In recent days I have had a few questions asked about the Seventh-day Adventist teaching on National Sunday Law and the Mark of the Beast.
Some have pointed out that they have seen an increase of social media posts from Seventh-day Adventist regarding statements about a National Sunday Law and the Mark of the Beast coming soon.
So, I thought I would address some of these questions through a few bulleted points:
• First, let me remind you that like most of my Once Adventist category posts, this one is inside baseball so unless you are a Seventh-day Adventist or familiar with Seventh-day Adventist doctrine, you’re likely to read through this and end up with more questions than you started with because I don’t usually take the time to explain little sub-points.
• What I think you may be seeing is Seventh-day Adventist reacting to the COVID-19 shutdown and the stories regarding government overreach, like the stories coming out of Greenville, Mississippi or the state of Michigan, as a sign to them and their beliefs that the government is going to make National Sunday Laws forcing Americans to keep Sunday sacred. They also believe that this will make them an enemy to the government.
• To an SDA it’s not just an essential business only law for Sunday but a law with a flip side that they believe will cause Saturday keepers to be taken into court and eventually persecuted. The doctrine is framed in a battle over worship, but while worship is part of the larger prophetic scope of Revelation 13-14 and the Mark of the Beast, worship is not part of the Sabbath command. Which makes the seventh-day a bit odd as a probable antithesis of their forced Sunday worship claim. In case you are wondering, the first angel’s message in Revelation 14:7, which Seventh-day Adventist point to as preaching the Sabbath, is a call to worship the Creator and offers no mention of the seventh-day Sabbath.
• I will admit that human nature being what it is — sinful wicked hearts bent toward evil without the sanctifying influence of God’s grace to keep it in check — it could be likely that in the event of a national Sunday law a prejudice could arise toward Sabbath keepers. However, Seventh-day Adventist are not the only Saturday Sabbath keepers. Jews keep the seventh-day, as does many other variants of different Protestant denominations. Still, many Seventh-day Adventist welcome a fearfulness into their own spirit by rehearsing this idea of Sabbath keeper oppression.
• Seventh-day Adventist believe that the Mark of the Beast is Sunday keeping and that Sabbath keeping is the Seal of God. However, Ephesians 4:30 is clear to me that the seal of God is the Spirit of God which could make its opposite, as in the Mark of the Beast, man’s tradition or religion — a worship by works. We know from Genesis 1:26 that the image of God is male and female creation which could make its opposite, as in the Mark of the Beast, man’s multiple sexual agenda — a worship of man’s image.
• I simply disagree with the interpretation that the Seal of God is the Sabbath because according to Seventh-day Adventist teaching, the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8-11 has the necessary elements of a King’s ancient seal. For me, that is bad hermeneutics because it is reaching outside of Scripture for a primary interpretation. If we compare Scripture with Scripture we have to consider Ephesians 4:30 among other verses. Ezekiel 20:12 calls the seventh-day a sign, but a sign is something that points to the real thing behind its purpose. Signs on the highway point to the exit ramp but the sign is not the exit ramp. Signs of our times point the return of the Lord but the signs are not the Lord. The Sabbath of the 10 Commandments is a sign that pointed toward the promised Messiah to come who we must rest in through faith and not in our religious works. Guarding your attention to the minutes of the seventh-day, after the ascension of Jesus, is like guarding the picture of your spouse and ignoring their physical presence in the same room.
• I don’t care what day of the week one might want to gather for Christian fellowship and worship, having a Sunday law in place will not in and of itself prevent gathering on whatever day one chooses to meet. This may be a surprise to the typical Seventh-day Adventist church member, but the world and the wicked who want global control are not fond of any Bible believing Christian regardless of which day their local congregation gathers and we will all be in this persecution together.
• Since leaving the Adventist denomination I have been surprised at how badly Seventh-day Adventist understand the evangelical world. One example that is pertinent to this National Sunday Law doctrine is the assumption that non-Adventist worship Sunday as sacred. You may find pockets of strict orthodoxy that claims Sunday as sacred or as changed from Saturday to Sunday but speaking from being outside of the SDA walls since 2000 I can assure you that gathering on Sunday morning has more to do with culture, convenience, and principle of seven days a week in worship and discipleship as part of a daily Christian walk.
• A national Sunday law, especially an essential business only law for Sunday’s, doesn’t concern me as it does my Seventh-day Adventist friends because I don’t agree with the underlining beliefs they hold. However, a national Sunday law that required church attendance may cause me to pause. So, until and if this comes about, I have no reason to fret, and for my Adventist friends who are convinced that they have reason to fret, I say have faith in God not fear in man.
If you are interested I have written more about the whole topic of the Sabbath, the Law of God, and Seventh-day Adventist beliefs at my Once Adventist blog categories. Please visit there to read more and feel free to contact me with any question that you may have.