SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST INQUIRY
Seventh Day Adventists, like communists, are ever ready to take advantage of opportunities they think will advance their cause. Such is Rev. B. M. Heald, leader of the S.D.A.'s in Schenectady, Ballston Spa, Amsterdam and Gloversville, New York. After attending a meeting addressed by this columnist in the Chapel of the Union College, Schenectady, under the auspices of the Catholic Youth League, on Nov. 20th, he wrote:
Dear Dr. Goldstein: Your recent lecture in Schenectady was especially interesting to me ... You denied that the Church changed the Sabbath ... I have studied Catholic authorities and catechisms and find them teaching that the Church did change the Sabbath ... I would appreciate a line from you."
Answer: Dear Sir---Evidently I made a mistake, or you misunderstood me. The thought in mind during my talk in your city, and I think I expressed it, was that the Catholic Church did not change the Sabbath Commandment. While the Church has the power to define matters of faith and morals, being protected from error by the Holy Spirit in so doing, she does not claim that this includes the right to change any Commandment. What was changed was the point from which the Seventh Day was to be reckoned as the Sabbath Day. This began during apostolic times, after the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, and the work of Christ's Church began.
Comeback: Dear Mr. Goldstein---In your letter you again state that the Church did not change the Sabbath Commandment. For over 40 years I have talked with Catholic authorities, and have a library of Catholic books, and I find that the Church does claim to have changed the Sabbath from the 7th day of the week to the 1st day of the week. The Roman Catholic Church knows that the Seventh Day Adventist movement does not accept tradition as divinely inspired ... The S.D.A. church is consistent in observing the 7th day as the Sabbath on their basis of the Bible and the Bible only. ... There are thousands of our members who were formerly of the Catholic and Jewish faiths, who accept the Bible and the Bible only as their rule of faith."
Answer: Dear Sir---Your letter evidences failure to distinguish between changing the 3rd (Protestant 4th) Commandment, which the Catholic Church did not change, and changing the point from which the 7th Day proviso therein shall be reckoned. The Commandment is "six days shall thou labor, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, thy God; thou shalt do no work on it." (Exod. 20:8-9).
God did not give Moses a calendar upon which the point was marked from which the 7th day was to be counted. That must have been determined by Moses, the authoritative regulator and definer of the Commandments for the children of Israel, to whom God delegated legislative power. Just so did Christ, Who is God, give His Apostles, the Twelve who composed the Divine, self-perpetuating Corporate Body, the Catholic Church, the power to loose man from the Mosaic reckoning of the day that shall be the Seventh Day; and to bind man to the New Dispensation reckoning. This Christ-bestowed legislative power is recorded in St. Matthew 18:17-18. It was exercised in the abolition of Mosaic practices, such as circumcision, the prohibition of eating the flesh of swine, the sacrifice of animals, as well as changing the point from which the Seventh Day is reckoned.
If Seventh Day Adventists were blessed with some of the terminological exactitude that is characteristic of the Catholic Church, they would not assume that the terms Sabbath and Saturday are synonymous; they would not distribute leaflets and books under the title "FROM SABBATH TO SUNDAY," instead of from SATURDAY TO SUNDAY. The term Sabbath is from the Hebrew "Shabbath," which means rest and not Saturday. The Jews kept the Sabbath Day holy for nearly two thousand years before the pagans named a day after the planet Saturn. The days of the Jewish week were numbered and not named, save the last day, which they called "Shabbath," the rest day.
While the Bible does not command that Sunday be the Sabbath Day (nor Saturday either), we may conclude from various Biblical texts that the change took place during Apostolic times. Taken together, these texts prove that the Apostles honored the first day of the week, Sunday, in a special religious manner. Besides, Christ dignified Sunday as no other day was dignified, by rising from the dead on a Sunday; by appearing to the Apostles twice on Sundays, once when Thomas was present; by choosing Sunday as the birthday of His Church, the day when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles, and the work of Christ's Catholic Church began.
Your basic error, my dear Sir, which is the error of all ministers who deny that Christ delegated to the Catholic Church authority to define matters of faith and morals, is insistence that the Bible alone is the rule of Christian faith. The unsoundness of that irrational norm of judgment is seen in its divisive effect upon Protestantism.
The Jews repudiated that principle, which was advocated among the Babylonian Jews by the Karaites, "Scripturalists," centuries before Martin Luther, the father of the "Mother Church of Protestantism," inflicted the Christian world with it. The principle is historically, as well as doctrinally, anti-Christian, in that it denies that the Apostles had a rule of faith. They had not, for there existed not, a Christian Bible that could be used by them as a rule of faith. They had as their primary rule of faith what Catholics continue to have as their guiding standard, the Church Christ commanded to be heard, the Catholic Church which has ever zealously defended the Bible.
