The Adventist churches today are as dry as the hills of Gilboa and remain in a backslidden state. Why? Because they have not kept up with the new light God has been sending to revive us. Instead, a new theology (false light) has been accepted by the majority that you are saved by being in a “relationship,” in reaction to the legalism that prevailed in the 1920s to 50s. But that “relationship” is a sentimental one devoid of the Law, similar to human friendships.
The word “relationship” is not found in the Bible. The biblical word is “covenant.” This is what God invites us into. It is a relationship based on the Law, with the commandments, statutes, and judgments defining it. God‘s commandments are promises of the righteousness of the Messiah, and our part is to audibly confess “the Lord Jehoshua” with our mouths and believe in our hearts as we daily read the Torah Law, believing in our hearts that His resurrected life is in His Word to do it in us. This is in Romans 10.
The most fundamental principle in the Law concerning our covenant relationship with God is actually the Sabbath, but few realize what the Sabbath entails. On the surface, here is the first thing we find:
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever.
— Exodus 31:16-17
The Sabbath is the sign of our everlasting covenant relationship with Jehovah. Every time we truly observe it we are showing that He is our Creator and we are His people created for His glory. This kind of a relationship entails, according to the first angel’s message, which alludes to the Sabbath, a fearful worship of Him that entails us giving “glory to Him”, for He is high above us and has authority over us and we were created for Him and not ourselves. Fearing God is the most fundamental element of a true relationship with Him, for the Bible says that “the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7); and the “knowledge” of Him that the Bible portrays is an intimate one, like how Adam knew Eve.
So, there is nothing more fundamental to our covenant relationship with God than to fear Him, and this is based on His justice, which the Sabbath especially conveys, especially in the last days when it is made the test of worship and all who receive a counterfeit sabbath and experience will be destroyed in the Day of Vengeance. It is justice that is made overtly prominent in the three angels’ messages. The “everlasting gospel” and the “faith of Jehoshua” are present in the language but are overpowered by words that invoke fear of judgment. It is a most fearful message that is to be proclaimed to the world. The justice of God, inspiring a fear of Him, is the foundation upon which are built the gospel and the faith; and this is also why the “commandments of God” are mentioned first—before “the faith of Jehoshua.”
This shows that what is being proclaimed is not a lovey-dovey Jesus that will accept disobedience as long as you are in a “relationship” with Him. No, we need a new view of Jehoshua based on the Word of God and what His Name really means: “He” (Jehovah) will “save” (-shua) “His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). It is a Name to be reverently feared, unlike the Jesus being portrayed in the churches that you just hang out with. It is a Name that inspires the Sabbath principle of holiness, which alone will bring happiness in a relationship.
But what about the “merciful” aspect of God? Is not this the first attribute mentioned when He proclaims His Name to Moses (Ex. 33:19; 34:6)? Yes, it is. But does it have anything to do with the Sabbath? You will not find it in the Decalogue. But that is because the Decalogue is the broad service. Jehovah wants us to know Him deeper than that. We need to dig. His mercy is the infinitely deep aspect of Him that He wants us to grow in, though we will never fully comprehend.
But in order to have a knowledge of it we must go to the statutes and judgments that explain “more fully” the Law, such as the most important commandment of all, repeated five times in Deuteronomy, and quoted by Jehoshua, saying: “Thou shalt love the Lord THY God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
That the obligations of the Decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional precepts were given, illustrating and applying the principles of the Ten Commandments. These laws were called judgments.
— E.G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 310
Sister White uses the same words to describe how the Fourth Word of the Decalogue will be proclaimed in the last days:
And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth.
— E.G. White, Early Writings, p. 33
She was also shown that the Sabbath being proclaimed more fully was associated with the latter rain that comes from the spiritual lightning of His glory (the glory of the Fourth Angel in Revelation 18):
I saw that we sensed and realized but little of the importance of the Sabbath, to what we yet should realize and know of its importance and glory. I saw we knew not what it was yet to ride upon the high places of the earth and to be fed with the heritage of Jacob. But when the refreshing and latter rain shall come from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of His power, we shall know what it is to be fed with the heritage of Jacob and ride upon the high places of the earth. Then shall we see the Sabbath more in its importance and glory.
— E.G. White, Letter 3, 1851
What is the Sabbath being proclaimed more fully? We do not need to guess. The Bible actually tell us very clearly, right within the Torah Law, if we would read it. Here it is:
And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, ‘These are appointed times of Jehovah which ye shall proclaim, holy proclamations; they are Mine appointed times: six days shall work be done: but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a holy proclamation; ye shall do no manner of work: it is a Sabbath unto Jehovah in all your dwellings. These are appointed times of Jehovah, holy proclamations, which ye shall proclaim in their appointed times.'”
— Leviticus 23:1-4
I will not fully expound on this text fully at this time, but I will in my book “Seventh Month Revival” when it is published. But notice the term “holy proclamations,” which you may be used to reading as “holy convocations,” but they are literally “proclamations” according to the Hebrew as some literal translations have. There are seven of them listed after this Sabbath passage and introduction. They collectively proclaim the Sabbath—the principal holy proclamation, that which is being proclaimed—more fully. How do they do this? Well, each one, just as the Sabbath itself, had figures associated with them typifying the everlasting gospel.
Now, Christianity in general believes in the general idea of Passover and Pentecost being fulfilled in the death and resurrection of the Messiah followed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But that is not the everlasting gospel which Adventists have but only the beginning of the gospel. New light was given through the seventh month movement” in the Midnight Cry of 1844 CE. The Day of Atonement—the Sabbath of the year—was proclaimed.
