If you missed it, here is Part 1 and Part 2. Thank you to the thousands of people from all over the world who have read this interview with Pastor Kurtley. We pray that you have been challenged and encouraged. Thank you, Kurtley, for courageously sharing your testimony. If you’re a questioning SDA pastor who would like to be notified by email when this site is updated, click here.
So, here’s the question that everyone who leaves gets asked, over and over again… “what about the Sabbath”?
Yes! This is the biggest stumbling block for anybody coming out of Adventism. The very question illustrates the importance of the Sabbath, even in the more liberal Adventist circles. It’s interesting to be asked this question after I’ve stated that I’m putting my full-weight on Jesus for my salvation.
So, here’s my answer and fair warning, it’s long because this is such a huge topic in Adventism.
Growing up I believed that Sabbath was God’s special day for all humanity and that Adventists were to herald people back to keeping it. I thought that while other churches had other truths, Adventists had the most complete picture because of the “Sabbath truth.” Furthermore, I was taught that it was a “testing truth” and that eventually all would have to make a decision about whether or not they were going to keep the Sabbath. After all, if we love Jesus we should keep his commandments.
As I got older, I started to think, if salvation is by grace through faith then why does it all hinge on a day? Moreover, if the Sabbath is so serious, why doesn’t anybody know how to keep it? Why is it kept differently in Alabama than in California, in Maryland than in Florida, in Kingston than it is in Sydney? If I’m going to be judged by it, I thought, shouldn’t I know exactly what I needed to do?
Once I finished college, however, my theology had expanded to see the Sabbath as a sign of both creation and redemption. I thought this was a balanced view because it embraced both the Law and Jesus. So I “kept the Sabbath” out of my respect for God’s Law and my love for Jesus. But the more I came to understand Sabbath as a sign of redemption, the more I became convinced that the sign is not necessary once you get to the destination. As the seeds of the gospel were being sown in my heart, I couldn’t understand why I still needed a sign to tell me which way to Seattle when I was standing on Main Street downtown. Christ, therefore (like Seattle), is more important than the sign that points to Him. I don’t see this reflected in the Seventh-day Adventist church’s doctrines or practices.
Still, I didn’t want to see this because I was comfortable in what I knew. God’s Spirit, over a long period, had to soften my heart to want to accept the truth of Jesus and His gospel. Simultaneously, He erased my fear of “falling away” from Him if I gave up the Sabbath. I had an experience with Jesus and the gospel. I fully embraced that salvation is in Jesus alone. It was amazing! All I know is that after accepting the gospel it was like scales fell from my eyes. God allowed me see things I never saw before in the Scriptures.
I say this to say that I think it’s more beneficial for a pastor at the crossroads to accept the gospel first and allow the gospel to address the Sabbath.
To be clear, the gospel is God’s free gift of forgiveness and reconciliation (salvation) as offered in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-8, Col 1:19-23, Col 2:13-15, Heb 9:2, 10:12, Rom 1:16, etc.). God’s only requirement is faith and love (John 3:16, 6:28-29, 1 John 3:23-24). Yet, even that is God’s initiative (John 1:11-13, 6:61-65) thus making salvation totally an act of God’s unmerited grace to the glory of God alone (Rom 9, Eph 2:8-9).
To biblically deal with the Sabbath, one first has to understand covenants in Scripture. The Old Covenant is embodied in the Ten Commandments which was given to the Israelites (Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13, Deuteronomy 5:2-3—Note in this last text that the covenant/10 Commandments including the Sabbath, were not given to “our forefathers” i.e. the Patriarchs in Genesis). The purpose of the covenant was to show sin and to be a guardian until Christ (the Seed) came (Romans 7:7, Gal 3:17-20). But in Christ, the Old has been replaced by the New Covenant and the New Covenant is a ministry of the Spirit and not of laws etched stones (2 Corinthians 3:1-18, Hebrews 8:13). Moreover, Galatians 5 tells us that if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. In that same chapter in Galatians, we see that not being under the law does NOT mean people can just do whatever they want (see Rom 6:15-23 also). Although this is precisely what I was taught to believe would happen if the law was indeed inoperative (Ephesians 2:15).
This gospel-centered perspective takes us back to the eternal Abrahamic covenant which, in short, is about righteousness by faith (Gal 3:1-18). The New Covenant then connects those who have placed their faith in Jesus with Abraham’s line (John 8:40). So, the Sons and daughters of God are those who respond to God’s grace in faith (John 1:12-13).
Like I said earlier, I once believed that I was keeping the Sabbath out of love (“if you love me keep my commandments”). But then I read John 14:15 in context and I realized that Jesus is not referencing the 10 Commandments. Jesus is simply saying that if we love Him, we will obey HIM. To suggest that Jesus here is commanding us to keep the law is reading into the text something that is not there.
But I stress again, the natural does not want full grace. The natural man wants to do his part. Although it is not better, for some reason, being a co-laborer in our salvation is easier to accept than salvation by grace alone. Salvation can only come as a result of spiritual rebirth (John 3:6) and acceptance of the gospel (John 3:16, 14:6-14). The Holy Spirit must be the guide because spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14).
In short, it is my conviction that a biblical understanding of Sabbath must fit with what the Bible teaches about the gospel and the New Covenant. This will sound strong, but I must say it…and I say it in love: the Adventist perspective of Sabbath is a denial of the gospel because, in essence, it says Jesus is not enough. According to the SDA view of the Sabbath, after accepting Jesus as our personal Savior, there is still something for us to prove — some other test we must meet — before we can have eternal life.