If the S.D.A.'s who deny Christian tradition, were to adhere faithfully to their professed belief in the Bible as their rule of faith, they would obey the admonition of St. Paul to "stand fast, and hold THE traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle" (2 Thess. 2:14). The Jews believed in "the chain of tradition," called the Oral Law, which led directly back to Moses and Mt. Sinai, by way of the Scribes, Prophets and Elders whom Moses himself ordained. So do Catholics believe in "the chain of tradition" that leads back through the Hierarchical Twelve, to Christ Jesus. Everything God revealed to Moses was not reduced to writing. Neither was everything Our Lord taught put into books, as St. John tells us in the last chapter of his Gospel.
Strange creatures, indeed, must those persons be whom you designate as "Catholics," who passed from the Church Christ established, to your Church that owes its existence to James Bates, James White, and the "prophetess," Mrs. Ellen G. White. Such a change, if it did take place, would be tantamount to denying Christ to be what He claimed to be, The Truth. It would, inferentially, be a declaration that "the gates of Hell" Christ said would "not prevail against" His Church, had prevailed. It would be a declaration that the "Seventh Day Adventist Church," which came into existence in Battle Creek, Michigan, in October 1860, took the place of the Catholic Church as Christ's Church, that came into existence in the Year 33 A.D. Such a concept is as blasphemous as it is absurd.
May the grace of God be yours in the coming New Year. May it cause you to graduate from the man-made Seventh Day Adventist Church to the Christ-instituted Catholic Church.
"WHAT IS A SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST?"
Rev. Arthur S. Maxwell
Editor, The Signs of the Times
Takoma Park, Washington
Sir:---Your installment of religious beliefs in a recent "Look" magazine,---"WHAT IS A SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST?"---substantiates the fact that the Sabbath concept of your sect places it in the front rank of Protestant misinterpreters of the Bible. ... The term Sabbath does not signify the 7th or the first day of the week. Sabbath is a word of Hebrew origin, "Shabbath," which means rest, "Yom ha-Shabbath" meaning day of rest. The Jews celebrated other than weekly sabbaths, for instance, the Sabbatical year, when the land was left untilled, in order to give it a rest.
God tells us, through Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:13-14, that six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath (the day of rest) of the Lord thy God." The phraseology does not fix the days of labor, as Seventh Day Adventists assume, or rather assert. The definite article (The seventh day) implies merely that the day referred to is the one that follows any group of six consecutive days. While the seventh day is the Sabbath; "no fixed day of the week is intended," says the Jewish Encyclopedia (Vol. X, p. 604).
The days of the week were not named by the Jews for about a dozen centuries before the world had a calendar with days named after the planets, Sun-day, Moon-day, Saturn-day, etc. The Jews distinguished the days by numbers, calling the seventh day the Sabbath, the rest day. Sunday is no less the 7th day, in religious reckoning, as is Saturday, though not according to our secular calendar. Any 7th day could be observed as the Sabbath Day, provided it were selected by Divine authority, as was the Jewish, and then the Christian Sabbath. The difference between the two Sabbath Days is that the Jewish Sabbath was dedicated to the completion of the creative work of God; whereas the Christian Sabbath was instituted in honor of the redemptive work of God, through His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.
Whether the days are measured by lunar time, as is the Jewish Sabbath; or by solar time, as is the Christian Sabbath, the reckoning must change as the moon and sun change in relation to the four quarters of the earth. This is brought forcibly to the attention of persons traveling west, over the Pacific Ocean, into foreign lands. Sunday becomes Saturday in an instant upon coming to the date-line, while traveling west; and Sunday becomes Monday instantly when going eastward.
The ceremonial day (which is not fixed in the Bible), and not the Commandment is changed by making Sunday take the place of Saturday as the Sabbath Day. The ceremonial practice of circumcision also gave way to Baptism; and the bloody sacrifice of animals gave way to the Unbloody Sacrifice foretold by Malachias (1:11), witnessed by Catholics in the Mass.
True is it, as you say, there is no text "in the Bible suggesting that Christ authorized a change from the seventh to the first day of the week"; due to all that Christ taught not being recorded in books, as St. John says in his Gospel (21:25). You evidently disregard the historic fact that tradition, rather than the written WORD, was "the rule which the Church received from the Apostles, the Apostles from Christ," as Tertullian, the father of Christian Latin literature, said (Prescript; C. XXXVLLL.)