The significance was not understood until after the Great Disappointment, when a knowledge of the Sabbath came, but it came to be understood by the Sabbath-keeping Adventists that the Messiah entered the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary on the Day of Atonement that year to cleanse the sanctuary, based on Daniel 8:14, and that this would mean the end of sins before the close of probation, which would be followed by a year of seven last plagues—ending in the seventh month the next year with the Second Advent fulfilling the Feast of Tabernacles.
And more light is coming now that this end, or shabbat (ceasing), of sin, officialized through the final atonement that cleanses the sanctuary, will take place on the Day of Atonement, which will be exactly 360 days (“one [prophetic] day,” Rev. 18:8) before the holy proclamation of the 15th of the seventh month the next year when the Messiah returns. This is followed by a one-week journey of the saints to the Holy City to arrive on the holy day of the eighth day from that—the Last Great Day—that they may drink of the water of life.
There is also light coming now that the New Moon of that final seventh month will be when the everlasting covenant is delivered to the 144,000 who are sealed with the Torah Law of God—the day that Babylon decreed to destroy them and the day that Babylon ultimately falls, having had her “one hour” (Rev. 17:12, half month) reigning with the nations. The Messiah’S living bride is sealed in her everlasting covenant relationship with God.
These are just highlights. But what I want you to take away from this is that each of the seven holy proclamations proclaim the Sabbath more fully, which is really a proclamation of the everlasting gospel—the good news of an everlasting existence of rest from sin—and it is the seventh month ones that especially make it the “everlasting” gospel, built on the foundation of the spring ones.
This gospel is about God being “merciful” more than His being just, so this is where the covenant relationship takes on a deeper level. Leave out the statutes and judgments of the Law—which typically explain the everlasting gospel through the sacrifices and other figures attached to holy proclamations—and you have left the Messiah and His sacrifice and righteousness out of the Law.
What we are seeing is that the light that came to us in 1888 CE was just the beginning of the glorious light of the Fourth Angel. The Law of God in the Bible—whether in Galatians or anywhere else—is the Torah Law given through Moses, not just the Decalogue, and not just the moral requirements of the Law. It contains moral and figurative law. Without the figurative law there is no mercy, only justice, leading to a legalistic experience that Adventist historically have had, and many still do, and a worldly reaction against it that would diminish the legal aspects of God in our relationship with Him altogether.
There is another important element to bring out in this as well. These seven “holy proclamations” are also called “appointed times” (a more literal translation of ‘moed’, not “feasts” as many translations have). They are appointments of time for the Messiah’S future bride to meet with Him during this probationary courtship. Eight of holy ones—the weekly Sabbath being the model moed, and seven under it—are mentioned in Leviticus 23, but Numbers 28 and 29 have the complete list under the title ‘moed’ (Num. 28:2), which includes morning, evening, and the New Moon—sacred in the sense of being set apart for the worship of God, not “holy” (as the eight in Leviticus 23 are) in the sense of being hallowed and sanctified, with servile work being legally forbidden.
What we are learning is that the Sabbath of the Decalogue is a vast storehouse of many important principles that govern our covenant relationship with God. It most fundamentally involves a fear of Him, inspiring holiness, just as the Day is holy.
On a deeper level, the Sabbath—through the seven holy proclamations, as well as the other sacred proclamations—proclaims the entire everlasting gospel, showing the mercifulness of God, so that we love Him as He has shown His love for us. Participating in these “proclamations”—in Hebrew, entailing reciting and rehearsing that which is written or events of the past or future—daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, will bring a revival of true godliness, or piety, because it causes our minds to dwell upon the love of God. And with the Law as the foundation, the love will not be the superficial, spurious one that is proclaimed from so many pulpits today.
On a practical level, the appointed times represented by the Sabbath are all about spending quality time with God. It is a well-recognized principle that a healthy relationship requires a heavy investment of time. And that is why Jehovah requires it as well. He knows it is for our good, but we have forgotten His Law and have had a very narrow view of the Sabbath. The most foundational appointed times are those of morning and evening. The Sabbath is built on seven of these cycles. Without a daily relationship with God, through spending much quality time with Him, we cannot be holy to keep the Sabbath holy.
Morning and evening biblically are the periods of complete darkness to sunrise, and sunset to complete darkness, respectively. This will be more fully explained in my other upcoming book “Discovering the Mysteries of the Lost Calendar.” What we need to see is that a few minutes of time with God once a day is not biblical. What is biblical is spending one to three hours, both morning and evening (or at least as close as possible to those times for those living at high latitudes), with God, for it takes that much time to go from darkness to light and from light back to darkness.
This leaves little time for leisure, but that is part of the point. Spending moments in worldly entertainment, with its excitements and vain pleasure, will absolutely destroy a relationship with God, yet the new theology will not teach this, and many will have spurious relationships that fail and many people will just give up seeing that they are not overcoming sin or enjoying peace with God and rejoicing in Him. There is no substitute for time, and this is practically the most important element; hence, what the Sabbath teaches us.
So, what kind of a “relationship” are we to have with God? One that is based on His Torah Law, especially all the principles entailed in the great Sabbath truth. Any other kind of a relationship with God is a false one, whether it be trying by our own legalistic works to please Him, or by living in the world, thinking He will still be in a “relationship” with us. Jehovah God is Love. And that love is built on the principles of the Law, and whether we are living by these principles or not means whether or not we are truly saved, having the assurance of everlasting life. If this God is not the One we know, then we ought to shatter our philosophical idols and repent, returning to the one true God of the Bible.