land. Antiochus was not a big horn on a big stage. He was a little horn that played a big role on a little stage.
  • The little horn in Daniel 8:10 is said to cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them
  • The above verse is not talking about heavenly beings, because no empire, not even Rome, has cast down heavenly beings. Both the Bible and the Jewish Apocrypha use similar language to calls the priests and rulers of the Hebrew people as stars (Genesis 37:9). In 2nd Maccabees 9:10 (a history book), Antiochus persecuted Jews including priests and rulers and is described as, “the man, which thought he could reach to the stars of heaven…
  • The little horn in 8:11 is said to, ‘magnify himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down
  • Prince in the Bible is defined as (sar) meaning “a head person, captain, chief, general, governor.” Therefore, the little horn would magnify himself to the head/captain/ruler of the host (Jews). Antiochus did this literally, during his rule, when the high priest, Onias, was driven into exile and later killed in the cruelest manner.
  • Furthermore, Antiochus figuratively magnified himself to the ultimate prince of the host, God Himself. His surname Theo Antiochus declared him to be an effulgence in human form of the Divine, a god manifest in the flesh (see Edwin Bevan, The House of Seleucus, vol. 2, p. 154).
  • Antiochus Epiphanes ‘took away the daily sacrifices’ (Dan 8:11) as prophesied by forbidding the daily sacrifice of lambs and profaned the sanctuary. The book of Maccabees describes how the daily sacrifice was taken away, and how the sanctuary was desolated: “And in his arrogance he went into the sanctuary and took away the gold altar and the lampstand for the light, and all its furniture…” (1 Maccabees 1:21)
  • Daniel 8:12 says ‘And an host (army) was given him (Antiochus) against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth [of sacrifices] to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered’
  • Antiochus’ attack on the Jewish religion was the worst crisis to face the Jews between the Babylonian captivity in 606 BC and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. History records, “And they (Antiochus’ army) shed innocent blood all around the sanctuary, and polluted the sanctuary itself. … Her sanctuary became a desolate wilderness…” (1 Maccabees 1:37,39)
  • The Bible says these calamities came upon the Jews “by reason of transgression.” (Dan 8:12). In other words, it was the sins of the Jews that brought this calamity upon themselves.
  • The question is raised with regard to the duration of this attack on the sanctuary in Daniel 8:13, 14 ‘How long shall be the vision concerning the [attack on ] daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
  • Since the context of the verse itself is talking about the daily sacrifices in the temple, which took place every morning and evening, the only reasonable conclusion is that this verse is talking about the daily sacrifices in the temple. Certainly it would be reckless to apply the “year-day” principle to every prophecy where “days” are mentioned. In Genesis 6:3 God prophesied there would be a period of 120 years before the flood, which did not equate to 43,200 years.
  • The 2300-day prophecy witnessed an amazing fulfillment during the terrifying reign of Antiochus. According to the Jewish calendar, the 2300 days works out to be six years, three months, and 18 days. This is the time period in which Antiochus took the daily sacrifices away, and at the end of the 2300 days, was eventually defeated.
  • This attack on the sanctuary by Antiochus was the beginning of a period of intense suffering for those in Israel who chose to remain faithful to God. Judas Maccabeus was outraged over the injustice done to God’s sanctuary: ‘Behold, our sanctuary and our beauty and our glory have been laid waste, and the heathen (Antiochus) have profaned them.” (1 Maccabees 2:7,8,12)
  • Maccabeus rose up and started a revolt against Antiochus. The Sanctuary was “cleansed” by Judas Maccabeus when he purified the holy places, sanctified the courts, rebuilt the altar, renewed the vessels of the sanctuary, and put all in their proper places: “Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary. So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law: Who cleansed the sanctuary..’ (1 Maccabees 4:41-51)
  • The Sanctuary is being vindicated or cleansed from having been trampled upon and cast down by the ‘desolation’ which is the devastation due to sacrilegious or wrong treatment of the temple by Antiochus. Antiochus Epiphanes profaned the temple of God by offering sacrifices to idols upon the holy altar of God.

  • Jesus referred to the abomination (by Antiochus) in the book of Daniel (Dan. 9:27) as a warning to His followers that a similar desolation was going to happen to the Jewish nation in the future: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation (sacrileges treatment of the temple leading to emptiness), spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (referring to Jerusalem temple destruction by Titus in AD70), then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” (Matt. 24:15)
  • When Daniel 8:19 says the prophesy of 2300 days is ‘at the time of the end…in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be’. We must bear in mind that the “time of the end” is not the same as the “end of time.” Rather, it refers to the end of the particular period associated with this prophecy. In this case, the “end of the indignation” is definitely indicated, namely, the afflictions permitted to be brought upon the Jewish people.
  • Daniel 8:25 says the little horn power (Antiochus) ‘shall be broken without hand’. This is a stunning prophecy indicating how Antiochus would die. Notice how this prophecy was fulfilled:
  • But the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, smote him with an incurable and invisible plague;.. Thus the murderer and blasphemer having suffered most grievously, as he entreated other men, so died a miserable death in a strange country in the mountains.” (2 Maccabees 9:5-12,28)

  • Albert Barnes adds, “All the statements given of his [Antiochus] death, by the authors of the books of Maccabees, by Josephus, by Polybius, by Q. Curtius, and by Aarian agree that the Divine prediction in Daniel was fully accomplished, that his death would be ‘without hand,’ in the sense that it would not be by human instrumentality, but that it would be a direct divine infliction.” (Notes on Daniel, p. 355)
  • To summarize:
  • There is near universal agreement among scholars (including both Christian, Jewish, agnostic, and even some Adventist scholars) that Antiochus Epiphanes is the “little horn” of Daniel 8.
  • The 2300-days represents a literal period during which the daily evening-morning sacrifices ceased and the Temple in Jerusalem was profaned by the gentiles led by Anticohus Epiphanes.
  • The cleansing of the sanctuary refers to the restoration of the temple services after Antiochus Epiphanes was defeated by the armies of Judas Maccabees.