When a person understands how the Adventist doctrine of salvation (particularly the Heavenly Sanctuary/Investigative Judgment) works together with the Sabbath doctrine, it becomes a pivotal moment in his or her spiritual life.
There are so many questions that I just don’t have time to address here (Sabbath in Genesis, Sabbath as seal of God, the nature of the Law, Jesus as Sabbath rest, the Sabbath in the life of Jesus, The Sabbath and the NT Church, etc.), however, I hope the few nuggets I’ve shared will serve as a framework for a pastor at the crossroads. I would highly encourage a journeying pastor to make use of former Adventist links on this website. I would suggest contacting the pastors listed here in order to have a trusted sounding board. They understand how crucial confidentiality is at this stage. Most of all, I would encourage a pastor at the crossroads to ask God’s Spirit to be his/her teacher.
Why are you speaking out publicly and not just fading out into the sunset?
First and foremost, I share my story so that God will be glorified. What He has done in my life is a miracle and I’m not ashamed of His gospel.
Since leaving, I’ve spoken to numerous SDA pastors who are at or journeying to the crossroads. Still, it’s impossible to speak to all of them and I know they’re out there. This article is for nobody else but them. They need to know they are not alone. I and others have journeyed down that lonely road. My hope is that something I share will encourage them. My earnest prayer is that God will be glorified in their lives.
When I speak about the errors of Adventism, I am speaking about a system of belief. I am not against Adventists as individuals. Because Adventism is so much a part of a person’s identity, that distinction is sometimes hard to understand. But I pray that the Adventists who read this will be able to sense that I am speaking out in love.
What are your plans now?
For now I’m just trying to take care of my family, seek God, and discern where He wants me to go. You could say that I’m on a ministry Sabbatical of sorts. Yet, I’m presently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry at George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, OR. When it’s time for me to move back into pastoral ministry in an official capacity, God will do it. I’m trusting that He is sovereign.
What is your message to Adventist pastors who are at the crossroads?
I know exactly where you are. I’ve experienced your confusion, disbelief, and even fear. I want you to know, however, that if you are at the crossroads it’s because God is calling you. He’s calling you to trust in Him alone and accept the gospel. Make no mistake, it’s not going to be easy. You will lose a great deal, initially. You will lose some friends, financial security, and social status. Don’t be fooled, you are, in fact, starting your entire life over. I know how terribly frightening all of that sounds but you should know the truth.
Trust me, however, when I say that God will provide in ways you have yet to imagine. Trust me when I say that He will give you courage to have those difficult conversations and journey into the great unknown. If you don’t trust me, then trust Jesus when He says:
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–along with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life.’ (Mark 10:29-30).*
So, ultimately the question boils down to: Are you going to trust God with your life? Do you have faith in Jesus alone? In the end, that’s what God requires. Jesus asks “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8) I think you’ve got it. Godspeed.
Yes exactly…if the observance of the Sabbath is salvific why do so many observe it in so many different ways? Why don’t we all observe it with the exact same formula? I’ve recently begun a quest to redefine sabbath observance for my children and myself. As the family of an sda minister there is very little rest and rejuvenation for us on Saturdays. It cannot possibly be the “will of God” for my family and I to be exhausted at the end of the 24h period of “rest”. There has to be another way. I intend to find it. My children cannot grow up believing this present definition of sabbath observance and affiliate that with salvation. I will not allow that to happen. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with so many. I have renewed hope and ambition as I continue to walk where and how I feel God is leading me.
Thanks for following the blog and your kind words. I am applaud your efforts that you’re making with your family. I trust that God will continue to guide you as your family seeks Him. Blessings!
Dear Mr. Kurtley Knight,
My children attended Oakwood at the time you were there. It is said that in the plays and skits that you were a part of that you played Lucifer and played it very well. Right now you are being used by the devil to mislead others. You have been deceived and no good will come of this journey you are taking except as you are lead back into the Remnant Church of Bible prophecy.
Repent and come back to Jesus before it is too late. The Gospel of Jesus Christ involves faith, love, and obedience to the revealed will of God. Don’t twist the gospel into The Gospel according to Kurtley Knight. You are planting seeds that will yield a harvest that will not glorify God.
May the LORD have mercy on your soul. I look forward to hear from you and will be praying for you.
Pastor James L. LaMar, D.Min.
Minister of the Solid Rock SDA Church
in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York 11590
Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventist
While I appreciate your zeal, you are clearly all in for Adventism. The issues raised are not served by your lambasting Kurtley about his convictions. The issues raised in this forum need to be addressed by the church, in a constructive way.
As a 4th generation Adventist and an employee of the SDA Church, I have seen much of the hypocrisy and misguided theology and teaching in the church. The leadership is corrupt to the level of pre-Reformation Catholicism. God allows/commands us to reason together. Unless you have a constructive rebuttal for Brother Knight, I suggest that you read, disagree, and shut your pie hole.
A Concerned Christian
I think this response is actually orchestrated by Satan. You should truly rethink your methodology of calling this man to reconsider his position. I honestly cannot believe a Minister of the Gospel would write what you did, above.
A person’s affiliation with the Seventh-day Adventist Church is NOT salvific, nor has it ever been. It is only one’s correct connection with Jesus Christ that yields salvation. I believe the worldview from which the above response was generated is the means by which “Satanic agencies” succeed in chasing people away from this denomination.