Yet there are Bible texts which show that special consideration was given the first day of the week. For instance, the occasion when Jesus appeared before His Disciples (St. John 20:19); the day when Mary Magdalene appeared at the tomb of Christ (St. Matt. 28:1); when collections were taken up (1 Cor. 16:1-2); and when the sacrificial act of "breaking bread" took place. St. John recorded the fact that he "was in the spirit on the Lord's day" (Apoc. 10). The resurrection of Christ; the Pentecostal coming down of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, who formed the infant Catholic Church, took place on the first day of the week (Acts 2:4). There is a Bible text, which, if believed in "literally" by the S.D.A.'s, would cause them to realize the enormity of the assault made upon the Catholic Church "for changing the Sabbath," as they charge. It is Colossians 2:10:18, which prohibits judging according to "a new moon or Sabbath," as the ceremonial law of the Jews had been "nailed to the Cross of Christ."
If, as you say, "the Seventh Day Adventists accept the Bible literally," then should they abide by the command of Christ, recorded in St. Matthew's Gospel, and "hear the Church" (18:17), the Church Christ brought into existence; the Church given the power "to bind and loose," even the Sabbath law.
This would eliminate your Adventist sect, that owes its doctrinal Adventist obsession to its founder, William Miller, who predicted that the Second Advent of Christ, the judgment day, would take place on March 31, 1843; as Christ did not appear, Miller changed the date to March 31, 1844.
His predictions caused the stores to advertise the sale of Resurrection Pills, and muslin for Resurrection Robes. The Sabbath delusion of your sect, proclaimed in "visions" by the hysterical, neurotical "Prophetess," Mrs. Ellen White, would be a thing of the historic past, if you S.D.A.'s were to accept the Bible "literally" as you say they do. Then would they listen to the Church that gave the Bible to the world; the Church Christ commanded to be heard; the Church that has the Christ-given "KEYS" (St. Matt. 16:18-20) which represent the delegated authority of Christ to "bind and loose." That Church is the Catholic Church; the one, and the only Christian Spiritual Society that has the historical credentials to prove existence since the First Pentecost Day, the birthday of the Church that Christ established.
May you give this an unbiased considerations, is my prayer.
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM
The Protestant principle of private interpretation of the Bible, assumed to be the only rule of Christian faith, caused some of the hundreds of Protestant sects to originate in our country, as we all know. The grotesque Seventh Day Adventists is one of them. It is an offshoot of the "Evangelical Adventists," a sect brought into existence by a farmer named William Miller, who was prompted, after reading biblical prophecies, to cocksuredly declare that the Second Coming of Christ, with the world ending, would take place in 1843.
As Christ did not appear on that date, Miller postponed His coming to Oct. 23, 1844. When 1844 passed without the coming of Our Lord, the Millerites discarded their Ascension Robes, and ceased sighing about the "Lord a-coming, to the Old Church yard, on the resurrection morn." Miller apologized for his false predictions, and returned to his former Baptist sect.
It was then that some Adventists, foremost being Ellen Gould White, the "inspired prophetess," afflicted with an acute attack of Sabbatarianism, started the Seventh Day Adventist sect. Her visions and prophecies were published in four volumes of "Testimonies." In them she tells of receiving "messages and instructions for the church from time to time by direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost." She also declared that "all the churches, save the Seventh Day Adventists, are of Babylon. Seventh Day Adventists are the only true people of God"; that "all the wicked Sunday keepers will be destroyed."
The Seventh Day Adventists assume, as do many others, that the word Sabbath is synonymous with the word Saturday, which it is not. Therefore some of the S.D.A. propaganda leaflets are entitled "From Sabbath to Sunday," to further the notion that one of the terms is in contrast. to the other. They ignore, or know not the fact that the word Sabbath (Hebrew Shabbath) means cessation, rest.
The Jewish weekly Sabbath was celebrated for hundreds of years before there was a day (Saturday) named after the planet Saturn. There are other than the weekly Sabbath recorded in the Old Testament.
For instance, the seventh year is the Sabbatical Year, when agricultural labor ceases, and the land is allowed to lie fallow. There is also the Jewish Sabbatical Jubilee, which follows the year after the seven agricultural Sabbatical years, when debts are annulled; when man is given back the possessions that had been taken from him.
We were prompted to deal with this Saturday Sabbatical sect upon reading some of the reports of its World Convention of 1042 delegates from 107 countries, assembled recently in San Francisco. Reports were read that told of the thousands of Sabbath Schools; the 181 Major Hospitals and Sanitariums; the numerous medical and missionary schools; the 52 publishing houses; the broadcasts week after week from 928 radio and 93 television stations in North America; and the conduct of Bible Correspondence Courses in 57 languages, to an enrollment of half a million persons, which are only some of the many S.D.A. activities.