Seventh-day Adventists make some very unusual claims about Daniel 8:

  • Gabriel was unable to make Daniel understand the vision–particularly the 2300-day portion of it
  • Gabriel came back later (in Daniel 9) to help Daniel understand the 2300 days
  • Daniel 9 is an expansion upon the subject of Daniel 8
  • The 70-week prophecy is “cut-off” from the 2300 days, and therefore they have the same starting date
  • First, I will address whether Gabriel failed in his mission to make Daniel understand the vision.
  • SDA’s claim that the latter part of Daniel 9 is a further explanation of Daniel 8. This teaching is derived from Daniel 8:27: “And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.”
  • First, we need to recognize that the word it is supplied by the translators, and is not in the original Hebrew. Removing the word makes the meaning of the verse clear: “…I was astonished at the vision, but none understood.”
  • What does “none understood” refer to? Did no one understand the vision? Or did no one understand Daniel’s reaction to the vision? Isaac Lesser, a leading Jewish scholar, renders the verse as follows:
  • “And I Daniel, grieved, and was sick several days: afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was depressed because of the appearance; but no one observed it.”
  • It is obvious from this translation that the part about “not understanding” was referring to the people Daniel worked with who did not comprehend why he was ill and depressed.
  • To make the claim that Daniel failed to understand the vision–thus requiring a second visit from Gabriel–one must first assume the angel failed in his first mission. In Daniel 8:16 a voice commands, “Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.” If one is a Bible-believing Christian, then one must believe that Gabriel obeyed the command to make Daniel understand the vision.
  • Is the sanctuary of Daniel 8:13-14 the heavenly sanctuary?
  • Notice the question: “How long shall…the sanctuary…be trodden under foot?” (Daniel 8:13)
  • The answer is 2300 days (evenings-mornings). This puts the Seventh-day Adventists in a dilemma, because they insist that the sanctuary being “cleansed” in verse 14 is the heavenly sanctuary.
  • However, according to their own calculations, the papacy did not arrive until after 476 AD–nearly a millennium after the 2,300 years started! Who was trampling the sanctuary for 934 years before the rise of the papacy? Seventh-day Adventists claim that “Imperial Rome” trampled the earthly temple in 70 AD when it was destroyed by Roman armies, but that was the earthly, not the heavenly temple. If the sanctuary is the heavenly sanctuary in verse 14, then how could it be the earthly sanctuary in verse 13, since verse 13 is a question being answered in verse 14?
  • The truth is that there has never in human history been a 2300-year period where the sanctuary in heaven (or on earth) was trodden under foot. This fact alone should prove that the SDA interpretation does not fit historical facts, and is therefore invalid.

Daniel 7 – Little horn is the Papacy?


  • Are Seventh-day Adventist’s accurate in interpreting the little horn of Daniel 7 as the Papacy?
  • The four kingdoms of Daniel 2 (Image from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream), and Daniel 7 (four animals) represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. SDA’s agree to this point, but thereafter drifts away.
  • Little horn of Daniel 7 is described this way: On the head of the fourth beast (Rome) there are ten horns, three of which are plucked up by a little horn.

  • SDA’s teach the ten horns are ten tribes that conquered Rome in 476 AD.
  • The problem with this teaching is that there were more than twenty or more tribes that actually conquered the western Roman Empire as per recorded history, but SDA’s and few others arbitrarily selected ten tribes and decided these were the tribes represented by the ten horns (Vandals, Ostrogoths, Heruli, Visigoths, Burgundians, Anglo-Saxons, Alamani, Suevi, Lombards and Franks).
  • The Bible clearly says the ten kings will arise from within the Roman Empire. ‘And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise…’ (Daniel 7:24 KJV). None of the ten tribes cited by SDA’s arose from within or ruled over the Roman Empire. They were outsiders.
  • SDA’s teach the little horn is the Papacy and it uprooted three tribes. Adventists teach that the Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Heuli were destroyed by the Pope of Rome. However, any history textbook will explain that the Heruli were defeated by the Lombards, the Vandals and Ostrogoths by the Byzantines.
  • SDA’s teach the Papacy persecuted the saints for 1,260 years. There is no doubt at all that the Papal church persecuted others, but the 538 – 1798 timeframe of the persecutions does not fit very well with actual historical facts.
  • SDA’s teach that when it says papacy was thinking of changing laws, it is the Sabbath. However, Sunday observance started hundreds of years before the Roman bishop’s rise to pre-eminence. The official Catechism of the Catholic Church states that, “The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day at the heart of the Church’s life…This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age” (sections 2177-2178).
  • Besides, the law the little horn think to change is not ‘torah’ but ‘dat’ meaning “decree”. Thus, Daniel is speaking of a beast who would change times and laws is no reference to to God’s law—and certainly the Sabbath is not in view.
  • Did the Papacy have Supremacy for 1260 years? The Bishop of Rome was gradually consolidating power for many centuries, and the papacy continued to grow and thrive even after the temporary setback of 1798. These dates were concocted by Adventists and a few others because they were convenient.


  • Even SDA Theologian Dr. Bacchiocchi explains what happened after the pope was captured in 1798: “The death of Pius VI can hardly be seen as the ‘abolishment’ or ‘the downfall of the Papacy.’ It was simply a temporary humiliation of the prestige of the Papacy. ‘Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph.D., Endtime Issues #87, “A Reply to Criticisms Part I ‘The Use of Ellen White’s Writings in Interpreting Scripture'” (August 1, 2002).
  • SDA’s teach that when Daniel 7:10 says ‘judgement was set’, it is an investigative judgment of the righteous: However, there is nothing said in this sequence of events about investigating the deeds of the righteous. The ones being judged are the little horn and the beast power.
  • The truth about the little horn in Daniel 7:
  • Daniel 7 makes it abundantly clear the ten kings will “arise from this kingdom“. This could not possibly refer to outside entities that come in and conquer Rome. The only reasonable Biblical interpretation is that the ten horns represent ten kings or rulers over Rome.
  • History records that there were, in fact, ten Roman Caesars who ruled Rome prior to the destruction of Jerusalem:
  • Julius Caeser 49-44BC
  • Augustus 31BC-14AD
  • Tiberius (Luke 3:1) 14-37AD
  • Gaius (aka. Caligula) 37-41AD
  • Claudius (Acts 17) 41-54AD
  • Nero 54-68AD
  • Galba 68-69AD
  • Otho 69AD
  • Vitellius 69AD
  • Vespasian 69-79AD
  • The truth is that Daniel is a Jewish book, written by a Jew, written for the Jews, containing God’s prophecies relating to His Covenantal people (Dan. 9:24). It is all about events that would directly impact the Jewish people and the Jewish nation. The last prophecy of Daniel, the 70-week prophecy, ends with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
  • Except for a few brief comments about future events (Christ’s kingdom filling the earth (Dan. 2:34-35), the resurrection (Dan. 12:1-3)), the entire book of Daniel is focused on the Hebrew nation and its interaction with world powers from the time of Babylon up until the final destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

  • Who is the Little Horn?