Each and every individual is expected to examine and to re-examine their beliefs as they interact with scripture. We should respect each person’s findings and pray that God guards and guides our own process.
Also Praying for you,
Pastor Lola Moore
South Central Conference of SDA’s
You just repeated the same so called judging that pastor Lamar is being accused of pastor!! The point is this we’ll one day know when we stand before him which belief was biblical and within his will and which wasn’t i pray for this church we’re definitely in the shaking
After 20 years of adventism I have finally met Jesus. I wasted 20 years of my life trying to be a great christian, doing what was right (or at least what I was told was right). I was mostly happy because I had friends in church but I never really felt the joy of salvation. Like Martha, I was too busy doing the right things. Somehow I was thrown from my horse. That was the moment I met my Savior. That was just me and Him and nobody else (no church, no pastors, nobody between us). Now the plan of Salvation makes sense to me, the joy of living with Jesus literally burns in my heart. The Salvation is all of grace and there is no “BUT” after that, no fine print, nothing! The only thing I know is I am a sinner and I need God everyday moment of my life… After so many years I finally can see and the joy I feel in my heart is priceless… Like Mary, I choose what is better and this won’t be taken away from me. Please pastors… don’t steal this personal experience from people by telling them what to do and what not to do. Let the Holy Spirit be the guide!
Reblogged this on Earnestly contending for the Faith.
Thanks Wiredog for your reporting it on that website. You’ve been faithful my brother :). Blessings
Praise God for you Kurtley and the for the courage to stand on the Word of God. I wouldn’t pay any attention to Mr. Lamar’s comments, because he can’t speak for God. Praying that the Holy Spirit will lead others out of darkness and into the marvelous light of His grace.
Hey man thanks for the support of your family. You guys are awesome!
Dear Pastor, Thank you for the blessing you are to other pastors at the crossroads website and to us members in the Adventist church as well. I am well aware that being a pastor in the SDA church is not easy if you are grace based and wish to follow Jesus with all your heart. Jesus said that you would be hated for His sake and apparently you are experiencing some of that persecution from the Adventist church (the comparisons between you and the devil). I am sorry for that! There are genuine Christians still left in the church and I pray that you will continue to pray for us from the outside. You know that the grace of the true gospel of Christ (we are saved by faith only) can only go so far before it gets shut down. Will you join me in prayer that our church can make a similar transition to what the WWCG has done, a transition from salvation by works to salvation by grace. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide those who are truly seeking Jesus and give them wisdom. May we all understand that the “truth” is not a set of doctrines or a belief in the Sabbath, that it is just as Jesus said ” I am the way, the TRUTH and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14:6 God has his people everywhere and I am so glad that you can be a witness for Him. Never stop telling people about Jesus and His free gift of grace so that He can set the captives free! Praise the Lord!
Thank you so much for your wise comments. Please know that your encouragement doesn’t fall on deaf ears. I humbly receive it as I’ve only tried to communicate what God has revealed to me in His Word. Your compassion reassures me that that there are grace based people still within the Adventist Church.
You mentioned WWCG. Yes! This is an amazing story of the courage of grace filled men and women who were committed wholeheartedly to the gospel. It is my prayer that such revival will take place with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Again thanks for your kind words and I pray God’s blessing over you and yours.
Once again, you are giving a beautiful GOD-GIVEN and GOD – GRACED testimony, Pastor Knight. I know, for a fact, that there are other former Adventist pastors who have been guided to take the Biblical stand for GOD. Your expo`se in Part 3 of your interview is quite accurate and I am so thankful that you are bringing out the Biblical points as far as GOD’S grace, law, and love. It’s right there in HIS Word. CHRIST has come! The shadows have been lifted. There is nothing that can stand against it, no matter what someone can” try” to “proof text up”. Once we know how GOD wants us to learn and know HIS Word, and apply it to our lives, we are held accountable and are to herald HIS freeing gospel to others. We must worship HIM in spirit and in truth. This glorifies GOD. We have no reason for pride in glorifying what we try to do to gain our salvation. Free gift right in front of us!
Do not allow those who try to cast judgement upon you to discourage you. (Of course I already know that that won’t happen because GOD is lighting your path!) As I recall, in E. G. White’s letters, at times, she would write some very disturbing things, almost hateful, to those who disagreed with her. Why, that, in itself, would make one wonder as to who is living a life of Christian love. CHRIST definitely did not declare nastiness upon people. Surely, CHRIST would not allow the Pharasees to belittle the proselytes in that way. Surely, HIS example to all is love!
I happened to read a message to you from an Adventist pastor which reminds me of something that was told to me several times since I left Adventism for a relationship with CHRIST. Sadly, there are those who take it personally when one leaves Adventism and will pronounce all types of “curses” upon you ” “in the Name of The LORD”. Perhaps that gentleman is unable to see the “blight” that he is causing upon himself and his congregation. Hopefully, he is one who will accept the prayers of those who read his letter. It is a pity that one who is considered a minister would write something so despairingly as to cause others to stumble and question his motive for such. As I stated in a previous comment, there are so many wonderful and loving Adventist people who love the LORD and desire to be obedient to HIM. Perhaps he ( the minister ) will rethink his position and realize to WHOM he is
accountable. Perhaps some loving kindness can overflow his words. Thankfully, we worship a GOD of love and forgiveness.
Thank you so much for your messages. Many are being blessed by them as GOD fulfills HIS mission. May GOD continue to advance you and your wife in HIS work. Stay prayerful; stay blessed!
