A Conversation with a
Seventh-day Adventist
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 10:17:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rolaant McKenzie
Subject: Re: Paul, Sabbathkeeping, & the Shut Door

On Thu, 26 Jun 1997, SDA wrote:

> Rolaant,

> > Actually, what Hebrews 4:9-10 says is this....

> I generally agree with your point on Hebrews 4. I did not do that
> particular study, but I may rework that part of it. I believe the
> reference came from the margin.

But since no reference is given, and the text of the passage was changed 
to "prove" a point, having that passage there in that form is misleading. 
Having such an altered passage on your page weakens your position rather 
than strengthens it. It should be removed if you are really interested in 

> > What did Paul teach in regard to Sabbath keeping?

> He taught "Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we
> establish the law". Rom. 3:31

Rom 3:20 indicates that the purpose of the law is to give knowledge of or 
about sin, not save us from sin. In Rom 3:31, the role of the law in 
making men conscious of sin is established by everyone who acknowledges 
sin and comes to Christ in faith. 

> I'm taking Paul's side on this issue. I believe faith does not void the
> law but rather, faith is the mechanism through which the Holy Spirit
> fulfills the New Covenant "I will put my laws into their hearts, and in
> their minds will I write them." Heb. 10:16.

But I have already shown from Scripture that on the Sabbath issue, Paul 
said that Christians should not judge other Christians on this issue, and 
they should let every believer be convinced in their own mind. So what 
you say actually counters what Paul taught.

> > Romans 14:4-5 (NASB)
> > "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he
> > stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
> > One person regards one day above another, another regards every day

> I don't judge you for not keeping the Sabbath. I would ask that you not
> judge me, and further I would ask that you not establish Sunday laws
> enforcing your observance upon others.

I don't judge SDAs for keeping the Sabbath at all, because the liberty 
afforded by the gospel allows Christians to be "fully convinced" in their 
own minds regarding what day(s) they want to observe or not observe. 
Personally, I consider every day alike. I do not consider either 
Saturday or Sunday a holy day that Christians must observe. I do 
criticize Saturday Sabbatarians and Sunday Sabbatarians who insist that 
other Christians observe the day they have chosen or else run the risk of 
losing their salvation. And that is what your site and the SDA 
Church teaches. That those who refuse to accept Sabbath observance will 
receive the mark of the beast. Something, I might add, Scripture does not 

> > Galatians 4:9-11 (NASB)
> > "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God,
> > how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental
> > things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? YOU OBSERVE
> > DAYS and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have
> > labored over you in vain."
> > 
> > Colossians 2:16-17 (NASB)
> > "Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or
> > in respect to a festival or a new moon or a SABBATH DAY -- things which
> > are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ."
> > 
> You are probably well aware that I interpret these as referring to
> ceremonial days.

And your interpretation is not consistent with what the Bible teaches.
It is impossible to create distinction based upon Moral vs. Ceremonial
laws. Sabbatarians create the false impression that there is nothing
moral in the "book of the law" and nothing ceremonial in the 10

    1. The expression "Ceremonial law" is not found in scripture: the 
       words "ceremonial, ceremony, ceremonies and all roots etc" are never 
       found in the same verse as the word "law or laws" 
    2. The expression "Moral law" is not found in scripture: the words 
       "Moral, Morals, morality and all roots" are never found in the same 
       verse as the word "law or laws" 
    3. The Sabbath day law is a ceremonial law! 
    4. The 5 books of Moses contain the 10 commandments twice! 
    5. The 5 books of Moses are filled with moral laws not contained in 
       the 10 commandments! Ex 22:21-22,31; Ex 23:2; Lev 19:2,14-18; Deut 
    6. Interesting that according to Sabbatarians, the whole of the Moral 
       law (Sabbatarians believe is the 10 commandments/ Law of God) hangs 
       upon 2 laws found in the book of the law. "Love God with all heart" & 
       "Love your neighbour as self" (Sabbatarians believe the book
       of law is the law of Moses and was the ceremonial law) In other 
       words, the two most important moral laws are not found in the Ten 
       Commandments, but in the Book of the Law, which Adventists say is 
    7. Jesus said that the ten commandments do not contain the two 
       greatest commandments! 
    8. "Law of God" commands animal sacrifices: Lk 2:23-24 
    9. "Law of the Lord" commands burnt offerings: 2 Chron 31:3 
   10. Jesus said the greatest commandment was not part of the 10! Mt 
       22:36-40 (It would have been a great place for Jesus to quote the 
       Sabbath law!) 