  • It is an established historical fact that the Little Horn of Daniel 7 is Nero. Consider the incredible correlations between Nero and the little horn of Daniel 7:
  • He will uproot “three of the first horns” (7:24) – Three Emperors, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius were assassinated to make way for Nero, who was not in the line of succession.
  • He shall speak words against the Most High” (7:25) – Nero encouraged emperor worship and had a huge statue of himself erected in Rome. Inscriptions found in Ephesus called him “Almighty God” and “Saviour….”
  • He “shall wear out the saints of the Most High” (7:25) – Nero was the first Roman Emporer to launch a persecution against Jews and Christians. Some of the saints slain during his persecution include the Missionary Paul and the Apostle Peter. Historians have described the persecution as “the most cruel that ever occurred.”
  • The saints “shall be given into his hand for time, times, and half a time’ (7:25) – Nero’s persecution began in November of 64 AD, and ended with his death in June of AD 68, a period of exactly 42 months (1260 days).
  • His dominion shall be taken away” (7:26) – The Roman Senate eventually voted to put Nero to death, thus effectively taking away his dominion.
  • The kingdom “shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High (7:27) – It is a mistake to think this passage is a reference to God’s eternal kingdom. It is a reference to God’s spiritual kingdom, which was established in approximately 30 AD when John the Baptist announced, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2).
  • Christ talked about the “kingdom” as being present then (Matt. 12:28; 16:19; 23:13), not in the far distant future. Daniel talks about a kingdom that gradually fills the earth, and Jesus speaks of a Mustard seed which grew into a great tree. (Dan. 2:34-35; Matt. 13:31-33).
  • Therefore, the giving of the kingdom (Rome) to the saints of the Most High began when Christ established his kingdom on this earth, and the kingdom continued to grow until one day Christianity would became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire. Who is being Judged?
  • As noted earlier, the Bible clearly indicates that the judgment of Daniel 7 is a judgment against the little horn and the beast power, not an investigative judgment of the saints. Did such an event occur in the first century? Notice carefully the words of Jesus:
  • Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out’ (John 12:31)

  • ‘And when he [Comforter] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment …because the prince of this world is judged’ (John 16:8,11)

  • Jesus said that the judgment of Satan was happening “now”, during the final hours of His life on earth. He said that the Holy Spirit would come to convict the world that the prince of this world is judged. It was during the reign of the Roman Empire that judgment sat in heaven and passed sentence on the prince of this world and the Roman Empire.
  • It was the Roman Empire, under the guidance of Satan, acting through a Roman governor and Roman soldiers, that crucified the Son of God.
  • The judgment, although decided in heaven, was not instantly executed upon Rome when Jesus died, just as Satan will be punished only after the second coming. A generation of time was given to allow for Rome to manifest what it was going to do with Christ and Christianity.
  • Jesus’ death was as a mustard seed being planted in the earth. After His death the gospel sprouted and spread throughout the empire. Nero and later Caesars manifested a Satanic hatred towards Christianity. They thought to persecute it into non-existence, and Nero almost succeeded.
  • However, he was killed, his perseuction halted and his dominion was taken away. The very persecution he started in an attempt to stamp out Christianity would later become the seed that fueled an even more explosive growth of Christianity. Eventually the dominion of Satan was broken in the Roman Empire and it became the dominion of the saints. Christianity was recognized as the official religion of the Roman Empire.
  • Every specification of Daniel 7 came to pass just as predicted. In fact, the fulfillment in the events of the Roman Empire were so dramatic that atheists and agnostics insisted the book of Daniel was written after Nero’s death.

  • These enemies of God were silenced in shame when parts of the book of Daniel were discovered amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls, and were carbon-dated to 165 BC. Only God could have known about Nero and the Roman empire hundreds of years beforehand. Praise God!

SDA’s Twist Three Angel’s Messages


Have SDA’s got the Three Angel’s Messages right?

The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is ”to proclaim the everlasting gospel embraced by the three angels’’ messages’ (Revelation 14:6-12).

Interestingly, most SDA’s do not have a clue about the meaning of the Three Angel’s Messages. Just talk to a lay member. Not just that. SDA’s have built a mission statement based on a twisted interpretation of Revelation and the three angels. Here’s how it goes.

What do SDA’s teach on the three angels of Revelation 14? 

  • SDA’s teach that the first angel’s message was proclaimed and fulfilled in 1843/1844, through those (Millerites) who  were preaching the soon coming of Christ:

Ellen White, SDA prophet, wrote: ”Prophecy was fulfilled in the first and second angels’ messages. They were given at the right time [1844] and accomplished the work” (Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 235).

Further, when Revelation 14 says ”the judgement is come” (Rev 14:7), SDA’s teach that God began judging and investigating the righteous from 1844.

  • SDA’s teach that the second angel’s message is a call for Christians attending non-Adventist churches (referred to as Babylon) to leave those churches and join the true remnant church–the Seventh-day Adventists.

Ellen White wrote: ‘’As the churches refused to receive the first angel’s message, they rejected the light from heaven and fell from the favor of God(Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 134).

  • SDA’s teach the third angel’s message is a warning against receiving the Mark of the Beast, which is said to be worship on Sunday.

The Sabbath is the great test question. It is the line of demarcation between the loyal and true and the disloyal and transgressor. … It is the seal of the living God” (Ellen White, Selected Messages Book 3, p. 423)

Problems with SDA teachings 

Fulfilled in 1844?

  •  The Bible says the 3 angels messages were to go:

“…to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).

  •  But the Millerite Movement in 1844 was largely confined to the Northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and perhaps 2,000 to 3,000 followers in Britain, and a handful of believers in a few scattered places in Europe.

    How could a message that reached less than 1% of the world’s population–mainly English speakers–be a fulfilment of a prophecy that was to go “to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people“?

Judgment of the righteous in Revelation?

  • There is not a hint anywhere in Revelation 14 of a judgment upon the righteous or any investigation of the righteous. This is a SDA invention. The judgment is a judgment of vengeance and punishment of the wicked. In the book of Revelation, the souls of the martyrs (righteous) are heard crying out for vengeance/judgment:

    ”How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:1)

  • Hence, the ‘judgement is come’ is not for the righteous, but the wicked. The Bible is very clear that believers will not come into condemnation: ”Whoever hears my word and believes him [Jesus] who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged [condemned] but has crossed over from death to life” (Jn 5:24).
  • True, the Bible says God will judge both the righteous and the wicked. Since, judgement is mysteriously present in preaching of the gospel (John 3:18), those who disobey the gospel are judged already (John 5:24). Hence, God doesn’t require any further investigation to decide who are his children.
  • If there is a time for judgement, it is at his appearing, and not before or from 1844. : ‘I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom‘ (2 Timothy 4:1)

SDA’s have no basis contextually to say that the judgement specifically in Revelation is on the righteous, and there is certainly no investigative judgement. The context points to a judgment of the wicked.

Are all the protestant churches Babylon?

  • In Revelation 18, Babylon ”is the great city as a woman who commits fornication with the kings of the earth” (Rev. 18:3).

The great city…is…where our Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8). All Christians agree that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, which is what the Bible refers to as Babylon.

  • Moreover,  speaking about “Babylon”, it says that “in your streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people and the blood of people slaughtered all over the world” (Rev. 18:4). Sound familiar? It should. Jesus Christ said:

As a result, you will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time” (Matt. 23:35).  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers!” (Matt. 23:37).

The identification of “Babylon” leaves no room for any doubt. On the authority of Jesus Christ himself, “Babylon” was old Jerusalem, not some other past, present of future city or non-Adventist churches.

Sunday is the mark of the beast?