Cassie A. Le`Mon-Johnson
I am humbled by your kind words. I’m hoping that the gospel will reach many (specifically journeying pastors) through my testimony. Sometimes when truth is shared is stirs up a lot of emotions. That’s ok and I understand. I pray continued blessings as you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessings!
Note: I was a student at Oakwood with a very nice and studious young man by the name of James LaMar. My brother, a non-Adventist minister, still speaks of James’ enthusiasm for GOD and his kindness during our June 1972 graduation weekend. Certainly , this is not the same person…If so…Well, I’m just sayin’: Our character comes through the words of our hearts and minds and it includes each one of us, no matter who we are. We are all alike. GOD has no preference, whatever our position. We must voice GOD’S love. Blessings!
Dear pastor knight.i have a problem with what you are doing.If God is really leading you don’t you think that He can leaders others too. Do you think God need your help to lead others in the path you are taking. When you are going on public media to help others at the cross road.If God is really leading you He will lead them too.God never needs anyone help.He said by their fruits you shall know them.God is God all by Himself.It is amazing some times how we think we know it all.the word says in the last days if God don’t shorten the days no flesh will be saved that is how bad deception will be.Satan shall bring down fire from heaven and many will be deceived .The sabbath was from creation so I don’t have a problem with it. I would like to ask you a question and please answer me.what is wrong with the Ten Commandments honour your mother and father, thou shalt not kill.thou shall not steal and it goes on.i would love to speak to you. You can get my number from Dianne Charity.i am her mom.
I appreciate your reading the blog and your feedback. To answer your question I would like to direct you back to my comments stated above. I have addressed the Ten Commandments there. While I’m sure we’d have a wonderful conversation, I respectfully decline your request for a phone conversation.
Preacher, i appreciate the journey that you are on and and I applaud you for standing up to what you have been convicted. it seems to me that expose on the laws of God is not quite accurate. i am not trying to start a debate on liturgy but i would have appreciated your argument more if you had given a full study on the laws of God then show me what they’re no longer valid in the context of shadow. Considering you’ve preach this for 5 years (presumably) at least. you purposely left some verses out and then you accuse the Adventist church of doing the same thing. When you accuse someone of doing eisegesis and then you go and do the same thing invalidates the point you are trying to make. That being said i wish you the best in your journey with God. I pray blessings on your life for both you and your wife. May the love of God permeates your life and may he continue lead you into his kingdom. God bless
Thanks again for your post, I left a reply on Part 2 as well. I know it takes a lot of conviction to do what you did. I’ve been searching for truth for a while and there’s still 3 things that confuses me:
1 – I believe we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ but Hebrews 11 describes faith as an action (Heb 11:8-11 describes Abraham’s faith) and James 2:17 says faith without works is dead. Is righteousness by faith what you believe? Or what you do?
2 – The Bible states that in the new covenant the law will be written in our hearts, Heb 10:16, Jere 31:33. Also in Romans 7:12 Paul says the ten commandments are holy and just, so why do we say that Jesus is not telling us to obey the ten commandments?
3 – Many people have told me that I must be led by the Spirit, but just like the Sabbath ” if being led by the Spirit is so serious why doesn’t anybody know how to be led by it? Why is it manifested differently in Alabama than in California, in Maryland than in Florida, in Kingston than it is in Sydney? If I’m going to be judged by it, shouldn’t I know exactly what I needed to do?”
Sorry for all the questions (I know this must be a little annoying) I’m just trying to find truth, and I think you’re the right person to ask, if not please point me to the right person.
Thanks again, God’s richest Blessings upon you and your family.
I got you man. Message me on Facebook. I’d love to connect with you.
Thanks or your comments and authentic questions. They are deeply appreciated. I will attempt to address them briefly.
1. This is a good question. I would encourage your to prayerfully read the entire book of John (perhaps 2 or 3 times). If you can’t read it in one sitting then I suggest reading it in large portions (no less then 6 or 7 chapters) at a time. Then read James, a much shorter book, in the same fashion. The question you’re really asking is what is the “work” that James is referring to?
2. Also a great observation about Rom 7:12. However I’d point you back to the Word. I would encourage you to read the entire book of Romans in the same way as I’ve listed above. To answer your question you’ll need to see how all the chapters work together, specifically chapters 3-8. He is saying that they’re holy and just yes but He clearly admits weak and states why.
3. Also a good question. Remember that the Spirit is different then the Law. First the Holy Spirit is a Person and not an “it”. He is not a feeling or an excitement. The Holy Spirit is indeed a person of the same substance as the Father & the Son. Second remember, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). The Spirit is not as “precise” as the Law if that makes sense. What I mean is that unlike the Law you can’t “pin Him down” like you can the Law. When the Spirit comes into our hearts He doesn’t function in the same way but that does not mean Lawlessness. That’s the closet I can get go describing it in short. I would refer you to Galatians chapters 4 &5.
Hope this was helpful. Again, please Facebook message me and we can dialogue directly.
Thanks brother, I’ll read exactly what you said and contact you later on Facebook.
I believe that we have to respect one anothers decision on what we decide to believe but at the end of the day God’s word is true, it doesn’t need defending and only He is on the throne. I do believe however, that it is wrong to say other are in darkness because of their beliefs. No one church or religion is perfect and has all the answers. If believing in the Sabbath is wrong what makes keeping Sunday right?
