WHAT ARE THE PILLARS OF OUR FAITH?
"The passing of time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth, (also) the first and second angels' messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, 'The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.' One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressor of God's law. The non-immortality of the wicked is an old landmark." Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 30. (For further study: Proverbs 9:1; Hebrews 6:2; 1888 Materials, p 518; Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 258, 313, 377, 399; Testimonies, vol 6, p 91, 144; Evangelism, p 273; Early Writings, p 63, 87, 258; Great Controversy, p 409; Life Sketches, p 278).
WHY ARE THEY NEEDED?
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalms 11:3.
"As a people we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial. We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time has not lessened their value." Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 52.
"Men will arise with interpretations of scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit... We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith." Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 32.
"Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder Edson, and others... were among those who after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly...
"But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly with the grip of faith to the fundamental principles that are based on unquestionable authority." Series B#2, p 56-59. (For further study: Isaiah 49:22, 62:10; Jeremiah 6:16, 50:2; Ephesians 4:14-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-2, 16; Hebrews 10:23; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 985; Selected Messages, book 1, p 161; Evangelism, p 121; Life Sketches, p 430, 448; Upward Look, p 152; Testimonies, vol 4, p 211; vol 5, p 31, 295; vol 6, p 17; Review and Herald, August 20, 1903.)
1. FIRST ANGEL'S MESSAGE
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:6-7.
A warning message to the world: to fear God, our Creator to worship only Him, and give glory to Him by reflecting His character, for the hour of investigative judgment (first for the dead and then for the living) has come, and to proclaim the Everlasting Gospel, which involves the plan of redemption, and salvation from all sin through Jesus Christ the only Mediator between God and man. (For further study: Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:3-6; 1 Kings 8:60; Psalms 19:9; Proverbs 2:5; 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Matthew 5:16, 28:19; John 1:3, 14:6, 17:3; Acts 1:8, 14:15, 17:24-25; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Timothy 2:5; Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 199, 222-229, 231; Testimonies, vol 6, p 19.)
2. SECOND ANGEL'S MESSAGE
"And there followed another angel saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Revelation 14:8.
Babylon fallen represents the moral fall of all Protestant Churches by 1844, because they rejected the light of truth sent to them from heaven as proclaimed in the First Angel's Message. This message is still a call for all Christians to separate from their fallen churches. (For further study: Isaiah 28:7, 48;17-20; Jeremiah 50:6, 51:6, 8, 51:44-45; Ezekiel 21:3,4; Zechariah 2:6-7; Matthew 24:15-16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20-21; Acts 15:14; Revelation 11:8, 16:19, 17:18, 18:1-5; Testimonies, vol 8, p 118; Patriarchs and Prophets, p 124; Great Controversy, p 383, 606; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 984-985; Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 230-33, 421, 424-425; Selected Messages, book 2, p 118; book 3, p 405; Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 362; Testimony to Ministers, p 61, 117, 265; Upward look, p 277; Kress Collection, p 124; Review and Herald, October 31, 1899; July 5, 1906; Manuscript Releases, book 12, p 248.)
3. THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE, ARK, AND IMMUTABLE LAW OF GOD
"And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments therefore, even so shall ye make it." Exodus 25:8-9.
"And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament." Revelation 11:19.
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.
There is a temple in heaven of which the earthly sanctuary was a pattern. This heavenly sanctuary is composed of two apartments; the first is the holy place, the second the most holy place. In the second apartment is found the ark of God containing His immutable law perpetually embodied in the ten commandments which is a transcript of His character. God's divine principles, His moral requirements, are binding upon all men in all ages and constitutes the basis of His covenant with His people and the standard of character in the final judgment. (For further study: Numbers 14:18; Proverbs 28:13; Jeremiah 32:19; Ezekiel 18:30, 33:20, 34:17, 20; Daniel 7:9-10; Matthew 22:1-14; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; All of the book of Hebrews; James 4:12; 1 Peter 4:5; Jude 14-15; Revelation 5:1-9, 11:18, 22:14-15; Great Controversy, p 428, 412.)
4. CHRIST'S MINISTRY IN CLEANSING THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY
"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Daniel 8:14.
"...I have appointed thee each day for a year." Ezekiel 4:6.
Christ's first apartment (holy place) ministry began at His ascension and continued until October 22, 1844 at the end of the 2300 days/years when He entered into the second apartment (most holy place) to begin His final mediatorial work of intercession, atonement, and investigative judgment to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary as our High Priest. (For further study: Leviticus 16, 23:27-32; Numbers 14:34; Hebrews 6:19-20, 9:3, 7, 11-15, 12:24; Great Controversy, p 352, 409, 412-22, 428, 480, 647-48; Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 265-270, 431, 440; Early
Writings, p 36, 54-56, 256; Testimonies, vol 6, p 364; vol 5, p 86, 575; Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 78; Testimony to Ministers, p 37, 445; Manuscript Releases, vol 12, p 392; Selected Messages, book 1, p 124-126, 232, 344; Notebook Leaflets, p 99, col 1; Battle Creek Letters, p 116-117; Review and Herald, January 21, 1890.)
5. THE SABBATH
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy god: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hollowed it." Exodus 20:8-11.