  • Contrary to SDA teachings, the third angel’s message warning on the mark of the beast has nothing to do with a day of worship (Saturday). Not once in the New Testament is Sunday ever referred to as the Mark of the Beast. The Seal of God is the Holy Spirit, not a sign of an obsolete covenant God made with Israel. “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit..” (Ephesians 1:13). Jesus and His Apostles emphasized that true Christianity is a matter of the heart. The Mark of the Beast are those who do not have the Holy Spirit. See: Sabbath in the Bible 

Seventh-day Adventism has elevated an obscure and easily-misunderstood passage in the book of Revelation to a position of prime importance to their church. Unfortunately, they have misinterpreted the meaning of this passage, resulting in a twisted and warped understanding of their relationship to other Christian churches.

SDA’s twist Revelation!

  •  John explains repeatedly in his book of Revelation that it deals with things that were about to happen shortly after the book was written.

”This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place” (Rev. 1:1). See also: Rev. 2:5, 16; 3:11; 22.

  • In the SDA mind-set, all those inspired expressions become meaningless, since Adventists claim that ‘soon’ means exactly the same as ‘distant’, ‘remote’ or ‘indefinite’. Naturally, that’s utter nonsense. When God caused the false prophet Balaam to predict Israel’s future, he knew very well the difference between ‘soon’ and ‘distant in time’ (Num. 24:17), and when God told Daniel about the future, he specified that a significant portion of his prophecy was for distant times (Dan. 8:26; 12:4, 9).

Revelation can be a daunting book

  • The author said ”Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book” (Rev. 22:10) because the events were shortly to come to pass, so I take him at his word that a good part of the book refers to 1st century events. However, I leave open the door for the latter half of the book to be more geared towards the time of the end. I also will acknowledge that some of the prophecies may have dual fulfilment—the first fulfilment being in the 1st century, and then a repeat and more complete fulfilment at the end of time.

Ellen White = Testimony of Jesus?


Seventh–day Adventist’s believe that when Revelation 19:10 says ‘the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophesy’; it refers to the writings of Ellen White, who they claim manifested the gift of prophesy. Is this Biblical? Let’s see what the Bible really teaches.

When the Bible uses the phrase ‘the testimony of Jesus’ it simply means ‘the testimony about Jesus‘: He is the subject of the testimony

  • John was imprisoned “on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony [Greek: marturia] of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9). Clearly, it was John’s testimony about Jesus and his spreading of God’s word that resulted in his being imprisoned.
  • John 21:24 gives the same idea when it says, “this is the disciple who is testifying to these things [about Jesus] and wrote these things, we know that his testimony [Gr: marturia] is true“.
  • “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him (Jesus) to show to His servants (John, and believers), the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His servant John; who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony [Gr: marturia] of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw” (Revelation 1:1-2)

Testimony of Jesus simply refers to testifying about Jesus, not some sayings of a prophet. It is referring to the believer’s personal witness about the truth of who Jesus is and what He has done and is doing.

Testimony of Jesus cannot be Ellen White’s writings because no one was beheaded because of her writings.

“And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony [Gr: marturia] which they had maintained” (Revelation 6:9)

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God” (Revelation 20:4)

What does the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy mean?

Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

  • Adventist’s say the ‘bretheren who hold the testimony of Jesus’ are prophets (hence they include Ellen White); however, this is wrong as the Bible plainly shows that any believer testifying about the truth about Jesus has the testimony ofJesus.
  • Besides, in Scripture, prophecy includes more than predictive statements and is often used for teaching or testifying of the truth, especially gospel truth.
  • The term “spirit of prophecy” occurs only once in the Bible. Since the testimony of Jesus is nothing but the truth about Jesus, when it says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, it is simply means ‘the truth about Jesus is the spirit or theme of all prophecy’.

Notice how this verse in Revelation 19:10 is variously translated or paraphrased.

  • Those who bear testimony to Jesus are inspired like the prophets’ (The New English Bible).

  • ‘For the truth revealed by Jesus is the inspiration of all prophecy’ (Weymouth).

  • ‘For the testimony of Jesus is what inspires prophecy’ (Goodspeed).

  • ‘It is the truth concerning Jesus which inspires all prophecy’ (Knox).

  • ‘The purpose of all prophecy and of all I have shown you is to tell about Jesus’ (Living Bible). 

  • These translators have captured the essence of what John is seeking to communicate. All prophecy, when rightly interpreted, in some way points to the truth concerning Jesus.
  • We should be very careful not to follow or rely upon prophetic utterances outside of the Scriptures. Jesus chose to reveal Himself by showing them that the Scriptures teach of Him. Peter framed the gospel in these words:

“…of Him all the prophets bear witness…” (Acts 10:43)  

  • In our walk with God and our witness to others, let our “testimony of Jesus” be ever linked to the Christ’s finished work and grounded in the Word of God alone.

To say that “the spirit of prophecy” as used in Revelation 19:10 refers to some modern-day prophet creates major problems.

  • Ellen White says, “In ancient times God spoke through the mouths of prophets and apostles. In these days he speaks to them by the Testimonies of his Spirit” (Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 148; Vol. 5., p. 661). By testimonies, she is referring to her writings.
  • However, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son (Heb 1:1,2). The phrase ‘has spoken’ in Greek conveys the finality of this superior revelation through Christ. To say that a modern prophet is needed to amplify God’s final word in Christ or to lead people to it is to undermine the content and finality of God’s word. It is a flat contradiction to the above Scripture.
  • Moreover, to say that Revelation 19:10 points to the work of a modern prophet usurps the central place of Christ in Scripture. Because ‘the truth about Jesus is the spirit or theme of all prophecy’, and not some writings of a person.

SDA claims about the remnant church falls apart

  • SDA fundamental beliefs say, “This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church, comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction“.
  • Not only is the spirit of prophesy not referring to Ellen White, hence, SDA claims about the remnant church are non-sense; the Bible also says not to add to His word. ‘If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book’ (Revelation 22:18). Not only SDA’s add to Jesus’ finished work, by making Sabbath a final test; they also add to the Bible by taking Ellen White as ‘a continuing and authoritative source of truth’.
  • The other sign of the remnant is keeping all the commandments (Revelation 14:12). SDA’s have a habit of thinking “Ten Commandments” or “Sabbath” every time the Bible mentions “The Law.” This is simply not true, and a poor understanding of scriptures. SDA’s take the Ten Commandments to be the high point of morality, but they do not realize that there are other Old Testament laws that have higher moral value. James 2:9 shows that violating a law (don’t discriminate) not found in the Ten Commandments will condemn people as law breakers. Most SDA’s have no clue that God’s law is broad, anything we do without faith is sin, and sin is really falling short of God’s perfection, and not just ten laws. SDA’s fail this mark of the remnant as well as they promote and keep a narrow set of laws.

Let us give thanks to God for His unspeakable gift in Christ, always proclaiming the good news of Scripture via the Scriptures.

  • Here is the way that the Apostle Paul stated it:
  • ‘Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures’.