I am not understanding cause I speed read this last post…Again I am not understanding are you still keeping the Sabbath or not…You seem like a very confused man….I will pray for you…
Another excellent post. I have posted in part 2 as well. My favorite part is : “if salvation is by grace through faith then why does it all hinge on a day?”. According to Ephesians 2, we are save by grace, a gift God, not of ourselves. But I’ve left the Adventist church, joined a charismatic church and now am most likely coming back to the Adventist church. And that is because there is always at least 1 characteristic about a denomination’s doctrine that the people will elevate and turn a God called denomination into works. At first I thought that seeking another denomination was the answer but then I find that it’s everywhere in the Body of Christ. Pastors, when you dig deeper on your journey, which I fully support by the way (we will find him when we seek him, Jermiah 29), you’ll find that your problem is with the entire church not just the Adventists. If you follow your logic to conclusion you will stop believing in the local church altogether, which I don’t agree with but I totally understand why people give up on the church. The “trick” is to be so confident in your faith and psyche that while others in your denomination are in works you are not. To leave from works we change why we are doing something, not always what we are doing. I wrote a post about this last year. And i believe it is possible to be a Sabbatarian without Adventism or without having your official day of weekly congregational gathering on the Sabbath. The two concepts are mutually exclusive. To keep the sabbath is an outward expression of remembrance (Exodus 20) and an inward surrender to God’s will for your life (Hebrews 4). What the Adventist church has done is combine Sabbatarianism with Soteriology and then wonder why people get jaded. Because yes then you are under law. What we have to decouple Sabbatariansm from Soteriology. We have decouple a lot in the Body of Christ from salvation. And let God transform people at their own pace. Bottom line: you can be a Sabbatarian in any denomination and God can make you so focused on him then it doesn’t matter what the crazies are doing in your church.
I like that name! Thanks for following along in the posts. I appreciate your comments. Praying God’s blessings on you journey.
This is directed at Kurtley Knight and Zanspence and ALL Those that support what they are trying to convey…
JESUS CHRIST called Fools FOOLS. JESUS CHRIST called Hypocrites HYPOCRITES. JESUS CHRIST called Liars LIARS. Pharisees and Sadducees were constantly trying to trip JESUS CHRIST up on HIS Observance of HIS FATHER’S/GOD’S 10 Commandment Laws and especially HIS Observance of the SABBATH.
Was JESUS CHRIST Saved by Grace? Is there a BIBLE text that says JESUS CHRIST was Saved by Grace? I read in the HOLY SCRIPTURE that JESUS CHRIST kept the LAW FULLY. So my question now becomes do You allow JESUS CHRIST, through You, to continue to Keep the LAW FULLY? Which of The 10 Commandments do You find it egregious to observe and to keep? Which of the 10 Commandments do You find to be against You? I mean… since We are All under Grace and that is your ministry… then as a Adventist I accept that notion and always have. For some reason Kurtley Knight and Zanspence are trying to convince Me that as an Adventist I don’t believe nor hold to the notions of JESUS CHRIST’S Grace being Sufficient. Kurtley Knight and Zanspence and All of their Liege are here to make Us ALL to understand that if We continue to attend Adventist Church service and to label ourselves as Adventist then that We in fact Reject JESUS CHRIST’S Grace and ONLY believe in the Law and it’s observance. Yet, JESUS CHRIST observed and kept the LAW FULLY. To my knowledge if You are a Follower of some one or a faction then You are to Follow the LEAD of the pronounced or proclaimed LEADER/LEADERS.
To Kurtley Knight, Zanspence, and every one else admitting that they are at a CrossRoads:
Do You Follow JESUS CHRIST and Allow HIM to Live HIS LifeStyle through You? If so… how? What about JESUS CHRIST LifeStyle do You believe is reflected in your LifeStyle? What do You have in common?
Kurtley Knight, Zanspence, and every one else at the CrossRoads… do You still attend church services? If so… why do You still attend church services and when? What SCRIPTURE do You use to base your practices on/in?
Kurtley Knight, Zanspence, and every one else at the CrossRoads… do You pay Tithes and give Offerings to a church collection? If so… why?
You are under Grace.
Lucifer/Satan is a master at semantics and this is his greatest weapon when trying to confuse the Saints of GOD. Circular Logic that causes most people not to See that they are actually in Agreement. But through improper use of Language he gets proclaimed CHRIST Followers to be at Odds over sentencing structure and grammar. Lucifer/Satan gets people confused and arguing over minute(my newt)differences in philosophy rather than concentrating on the similarities in actual applied practices.
Kurtley Knight, Zanspence, and every other person at the CrossRoads… I’m here to tell You that JESUS CHRIST is my Example in ALL Things. I Follow CHRIST . I am a CHRIST Follower before I am a Seventh-Day Adventist. I Believe that I am Saved by the Blood of JESUS CHRIST and from the Grace of HIS FATHER/GOD through THE HOLY SPIRIT.
I attend church on the day that JESUS CHRIST attended church. I Love GOD with ALL My Heart so I keep/observe the first 4 Commandments. I Love my fellow man as I Love myself so I keep/observe the last 6 Commandments.
Now explain to Me exactly what it is that You Believe and how any of You are different and MORE SAVED than I am.