God Himself, after six days of creationary work, blessed, sanctified, and rested on the seventh day as His only Sabbath (Genesis 2:2-3). This fourth commandment of God's written holy law requires all of His true followers to devote the seventh day of each week, beginning at sunset Friday through sunset Saturday, to the worship of God as their Creator. Thus it is a sacred day of rest requiring abstinence from all unnecessary labor and secular work, and the performance of sacred and religious duties. This Sabbath commandment contains God's official seal which includes His name - "Lord thy God"; His official position - "Creator"; His domain - "heaven and earth". Therefore the seventh day Sabbath is the seal of God's creative and sanctifying power which is exercised through the Holy Spirit in the lives of His obedient people. (For further study: Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31, 2:2-3; Nehemiah 13:19; Isaiah 8:16, 58:12-14; Ezekiel 20:12; Daniel 7:25; Matthew 5:17-19; Mark 1:32, 2:27-28; Luke 23:54-56, 24:1; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 4:4-10; James 2:10-11; Revelation 12:17, 14:12; Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 279-281, 395-96, 457; Testimonies, vol 1, p 116; vol 6, p 349-368; vol 8, p 117; Patriarchs and Prophets, p 336.)
6. THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE
"And the third angel followed them saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:9-12
"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." Revelation 18:1-5.
A solemn invitation is given to every truly repentant sinner to accept the righteousness of Christ by faith, which is imputed in justification and imparted through sanctification, enabling them to keep all of God's commandments, overcoming all sin through His grace and strength, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. It also warns all mankind against worshiping the beast (Roman Catholicism), or his image (apostate Protestantism), or receiving the mark of Catholicism (which is submitting to Sunday worship), lest they receive the wrath of God poured out in the seven last plagues. It also warns all of God's people to willingly separate themselves from all unclean apostate, harlot churches of Babylon - including the Seventh-day Adventist Church - or become partakers of her sins and receive her plagues. (For further study: Genesis 19:24; Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6; Psalms 92:7; Ezekiel 22:31; Daniel 3:5-29; Luke 17:29; Acts 2:27; 1 Corinthians 6:15-16, 19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Amos 3:3; Isaiah 52:11; James 4:12; 2 Peter 3:10; Jude 7; Revelation 12:17, 13:1-18, 14:11-12, 15:2, 16:2, 19:10, 20:10, 14-15; Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 278-279, 281, 356, 362-363; Great Controversy, p 444-45, 449, 536, 605; Early Writings, p 219, 221; Testimony to Ministers, p 133; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 976, 979-980; Manuscript Releases, vol 12, p 248, 250; Word to the Little Flock, p 12.)
7. NON-IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL (State of the dead)
"For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun... for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10.
Death is a state of silence, inactivity, and entire unconsciousness, referred to in the Bible as "sleep". Therefore the scriptures clearly confirm that all apparitions of those who have died, including the Virgin Mary, are the spirits of demons working miracles to deceive, if possible, God's people (see Revelation 16:14). The investigative judgment determines whether the dead will awaken at Christ's second coming being raised in the first resurrection to inherit everlasting life, or remaining in the grave until the second resurrection to be consumed in the lake fire which is the second death. (For further study: Job 14:21; Ezekiel 18:4; Matthew 22:30; John 11:24-25; Acts 2:29, 34; Colossians 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Revelation 14:13, 20:5, 21:4; Hebrews 9:24; Isaiah 26:14; Ecclesiastes 3:20; Desire of Ages, p 527; Early Writings, p 262; Acts of Apostles, p 289; Testimony to Ministers, p 457.)
BIBLICAL INTERPRETATIONS REGARDING DANIEL AND REVELATION
ADVENTIST PIONEER INTERPRETATIONS OF DANIEL
We concur along with our Adventist pioneers, including Ellen White, that the correct interpretations of the major prophecies of Daniel are as follows:
Ellen White indicated that most of Daniel 11 was already history (see Manuscript Releases, vol 13, p 394 - Letter 103, 1904), and that it "has nearly reached its complete fulfillment" (Testimonies, vol 9, p 14).
Not only was Ellen
White in agreement with the above, even stating that "the 1335 years were
ended" (see Manuscript Releases, vol 5, p 203 - Letter 28, November 7, 1850),
but also stating that Daniel was already standing in his lot thus signifying
that all these times prophecies were ended (see Testimony to Ministers, p
115; Manuscript Releases, vol 17, p 10).
INTERPRETATIONS OF REVELATION
We concur along with our Adventist pioneers, including Ellen White, that the correct interpretations of the major
prophecies of Revelation are as follows:
REVELATION 6 & 7
Ellen White was in agreement with the above, even stating
that the rider of the white horse in the first seal represented Christ
(Gospel truth) going forth "conquering and to conquer" through His
followers after His ascension (see Acts of Apostles, p 23; Sons and Daughters
of God, p 358; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 4, p 1146). Also Ellen
White indicated that both the 3rd and 4th seals were already history
stating that this "history shall be repeated" (see Manuscript Releases, vol
9, p 7 - Letter 65, August 23, 1898).
REVELATION 8 & 9
White was in agreement with the above, even stating that the 6th trumpet
represented the turks, and the hour, day, month, and year ended in 1840 (see
Great Controversy, p 334; Maranatha, p 152).
Ellen White agreed with the above, even declaring that the
open book was the book of Daniel (see Manuscript Releases, vol 17, p 6,
8; Selected Messages, book 2, p 107-108; Testimony to Ministers, p
REVELATION 14 & 18