  • This is the authentic, new covenant gospel! Christ died for our sins. He died our death. We are saved and changed by His all sufficient sacrifice alone. It is the focal point of the biblical spirit or theme of prophecy!

If spirit of prophesy is interpreted to refer to the Holy Spirit who gives the gift of prophesy to His prophets, Ellen White still does not qualify as she fails the tests of a true prophet 

  • There is excellent research done exposing Ellen White by Adventists. Many SDA’s try to explain away her failed prophesies by saying they were conditional. However, an honest Bible student will see that there are serious issues concerning her writings that cannot be ignored. Here is a sample.
  • Ellen White wrote, “Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming (Early Writings, p. 15)
  • Ellen White contradicts the Bible because, ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36)
  • During the year 1845 I met Miss Ellen Harmon several times at my uncle’s house in South Windham. The first of these meetings was in the month of May, when I heard her declare that God had revealed to her that Jesus Christ would return to this earth in June, the next month” (Source: Lucinda Burdick, notarized letter, published in Limboline). Now compare with the following:
  • In 1850 Sister White tells us what her angel told her: “My accompanying angel said, ‘Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.’ . . . now time is almost finished. . . and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months.” (Early Writings, pp. 64-67)
  • Well, as of 2015 it has been about one thousand eight hundred and eighty months since Ellen White said only a “few months” remained! She was certainly saying there were not “years” or “decades” left, because she said that recent converts would have to learn in “months.”
  • In 1873, Mrs. White remarked that the Lord was “present with his restoring power, to raise Carlstedt, whose sickness was not unto death, but to the glory of the Son of God.” (Source: Three Important Questions for Seventh-Day Adventists to Consider by Charles Lee). Charles Lee, who at that time was a Seventh-day Adventist minister, was at the prayer meeting and was a witness to Mrs. White’s prediction. Sadly, Mrs. White was dead wrong. Carlstedt was dead within one week of her statement. A horrific failed prediction.
  • Referring to false prophets, the Bible says, “If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).
  • Ellen White says “The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 117). However, the Bible says the Holy Spirit is the seal of God, and the Sabbath ritual was a sign between God and Israel under the old covenant, which has now been declared obsolete (Hebrews 8:6-13), when God established a new covenant, which believers are now under (Ephesians 1:13, 14; Eph. 4:30).
  • Ellen White wrote, “The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel sin… It will stand in the sanctuary until the final atonement” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357)
  • However, the Bible says when we repent for our sins, we are forgiven and God will not hold our confessed sins against us. ‘He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross’ (Col. 2:14,15). “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake”. (I John 2:12). This teaching the blood of Jesus doesn’t really cleanse our sins denies Jesus Christ, and mocks the words of our Savior from the Cross, “It is finished.” (John 19:30). Christ paid fully for our sins, atoning for them fully. No Scripture teaches otherwise. “…the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin”. (1 John 1:7). “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him”. (Romans 5:9)
  • Ellen White teaches that Jesus does not intercede for non-Adventists: “I saw that as the Jews crucified Jesus, so the nominal churches (term used to refer to non-Adventist churches) had crucified these messages, and therefore they have no knowledge of the way into the most holy, and they cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus there. Like the Jews who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left; and Satan, pleased with the deception, assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself…” (Early Writings. p. 261).
  • However, the Bible says, “I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word”. (John 17:20). “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him”. (1 John 5:1).
  • Ellen White said, “Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God’s people to walk no more with them.” —Councils on Diet and Foods, p. 382.
  • SDA prophet makes meat eating a salvational matter, when the Bible says not to judge anyone on dietary laws (Colossians 2:13-17). “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink“ (Rom 14:17-18).
  • If a church upholds and promotes the writings of a false prophet, not just the prophet, the church itself is a false church.

“I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 23:32)

Connection between Ellen White and Mormonism

• Without doubt Ellen White wrote some accurate things. However, even in her best books one will find error intermingled with truth. This mixture makes her writings even more dangerous because her deceptions are camouflaged amid details that sound correct.

• Willie White, Ellen White’s son published the following very revealing statement about his mother on February 23, 1984: ‘’In the early days of her work, mother was promised wisdom in the selection from the writings of others that would enable her to select the gems of truth from the rubbish of error. We have all seen this fulfillment, and yet when she told me of this, she admonished me not to tell it to others‘.( 3William C. White, Secretary, EGW Estate, Washington, D.C., Review and Herald, February 23, 1984)

• The Mormons moved into Saco Valley in 1832, and into Portland, Maine, in 1835. Ellen Harmon was only a small child when these events transpired; however, by 1842, when she had her first dream about entering a temple, she was a young lady of fifteen. It is a well-known fact that Ellen had a voracious appetite for reading and “borrowing” thoughts, ideas, and words from others. Is there any evidence that the writings, teachings, and practices of Joseph Smith, the prophet of Mormonism, influenced Ellen White?

• Some Adventists would recoil in horror to hear that several of the visions and prophecies of Ellen White were based on the writings of Joseph Smith. Here’s a comparison. You decide.

A sudden light appears

  • Joseph Smith (JS): “While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued increase until the room was lighter than at noonday…” JS 2:30

EGW: “While prayer was offered for me, the thick darkness that had encompassed me rolled back, and a sudden light came upon me. My strength was taken way, I seemed to be in the presence of angels.” IT 64

A beautiful person enters

  • JS: “…when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside…” JS 2:30
  • JS: …his whole person was glorious beyond description… When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said…” JS 2:32‑33

EGW: “…Just then the door opened, and a person of beautiful form and countenance entered…” 1T 28EGW: “I tried to shield myself from his gaze, feeling unable to endure his searching eyes, but he drew near me with a smile, and, laying his hand upon my head, said, ‘Fear not.'” 1T 28‑29

The messenger appears again

  • JS: “I lay musing on the singularity of the scene… I suddenly discovered the room was again begin­ning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again by my bedside.” JS 2:44

EGW: “This same person has appeared to me before in important dreams to instruct me from time to time during the past twenty‑six years.” R & H, November 4, 1875

Fell off path

  • JS: (“Vision”) “…I have seen a vision … and I saw…And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceeding great mist of darkness insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost … and they fell into forbidden paths…” BM 1 Nephi 8: 1;21‑23;28

EGW: (“Vision”) “…God has shown me in holy vision… I saw… The light behind them went out leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the City as all the wicked world which God had rejected. They fell all the way along the path…” EW page 15, 1945.