You might want to consider this as well. Your prophetess, Ellen White, said 
this in Selected Messages, Book 1, page 233:

"I am asked concerning the law in Galatians. What law is the schoolmaster 
to bring us to Christ? I answer: Both the ceremonial and the moral code 
of ten commandments."

Hmmm... What does Galatians 3:23-25 say?

"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto 
the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore 
the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we 
might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no 
longer under a schoolmaster."

According to this, the ten commandment law, and Sabbath observance in 
particualar, are not binding on Christians since they are no longer 
"under the law".

And you will find in the NT that all the moral aspects of the law of 
Moses (including the ten commandments) have been reiterated and commanded 
of Christians to live by. However, that is not true of Sabbath 
observance. If anything, the NT declares that it is not binding on believers.

> I'll get back to you on the "shut door". I've been planning to do a
> thorough study on the issue, but I've been tied up on several other
> projects.

I understand. Life can get hectic at times. (;-) 

Nonetheless, the passages from EGW's writings I provided you before clearly 
show that she had a vision confirming the Shut Door, then years later 
when the passage of time showed that doctrine to be false, she denied ever 
having a vision confirming it.

EGW confirms Shut Door with a "vision"

While in Exeter, Maine, in meeting with Israel Dammon, James, and many 
others, many of them did not believe in a shut door. I suffered much at 
the commencement of the meeting. Unbelief seemed to be on every hand. 
There was one sister there that was called very spiritual. She had
traveled and been a powerful preacher the most of the time for twenty 
years. She had been truly a mother in Israel. But a division had risen in 
the band on the shut door. She had great sympathy, and
could not believe the door was shut. (I had known nothing of their 
differences.) Sister Durben got up to talk. I felt very, very sad. At 
length my soul seemed to be in an agony, and while she was
talking I fell from my chair to the floor. It was then I had a view of 
Jesus rising from His mediatorial throne and going to the Holiest as 
Bridegroom to receive His kingdom. They were all deeply interested in the 
view. They all said it was entirely new to them. The Lord worked in 
mighty power setting the truth home to their hearts. Sister Durben knew 
what the power of the Lord was, for she had felt it many
times; and a short time after I fell she was struck down, and fell to the 
floor, crying to God to have mercy on her. WHEN I CAME OUT OF VISION, my 
ears were saluted with Sister Durben's singing and shouting with a loud 
Previous to this I had no light on the coming of the Bridegroom, 
but had expected Him to [come to] this earth to deliver His people on the 
tenth day of the seventh month. I did not hear a lecture or a
word in any way relating to the Bridegroom's going to the Holiest. 
        Manuscript Releases Volume Five, p. 97-98 (emphasis added)

EGW denies ever having a vision confirming the Shut Door ... twice!

"For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold, in
common with the advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever
enabled us to see the true position"
       Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 63 (emphasis added)

"With my brethren and sisters, after the time passed in forty-four
I did believe no more sinners would be converted. BUT I NEVER HAD A
state no one has ever heard me say or has read from my pen statements
which will justify them in the charges they have made against me upon
this point"
       Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 74 (emphasis added)

Don't take my word for it! Check the EGW Estate website for yourself and 
find these quotes there!

May the Lord bless your study ...

Rolaant McKenzie
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