Ok, I was a student while you were at Oakwood, and I recall your passionate zeal for the ministry that I often taught of you as being haughty. So after reading your your reasoning…I question your motives for first going into ministry. Was it for pomp and circumstance?….. If you had openly come out discussing the apostasy within the SDA realm I would understand. But sir you have truly shocked many….I will pray that God will truly guide you to your calling
I met a man at Andrews University named Cyril Grosse. He and his wife were the instrumentalities used in studying with Roger Morneau before he became a Seventh-day Adventist. I’m sure you’ve heard of Roger Morneau (who hasn’t) who was originally a Satanist (actually he was born a Roman Catholic), but ultimately joined the SDA Church. He wrote the book entitled A Trip Into the Supernatural, which I’m sure you’ve already read. Anyways, he says in there that before he’d ever even heard of SDAs when he was in Satanic meeting the leader was bragging about how they had the whole world under the control and deceptions. They were literally BRAGGING about it, until one of the people at the meeting stood up, raised their hand, or spoke saying, “What about the Seventh-day Adventists?” The leader paused and then he finally replied, “Well I must admit we don’t have the Adventists under our control. They keep the 7th day Sabbath, and God puts a hedge of protection around them so that we can’t deceive them like we do the rest of the world.” (paraphrase) Then he continued, however, by saying, “But there is so few of them that they really don’t matter.”
Morneau says he heard this before he had ever heard or met a Seventh-day Adventists, and that’s why he was so amazed when the Lord led him to Cyril Grosse while working on his job. Within one week Morneau had gone through all 28 Bible lessons (4 per night) while smoking in the Grosse’s home. It’s because that there must be something to a church that even Satanists admitted that they didn’t have under their control. If you ever get your hands on the book (which I’m sure you already have) than read it. I tend not to believe that both Cyril Grosse and Roger Morneau are nothing but big liars, and I’m inclined to believe that the SDA Church has the Remnant message. Nevertheless, tell me if I’m wrong in stating that your hang up is with the many people who focus on the foundation (i.e. 10 commandments), or the letter of the law, while they never go onto Jesus Christ so that He can reveal to them and in them His righteousness.
I agree with you as it relates to your interpretation of John 14:15; Revelation 12:17, 14:12; and 22:14. The commandments that God gives to every man may be different. Saul was a Sabbathkeeper, but he didn’t kill all the Amalekites. Uzzah was a lawkeeper, but he touched the ark, and God struck him dead. God may be telling you to do something that He’s not telling me, and if so you need to do it to continue to be a part of the “remnant” and vice versa.
Furthermore, please correct me if I’m misinterpreting what you’re saying, but I think you’re saying that the righteousness of Christ might be judged by many pharisaical Adventists as commandment breaking, particularly as it relates to the Sabbath. Being led by the Spirit of God may take you to the hospital, the jail, the homeless shelter, to help someone on the side of the road, someone’s house, or even the club to share Jesus Christ on the Sabbath as opposed to church. If that’s what you’re saying, I totally concur. Being led of the Spirit of God will lead us to do things that those who are not being led by the Spirit of God (many SDAs are not Spirit-led) may misjudge is breaking the Sabbath. Nevertheless, while we are to walk in the Spirit, He would never ask us to do away with the foundation, or shall we say the letter. The Spirit of God would never lead us to commit adultery, lie, steal, kill, take God’s name in vain, dishonor our parents, bow down to idols, or break the Sabbath; but He would give us God’s interpretation of how those commandments are to be kept in their spiritual nature as well as the letter in and through Jesus Christ. I would concur with you that for far too long we have focused on the law instead of Jesus Christ, and so people are focused on the dos and don’ts as opposed to believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, being saved through Christ, allowing His Spirit to live in us and being the guide of our lives. Yet as was said before, if the Spirit of God is in us would He lead us to break God’s law–either in the spirit or the letter? I don’t think so.
Kurtley you may not know who this is, but I know you, and if you saw me than you would know who I am, but I want to remain anonymous. I’m praying for you, and I’m happy that you’re still studying the word even if our Biblical understandings may differ.
You’re saying that we are saved by grace, so why do we have to follow the law? God says that sin is transgression of the very law you’re questioning following. Be careful what you’re doing. I’ll keep you in prayer.
Hi Pastor. I hear what you are saying, but It’s difficult to understand most of what you are saying because you focused too much on Adventist doctrine. I have been Adventist my whole life and there are still many stuff about the Adventist doctrine that I don’t know. But should that matter?
I strongly believe that I will never find a church on this Earth that teaches all truth and that I will believe 100% of the doctrine. If I leave my church now and try to find another church, I might not find something better than my church because other churches have questionable doctrine too. I think we need to focus on calling ourselves Christians and be united under Jesus instead of trying to find the best church denomination to join. I go to an Adventist church, even though I don’t quite agree with Ellen G White or other Sabbath practices, because I believe that most of the SDA teachings are Biblical and I’m able to attend church on Saturday. I am friends with people of other denominations and I visit Sunday churches sometimes to make new friends and be open to what other churches are teaching. But I strongly believe in keeping the Sabbath and that won’t change.
I’m just curious what other Sabbath-keeping churches I can attend out there, because even if I leave the SDA church I am not giving up the Sabbath. There’s only SDA churches in my area and no other Sabbath-keeping churches, and I have a strong churh family that brings me closer to Christ, so I don’t see a reason to leave. I attended a seventh-day church of God twice, and even though they keep the Sabbath they do things so differently it was a shock to me. haha
Are you still going to church on Saturday? What SDA traditions don’t you agree with and what new traditions have you adopted? How are you changing the way you worship God and be a Christian?
Thanks so much for following the blog. I can sense your sincerity in your comments and happy you’ve chosen to respond. I hope my reply provides clarification.