It costs more to be a S.D.A. than it does to be a Catholic, on account of being subject to the Mosaic law (Num. 18; Lev. 27; Deut. 12), which calls for the payment of tithes, that is one-tenth of the income of income-earning members. More money is expected in the future, as the delegates called for an additional dollar a week from members, for their missions.
The members of the S.D.A. who number about one-third of the number of Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston, operate with a vigor that puts the Catholic laity to shame. They, like the Communists and Jehovah Witnesses, are propagandists who center their animus against the Catholic Church. They charge her with having changed the 3rd (Prot. 4th) Commandment, which she did not, as neither Saturday nor Sunday is named therein.
Besides, the Catholic Church never claimed to have any delegated power to change an eternal law. She merely named the ceremonial day in which the will of God, expressed in the Commandment, should be fulfilled; as did the Jews for the Jews. The S.D.A.'s rightly claim that Sunday is not named in the Bible, neither is Saturday; though there are texts that tell of the Apostles meeting on the first day of the week for worship, for the offering of sacrifice, called the "breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42; 20:7).
The Seventh Day Adventists depart from being Christian in spirit when referring to the Catholic Church, not only while charging her with having changed the "Sabbath to Sunday", but also while viciously referring to the Pope as the "beast," the anti-Christ, "the man whose number is six hundred sixty six," in the 13th chapter of the Book of Revelation.
This insult caused us to clash with the S.D.A.'s after interviewing murderer Glenn W. Warren in the Angelina County Jail while in Lufton, Texas, who had been "converted" by an S.D.A. preacher. This unfortunate young man, whose mind had been poisoned while in jail, was found using part of his remaining hours in the exercise of his artistic talents, drawing a picture of the Pope wearing a tiara, upon which was inscribed "Vicarius Filii Dei" (Vicar of the Son of God). He figured the inscription out, S.D.A. style, according to Roman number values, to be the number of the anti-Christ in the Book of Revelation.
This S.D.A. numerical insult was shown to be absolutely false. First, it is a title, and not the name of a man: Second, the Pope, whose name is Pius XII, bears the title of Vicarius Christi (Vicar of Christ), which does not total numerically 6-6-6: Third, there is no inscription whatsoever on the Pope's tiara: Fourth, according to S.D.A. Roman numerical reckoning, Ellen Gould White, the "Inspired Prophetess," upon whose "visions," "revelations," and "testimonies," Seventh Day Adventism is based, instead of the Pope, must have been the anti-Christ, as her name totals exactly six hundred sixty six, viz:
Secondly, the anti-Christ, the "beast," is foretold to be a "man," a "man of sin," an individual, and not a succession of pontiffs or secular rulers. Hence it could not refer to the Pope to whom
Martin Luther said it applied; nor to Pope Pius XII, the 29th successor of the Pope who reigned during Luther's time. Besides, the Popes have been the very antithesis of the quality of the predicted anti-Christ, whom St. John says will deny the very nature of Christ (1 John 2:18-22).
Thirdly, Vicarius Filii Dei is a title, and not the name of a man. The name of the present Pope, as you know, is Pius XII, though he and his predecessors have been designated Vicarius Christi (Vicar of Christ) since the reign of Pope Innocent III in the 13th century. And get this into your head before you take another puff out of your dopestick, my dear Anti-Catholic Sir, the tiara worn by the Pope has neither a title, a name, nor any other lettering inscribed upon it. Hence nothing on the Pope's tiara can be reduced to the mystic number "six hundred sixty-six," or any other number.
An American priest in the course of a conversation with a Lutheran minister, on board a trans-Atlantic steamer, was told that Lutherans, since the days of Luther, have believed the Pope, "who calls himself Vicarius Filii Dei" is the anti-Christ, proceeding to deduce his conclusion from the Roman numerals applied to the title. The priest surprised the minister, by taking Luther's title---"Doctor Luther Saxoniae" (Doctor Luther of Saxony)---and working out the fact that it totals 666, viz: D 500--- C 100--- L 50--- U5---X (two v's) 10---i I. As a parting shot, the priest handed the Lutheran a paper with the minister's name written on it, in which the numerals totaled exactly 666. Thus the old law was verified, that "it's a poor rule that won't work both ways."
You have asked for "one answer" to your assertions. It is here given. May it bring you to the realization of the maliciousness of your concept of the Christ-instituted Chair of Peter, and the character of its occupant. May it bring you to the realization that calling the Vicar of Christ the anti-Christ is on a par with calling Christ "Beelzebub," the prince of devils, as Christ was called, and as He foretold those of His household would be called (St. Matt. 10:25). May it bring you the grace needed to realize the enormity of attacking the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body, of which its Divine Head is Jesus Christ.
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