Dream of pathway to beautiful field

  • JS: (“Vision”) “Behold, I have dreamed a dream … And I also beheld a straight and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron … And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron … And they did press their way forward continually holding fast to the rod of iron…and many were lost from his view, wandering into strange roads … I beheld a large and spacious field … And I also beheld a straight and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron … unto a large and spacious field…” BM 1 Nephi 8:2;9;19; 20;24;30;32

EGW: (“Vision”) “While in Battle Creek in August, 1868,I dreamed…As the path grew more narrow… small were let down … These we eagerly grasped… exclaiming, ‘We have hold from above! We have hold from above!’ The same words were uttered by all the company in the narrow pathway… Where were such now? They were not in the company. At every change, some were left behind … Before us, on the other side of the chasm, was a beautiful field … Nothing I have seen upon earth could compare in beauty and glory with this field…” 2T 594‑597 (1868)

Not able to speak

  • JS: (“Vision”) “…for the space of three nights I could not open my mouth…” BM Alma 36:9‑10

EGW: (“Vision”) “I was struck dumb … my tongue would be loosened in less than twenty‑four hours.” EW 22‑23 (1945)

Garments stained with blood

  • JS: (“Vision”) “…how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood...?”BM Alma 5:22

EGW: (“Vision”) “…I was taken into the presence of Jesus … I looked upon my garments and saw that they were stained with blood.” EW 77 (1945)

More than a prophet

  • JS: “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man…” DC 135:3

EGW: “…my work includes much more than the word ‘Prophet’ signifies … My commission embraces the work of a Prophet, but it does not end there.” Spalding‑Magan MSS unpublished Testimonies, p.146; SM, Book 1 p. 36

Joseph Smith the source of Ellen White’s clichés

At the bar of God

  • JS: “…for ye shall see me at the bar of God…” BM Moroni 10:27
  • EGW: “…But this they must meet at the bar of God…” 5T 46 (1882)

Minds have been darkened

  • JS: “And your minds… have been darkened…” DC 84:54
  • EGW: “The minds of many have been so darkened… 5T 62 (1882)

Spirit of prophecy—testimony of Jesus

  • JS: “And Alma went and began to declare the word of God unto the church …according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ. . .BM Alma 6:8
  • JS: ” … I also had the spirit of prophecy . . .” JS 2:73

EGW: “My dear brethren and sisters, let the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ be in your minds continually…” EW 58 (1945)

Probation and salvation

  • JS: “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling in the days of your probation…” BM Mormon 9:27‑28

EGW: “Now is the hour of probation … with fear and trembling work out their own salvation.” 2T 102 (1868)

Probation lengthened

  • JS: “And the days of the children of, men were prolonged… their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened … to BM 2 Nephi 2 21

EGW: “…and lengthened the days of their probation.” LS 203 (1880)

  • Joseph Smith is the source of Ellen White’s probation doctrine. There is not one Bible text that tells us that anyone is on probation

Another example of copying by Mrs. White

  • E.G. White: The judges sat in the open air, upon seats hewn out in the rock, on a platform which was ascended by a flight of stone steps from the valley below. Sketches From the Life of Paul p.93 1883
  • Conybeare and Howson: The judges sat in the open air, upon seats hewn out in the rock, on a platform which was ascended by a flight of steps immediately from the Agora. Life and Epistles of The Apostle Paul p.308 (first edition printed in 1851).
  • E.G. White: Had his oration been a direct attack upon, their gods, and the great men of the city who were before him, he would have been in danger of meeting the fate of Socrates p.97 Sketches From the Life of Paul, 1883.
  • Conybeare and Howson: Had he begun by attacking the national gods in the midst of their sanctuaries, and with the Areopagites on the seats near him he would have been in almost as great danger as Socrates before him p.310 Life and Epistles of the Apostle Paul p. 310 (first edition 1851).

In the PREFACE of one of Mrs. E.G. White’s book we read this interesting statement: “The writer of this book, having received especial help from the Spirit of God, is able to throw light upon the teachings of Paul and their application to our own time, as no other authors are prepared to do.”

Question: Did the “Spirit of God” lead Mrs. White to “take” the above and much more from a book written 32 years before, with no credit given, and no quotation marks used to show its real origin?

Your Answer, your response must be a glory to God and well pleasing to Jesus Christ.

Is your view on sin narrow?


If your understanding of sin is narrow, then your understanding of God’s law, His grace, and your love for others will also be narrow.

Here’s the truth about the gravity our sin condition, the high standard of His law, the unfathomable depth of His grace and Christ’s sacrifice.

God’s definition of sin is broad

  • Everything that is not from faith is sin’ (Romans 14:23)
  • Turning away from God through unbelief is sin (Hebrews 3:12)
  • Not doing what you know is right is sin (James 4:17)
  • Doing wrong without knowing is sin (Leviticus 5:17)

Breaking God’s commandments is sin (1 John 3:4)

  • God’s commandments are not just the ten commandments, but all the moral commands stated in the Bible
  • The Rich Young Ruler thought he kept all the commandments of God, but Jesus said it wasn’t ‘complete’ because he did not care for the poor according to his financial ability (Matt. 19). Taking care of the poor is a moral command
  • The story of the rich young ruler shows the impossibility of earning one’s salvation by following a list of commandments (Mark 10:26)
  • James 2:9 states if you show favoritism or discriminate anyone, you have broken all the commandments

Even our human nature is sinful from birth

‘See, I was born in sin and was in sin from my very beginning’ (Psalms 51:5). Our sinful human nature can produce only one thing naturally. Sin! That’s why we need to be born again. More on this later

We cannot view sin as merely a list of dos and don’ts

  • Since, everything that is not from faith is sin, every action and attitude that we do without faith in God’s promises is sin
  • Therefore, we cannot view sin as merely a list of dos and don’ts
  • One of Satan’s most successful lies is that sin can be limited to a manageable list of dos and don’ts
  • This is so satanic and dangerous because it causes thousands of christians to think that things are OK between them and God because they avoid one list of don’ts and practice another (much shorter) list of do’s (ex: church going, returning offerings, not committing murder literally etc); but in fact may be sinning all day long

God’s standard of law is so high; no fallen man can measure up to it always

  • His standard of law is so high that it is humanely impossible for any fallen man to measure up. Perhaps occasionally, but not all the time. In Greek, Romans 3:23 is actually saying ‘all have sinned and continue to fall short of God’s standard’
  • It this standard of law that we have broken, are guilty of, condemned for, and deserving death (Romans 6:23)

His standard of love towards others is also high

  • A lawyer asked Jesus, what must I do to inherit life (Luke 10:25). Then Jesus recited the story of the good Samaritan. The lesson from the story was you must show perfect love to your neighbour, wherever, or whoever they may be all the time. This is humanly impossible to do all the time.
  • This parable teaches once again the impossibility of earning one’s salvation. The standard, which is perfect love, is too high; you can’t manufacture such God kind of love.