I’d like to encourage you to see the issue as not about finding “the perfect church” (I too don’t believe in a perfect church). The issue is about the gospel which is non-negotiable. Its true that various Christians denominations have their problems but many (not all) clearly accept the gospel of the New Testament (as I’ve outlined above). Their various emphasis are dealing with other issues that are not salvific and/or their attempt to define the implications of the gospel (i.e. Pentecostals emphasis of the Holy Spirit). The SDA Church on the other hand admittedly redefines the understanding of the gospel. This is a fact that many Adventists sadly aren’t consciously aware of.
At it’s core Adventism teaches that our sins aren’t forgiven and blotted out until just before the Second Coming of Christ (the Heavenly Sanctuary/Investigative Judgment doctrine). When this is combined with the Adventist Sabbath doctrine (which makes Sabbath salvific even if individuals don’t consciously believe it) this becomes “another” gospel. This same “salvific” implication is placed on the heath message (i.e. EGW says that only vegetarians will be translated etc.). All of these things make Calvary null and void. This is extremely similar to the false teachings that Paul viciously fended off in Galatians and Colossians. He even went as far as to call those professing “another” gospel accursed. Why? Because it produces a works mentality which is against the simple gospel of Scripture.
So yes I’d say it’s critical to know what a group believes. Scripture admonishes us to be ready to “to make a defense for the hope that we have” (1 Pet 3:15). If we’re not aware how do we know we’re not being deceived?
And no… I don’t believe the Sabbath is binding on Christians. An understanding of the Covenants as I’ve laid out above deals briefly with that (and yes there is a way to deal with it in Genesis too). Jesus is my Sabbath rest.
Lastly, you may disagree with me 100% and that’s cool. But I’d encourage you not to dismiss what I’ve mentioned due to any pre-conceived ideas that you have learned. I admonish you search the Scriptures a fresh and anew.
Now I have a question for you. What would it mean for you to stop keeping the Sabbath? (you don’t have to respond).
Is it just me, or did this interview leave anybody else more confused than ever? You said a whole lot but at the same time you said nothing at all…it was just a bunch of words. I feel like the only people who benefited from this interview are the owners of this site. They used you bro…
In my early 20’s I left the Adventist Church after struggling with most of the same doctrinal issues shared in this post. I was a Christian then and a Christian now. This psychosis of being God’s remnant pervades through out many denominations and divides the body of Christ. His imputed righteousness is what qualifies us. His atoning blood is what has redeemed us. May we truly enter into his rest and come into the unity of the Faith. I wish I had a forum like this to come to those many years ago.
The Teacher’s Desk,
Thanks for following. It is for people like you that I’ve shared my journey. Let’s continue to pray for those who are still questioning. Our stories are important as it encourages them to be courageous. Thank you for briefly sharing yours. Blessings on your continued journey with Jesus. Blessings.
I am confused…
You say “The purpose of the covenant was to show sin and to be a guardian until Christ (the Seed) came (Romans 7:7 , Gal 3:17-20). But in Christ, the Old has been replaced by the New Covenant and the New Covenant is a ministry of the Spirit and not of laws etched stones (2 Corinthians 3:1-18, Hebrews 8:13). Moreover, Galatians 5 tells us that if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. In that same chapter in Galatians, we see that not being under the law does NOT mean people can just do whatever they want (see Rom 6:15-23 also). Although this is precisely what I was taught to believe would happen if the law was indeed inoperative (Ephesians 2:15).”
But Jesus says in Matt 5:17-20, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
How do you explain this? Is Jesus’ message different from the message that you are presenting in this article? I am just looking for a clear understanding… if we are to be followers of Jesus Christ, shouldn’t we do as He commanded?
Good to hear from you my brother. You actually raise a good and common objection to this theological position. In fact, I’m happy you raised it. You are correct by brining up Matt 5:17,18:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
I’d encourage you to read this carefully. Jesus is not saying they won’t pass away until heaven and earth pass away. He’s saying they won’t pass away “until they are fulfilled/accomplished”. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus is seen as repeatedly fulfilling the Law and the Prophets (i.e Matt 1:22, 13:35, 21:4, 26:54 etc.). Furthermore, the word ‘fulfill’ is used 15 times in Matthew (more then anywhere else in Scripture). So the immediate context of the sermon of the mount (which is dealing with Jesus over the Law) and the wider context of the book point towards Jesus as the fulfillment of Torah and the Prophets.
John picks this up in John 19:28-30. Again showing that “all things” (meaning all things concerning the Law & the Prophets) have been fulfilled in Jesus:
“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
But I again point you back to the texts already mentioned like Gal 3:19- “Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.”
So Jesus is the both the fulfillment and the embodiment of the Law and the Prophets. There are other texts we could bring up. However, I’d encourage you to study these within the context of their books as a launching point for your study. I’d also encourage you to read the entire book of Romans in one sitting or in large chunks (6-7 chapters at a time) several times. This is key!
I hope this provides some clarification. Blessings
I am glad you replied, I am studying who Jesus is from a biblical, not from any church’s perspective. I pray God leads us (both you and me) to his truth. Keep me in your prayers and I will keep you in mine.
I love you!
Forever Your Friend,
Kanika McIntyre Gonel
Kanika! Love you to ?