Narrow view of sin leads some to believe they can ‘do’ the law and inherit life

  • Because some have a narrow view of sin, and law, they like the rich young ruler, pharisees and that lawyer still think that they can DO the law to inherit eternal life
  • Only way to be saved by the law is to keep the law perfectly—every moment of every day for your entire life
  • “But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law” (Galatians 3:10)
  • People have a tendency to just cherry-pick a handful of things out of the law like the Sabbath (if you are a Sabbath keeper), offering giving, not stealing literally etc. But what Paul is saying, you can’t cherry-pick the law. If you’re going to earn righteousness under the law, it’s all the commandments (love others unconditionally, help the poor, don’t discriminate, every single one of them etc), and if you fail in one slightest detail ever in your life, then you are under a curse, and you are condemned.
  • If you think you can be saved by ticking a few commandments, you are in for a surprise. ‘Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:23)
  • If we don’t understand the seriousness of sin, the standard of his law, and how we don’t measure up to God’s standard, we will never understand our dangerous-sinful-hopeless-condition, why Jesus came, why He died, why we need a savior, what he accomplished by His death, and how we can walk righteously.

Because we cannot pay for our sins, God turned over our sins to Jesus

  • Sin separated us from God, and created a bridge between us and Him (Isaiah 59:2), but Jesus took away our sins on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). God punished Jesus for our sins (Isaiah 53:5), and ‘brought us back to himself through Christ’ (2 Corinthians 5:18)
  • Apart from Christ we are separated from God, condemned, lost. But ‘Christ united us with God‘ (Eph 2:6). We were united with God the moment we repented for our sins, trusted Jesus that He was punished for our sins, our death, our law breaking, and believed that His sacrifice is sufficient to save us.
  • When we repented, our sins were completely forgiven. ‘There is now no condemnation for them that belong to Jesus’ (Rom 8:1). The law no more condemns us because it already condemned someone else: Jesus. ‘You are complete in Him’ (Col. 2:10)
  • Since we have broken God’s law, there is no way our good deeds could offset our bad deeds. ‘For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die’ (Gal 2:21). Only Jesus can save us and He did save us from the punishment by taking the punishment for our sins.

In God’s plan, we receive righteousness on the basis of faith

  • I am “found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith” (Philippians 3:9).
  • We receive the righteousness of God apart from the law, meaning it doesn’t come from obeying the law. It comes from another place; it comes from Jesus Himself. It’s His righteousness.
  • God’s credits his Son’s righteous life on this earth as our righteousness by exchanging it for our sins the moment we repent, tell him we have messed up,  and confess we can’t measure up to His standard, and put our trust in Him! In that very moment, we are declared righteous in God’s presence as a gift of God’s grace (Romans 4:3). This is the good news! This is radical. This is grace. This is something only God thought up in his heart. Not man. Please don’t lower grace to your standard.

When you repented and believed in Jesus, you were born again

  • When we repented for our sins and our inability to save ourselves, and accepted Jesus as our perfect sacrifice, sin bearer, savior, Lord, He came into our life and we were born again. Jesus gave us a new birth, a new start in life. Our past is just that. Past. We can now look forward to living changed, righteous, and joy filled lives as we have Jesus living in us now.
  • ‘When we believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit‘ (Ephesians 1:13). This seal is the guratanee that tell us we are now God’s children, we are empowered, we have eternal life, we will inherit what God has promised us (2 Corinthians 1:22).

Without the new birth, you can’t enter the kingdom of God nor walk righteously

  • Unless one is born again, he cannot enter God’s kingdom (John 3:3).
  • We need to be born again, because when we were born into this world, we were born spiritually dead; this was the result of Adam’s fall. When they died that day eating the fruit (Genesis 2:17), they died in a real sense. Their spirit or spiritual nature died. Therefore, all Adam’s children are born into this world ‘dead’ (Eph 2:5) or with a dead ‘spirit’. They are dead to the things of God, dead to the voice of the Holy Spirit. They can’t hear God speak to them.
  • Nicodemus was a Sabbath keeper. Pharisees were Sabbath keepers. They kept a narrow list of commandments, and were satisfied that they met God’s standard. However, they were not born again. Their spirit or spiritual nature was still dead. That’s why they failed to meet the weightier matters of the law like justice, mercy, faith (Matthew 23:23), taking care of the poor, and helpless according to their financial ability. They didn’t even know they were sinning.
  • People who are not born again may keep a narrow set of laws and judge other people on external things like church going, offering giving, etc. but their hearts are far from God. They have an outward form of religion, but they have not changed from the inside out, because they were never born again.

There is more than forgiveness in God’s plan

  • When Jesus lives in us, He comes out in our actions, attitudes and affections. He empowers us to bear fruits of righteousness. He fulfills the righteousness requirement of the law in us (Romans 8:4) as His Spirit guides us.
  • The law tells us this. How messed up we are every time we look at it because it’s standard is so high (Romans 3:20). We have never kept its demand constantly, every moment, every day.
  • Those who have a narrow view of law will never see their true state from the law. The Pharisees never saw this. Therefore, they never really saw the need for a savior to take away their sins.
  • However, the Holy Spirit is our guide now, and not the law (Gal 3:25). We are ‘led by the Spirit’ (Romans 8:14). When the Spirit guides, He puts us in tune with all the moral principles of God. We become sensitive to others. We become gentle, kind, patient. We become more and more like Jesus.
  • The law may change people from the outside. But only the Spirit changes us from the inside out.
  • While the Spirit guides us, we will read and study God’s word to see if we are following all his teachings and not cherry picking a few things.
  • When you have Jesus, you have the fruit (singular) of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Notice, its not fruits, its fruit. When you have the Spirit, you have the entire basket of fruits: ‘love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law’.
  • Against such things there is no law means there is no law that can produce this fruit. There’s no legalism or external religious observances that can produce this. It’s a fruit of the Spirit.
  • If you only have one or two of the fruits, that means you were not born again! Probably you never understood how sinful you are before a Holy God, and his law! You didn’t truly repent. Therefore, you were not born again.


  • If you are not trusting Christ for forgiveness and are not resting in his daily work on your behalf, then none of your actions comes from faith, but every one of them (even the most noble) is sinful and an insult to the infinitely trustworthy God.
  • Here’s the good news: Jesus took away your sins, and gave you new life. He died your death. His death wasn’t just a demonstration of love or death of a martyr. He died in your place so that he can take you home.
  • Following Jesus is not following a set of narrow laws. It is having a relationship with Him, trusting what he did on the cross, believing that His sacrifice is sufficient payment for your sins, trusting him daily to do what is right in your life, and making His word your authority for living. As you trust him, you are empowered to obey him, honour him, and live a holy life. No matter what life may throw at you, you can face it, because your future is secure in Him, and His finished work.

When you understand how high God’s standard of law is, and how sinful you are, only then can you really appreciate grace and the sacrifice of Christ.

When you receive His grace, only then can you really demonstrate the same kind of grace, love, kindness, and gentleness to others.

If you have not received Him as your Savior and the Lord of your life. Then:

  • Confess your great sin, how you haven’t measured up to his high standard and know you deserve to be condemned for insulting Him by your lack of faith, and thinking you could measure up.
  • Repent, turn to Him and believe now in Jesus, that as your Savior who died to bear you sin and punishment, so you could live forever and walk in newness of life.
  • Take him as your only hope of salvation and acknowledge him as your only Lord.
  • Thank him for his forgiveness and His promise to be with you, and in you, and to empower you to do his will.
  • Trust him to do what is right in your life.

Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient


If we want to know whether Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to save us, we need to know some things about our condition before a Holy God.

Firstly, we need to know the bad news.

The bad news is all have sinned, and continue to fall short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23).

This means a few things:

  • We are not good enough to be with God.
  • We cannot offset our bad deeds by good deeds: No matter how many good deeds we do, we cannot offset our bad deeds. No amount of truth telling can offset that one tiny lie. No amount of kindness can offset that one small outburst of anger.
  • We cannot pay for our sins in any way.
  • We must be punished. We are guilty. The wages for one sin is death (Rom 6:23).

Are you feeling lost and hopeless? That’s ok. Actually that is healthy. Only then can you really understand and appreciate the gospel, and the need for a Savior.

Here’s the good news. Anyone can be saved by trusting Jesus’ sacrifice (John 3:16). This is what God did:

Because we cannot pay for our sin, God turned over our sins to Jesus (Isaiah 53:5)

Paul stated the gospel this way:

The Gospel really is…this Good News that saves you if you still firmly believe it…that Christ died for our sins…and that three days afterwards he arose from the grave” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Jesus’ death wasn’t a martyr’s death. It wasn’t just a demonstration of love. It is much more. He died in our place. He died our death. When Jesus said ‘It is finished’ and died on the cross (John 19:30), He paid the price for our sins completely.

Is this sacrifice a sufficient payment for our sins?

Yes, in Greek, it is finished means tetelestai. It is a banking term to mean debt is paid. Jesus paid our sin debt we owed God. He satisfied God’s wrath fully.  He met broken law’s demands completely. And when He rose, He earned the right to give life eternal to anyone who will receive Him and believe that His sacrifice is sufficient to save them (John 3:16).

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation (adjudging of guilty) for those who belong to Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Some believe it is still not enough

During Paul’s day, some Jewish Christians were teaching that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t really enough. The same issue exists today. The idea is Jesus’ sacrifice alone cannot save us, we also need to add others things. During Paul’s day it was circumcision, and other Jewish laws.  Today, some try to add kind acts, church going, Sabbath, offering giving, and other good works to His finished work to gain forgiveness and acceptance from God.

Paul’s says don’t even think about it

Paul warns that if you teach Jesus’ sacrifice is not enough, you are teaching another gospel, which is not a gospel at all (Galatians 1:6, 7). And he goes on to say the following things among other things about people who teach and believe in such a gospel:

  • They are cursed; literally should be destroyed (Galatians 1:9)
  • Trying to be right with God through obeying the law, which is impossible (Galatians 2:16)
  • Trying to receive God’s inheritance through keeping the law, and not by trusting Jesus (Galatians 3:18).
  • Trying to receive the Holy Spirit by their works, which doesn’t work (Galatians 3:2)
  • Do not and cannot even obey all the commandments all the time, and hence are under a curse, and prisoned (Galatians 3:10)

Don’t add, but show gratitude

Paul said, we are made right with God when we “believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood” (Romans 3:25). If you repent for your sins, and inability to save yourself, and trust Jesus’ finished work is enough to save you, and receive Jesus, not only Jesus came into your life, He also forgave your sins, gave you a new start and empowered you to live a new life pleasing to Him.

Now you can show God your gratitude through your good works, not to gain or earn favor from Him, because you really can’t. Besides, you already have His favor. But in response to Jesus’s finished work and as the Holy Spirit who is in you leads you to do His will, obey and honor Him.

Insights from Superman and Jesus


One fan favorite of super hero comics is Superman.  More than any other superhero, the Superman story resembles the Gospels. If you haven’t heard the story, it goes something like this.

From above, father Jor-el sends his son Kal-el as a baby to earth

Like God the Father sent His Son Jesus to this world. By the way, El is Hebrew for God.

Kal-el was sent in a star-like space ship

Similar to Christ’s first coming that was heralded by a star.

When he came, he was raised by two earthly parents who were originally named Joseph and Mary (later Jonathan and Martha).

Jesus was raised by two earthly parents, Joseph and Mary.

When Kal-el comes of age, he visits the artic wilderness to speak with his father’s spirit.

Like Jesus’ visit to the wilderness.

Thereafter, Kal-el (earthly name is Clark) embraces his mission as Superman to fight for truth and justice.

Similar to Jesus’ mission.

Superman’s mortal enemy is Lex, who envies His power.

Like Satan who wanted to be like God.

Superman came back to life after being put to death as per a 1992 comic book called The Death of Superman.

Like Jesus rose from the dead.

Well Superman may be a bit like Jesus, but is Jesus anything like Superman? I think there are at least three implications for Christians from Superman or superhero stories.

1. Jesus is incomparable to fiction or myth

As seen above, there are similarities, but there are also incomparable differences.

  • Jesus is real. Superman and any other superhero or gods are either myth or fiction.
  • Jesus’ death achieved something amazing. When He died, He died as our atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). He died in our place. He died our death. When He rose, He earned the right to give us life (1 Peter 1:3).
  • Neither superman nor any other person in real life or fiction can take away our sins, and give life eternal. Only Jesus can. He is the true messiah; He is the true Savior of the world (1 John 4:14).

2. The Superman story can help you talk about Jesus

Given the similarities, some have used Superman’s story as a parable or an illustration to teach about Jesus. When the movie Superman returns (2006) was set to hit theaters,  some churches used it as an opportunity to share about Jesus. I know friends who did likewise. I know friends who wouldn’t do likewise.

Given how much Superman’s story resembles the story of Jesus, I think it’s great to try and use every opportunity to point people to Him. Of course we should share with them that Jesus took away our sins. He died our death. No one else, neither Superman nor any other person could have done it.

3. Don’t let superheroes take your attention off Jesus

I like super hero comics, and I know some of you do too. But let’s recognize this. Satan can turn harmless things into harmful things. If Satan can take away our attention from Jesus, using superman, superheroes or any other thing for that matter, he has set up false gods, false messiahs for people to follow.

Satan can make things appear more beautiful, attractive, and desirous than Jesus. He has been doing that from the very beginning. He convinced Eve that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her” (Genesis 3:6).

He is doing it today. Sometimes, people find super heroes more attractive than Jesus. Why wouldn’t they when super heroes are portrayed as not only standing for justice and truth, but also having popping biceps, flashing six packs, extremely good looks, and witty conversations?

Because Jesus isn’t portrayed that way, sometimes people find Jesus boring, and unappealing.

True, supers story lines may provide opportunities for sharing about Jesus. Equally, they may make sharing about Jesus challenging with people.

Nothing can compare to knowing Jesus

As Christians, let us use every opportunity to share about Jesus because He is the true Savior of the world. Let’s also remember and share with others that nothing can be compared to knowing Jesus. Paul said it this way.

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

We also need to do one more thing. To not allow anything to take away our focus on Jesus, let’s “keep our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).