Gm. I would like to ask you some Guestions . 1 why did God create the world in six days and rested on the seventh, why He did not make it in 4′, 8′ 10′ or even 12 days. Number 2. Why did Jesus keep the sabbath while He was on earth and not any other day,, number 3′ why was He raised from the grave on the the first day and not on the sabbath day..number 4 WHAT is the definition of the law. The bible says it is sin. What do you say.SO IN OTHER WORDS IF THERE IS NO LAW THEN THERE IS NO SIN,AND IF THERE IS NO SIN THERE IS NO LAW. EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THE LAW OF GOD IS ABOLISH AND IS NO MORE. ARE WE LIVING IN A SINLESS WORLD OR THE BIBLE IS LYING.Jesus came to fulfill the law and not to abolish it. What is the difference between abolish and fulfill. What does fulfill. Mean, and what does abolish mean according to the dictionary. Last question. Is it possible for someone to know the bible from genesis to revelation and don’t have a glue who Jesus is.Have a bless day.
Simply put the “Shaking” as is prophesied has begun! It won’t be the Ministers or the denomination to finish the work, but the Laity. I pray for you Brother as I pray for us all but I’m happy to see that God’s word is true & this whole article proves “His” return is soon.
In Jesus Christ the Sabbath is still not abolished. I would concur that Jesus Christ is our rest and indeed the Sabbath partially looks forward to Him, and indeed we should do whatever He tells us through the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, He may tell us to forsake the CONVENTIONAL methods of Sabbathkeeping as taught by the powers that be, BUT on the flip side if you are abiding in Christ Jesus than you WILL BE KEEPING THE SABBATH, AND NOT FORSAKING IT ALTOGETHER. The way you keep it might look strange to conventional church members, but you WILL STILL BE KEEPING THE SABBATH. In Dr. King’s day, Sabbathkeeping may (though I cannot say this for sure) have involved marching with the Civil rights movement as opposed to sitting in a segregated church pew fulfilling all of Isaiah 58, but it was still Sabbath keeping. In Abraham Lincoln’s day, Sabbathkeeping may have involved fighting against the oppressive regime of slavery by the means that God commands fulfilling Isaiah 58, but it was still Sabbathkeeping. Personally, I would never say that being in Christ Jesus did away with the Sabbath, or any other commandment because it leads down a slippery, antinomian slope. What I would say is that when I am living in Christ Jesus, He–through the Holy Spirit–defines how He intended His own law to be kept. In other words, the Author of scripture gives His own explanation of what He wrote and then He writes it on our hearts via the Holy Spirit (I.e. the new covenant).
What I mean by saying that if you do away with the Sabbath as it regards to accepting Jesus Christ than you are going a “slippery, antinomian slope” is that a person makes it sound like Jesus Christ and the law are CONTRARY to each other. You are making it sound like being in Christ means you are contrary to not committing adultery, not killing, not stealing, not bearing false witness, etc. It makes it sound like if a person doesn’t commit any of these sins than they MUST BE trying to work their way to heaven as opposed to believing on Jesus Christ; when that is simply not the case. Jesus Christ and the law are not CONTRARY to each other. It is SIN that Jesus Christ is contrary to, and Paul echoes this very sentiment in Romans 3:31 when he says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Nay we establish the law.” How do we establish the law? In two ways, 1) by showing that we are all guilty of breaking God’s law and deserving of death, and it took the death of our sinless Savior Jesus Christ to atone for our sins; because God WOULD NOT CHANGE HIS LAW; 2) we also establish the law because when Christ comes into our hearts He covers us with His robe of righteousness while cleaning us up internally by His Holy Spirit so that our lives are in harmony with His commandments (not simply the letter, but the spirit of the law). Jesus Christ coming into our lives would NEVER lead us to trample on even ONE commandment, but establish or set them back up on a pedestal so that all could see. In fact, let’s look at this more practically speaking. Would Christ in you make you beat up your spouse and then cheat on her with other women? Absolutely not. On the contrary, Christ Jesus living in you would lead you to nourish and cherish and her alone, and vicariously you would be UPLIFTING or ESTABLISHING the commandment that says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Same thing applies as it relates to the Sabbath, but where I might give you some leeway is by saying what I have already said in previous posts. I agree with you that being in Christ Jesus essentially means you will automatically be keeping Sabbath, but being in Christ would never LEAD to breaking the letter of the law. Romans 3:31 clearly says that. What it might mean, as was stated previously, is rejecting some people’s modern SDA pharisaical traditions as it relates to Sabbathkeeping that are not grounded in Scripture. However, I implore you not to through the baby out with the bathwater.
As it relates to the SDA teaching about the investigative judgment, this is clearly taught in Scripture. James 2:12-13 clearly talks about a judgment as does Romans 14:10-12, and both of these gentlemen were referring to a time in the future. Judgment does not mean that Christ’s work was not enough at the cross. If we accept Jesus Christ than we are simply NOT condemned in the judgment (see John 3). However, the judgment is the time when God will be looking at our lives to determine if we TRULY believed on the Lord Jesus Christ or if we had the “faith” like those demons that believe and tremble in James 2. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them.
I would suggest that you read the book of Hebrews, while keeping your “investigative judgment” in mind. You will find that Hebrews quickly deflates the idea of an “investigative judgment”.
It was stated that the book of Hebrews ought to be read, and it would deflate the idea of an investigate judgment. No it doesn’t deflate it at all. Sorry. In fact, it actually proves that there is a sanctuary in heaven where Christ ministers as our heavenly High Priest.
One more thing! Being in Christ Jesus does take time, and I will say that a person could be going through the rituals of law keeping, but they left Christ Jesus in the bedroom because they went out to “do” these things for God, but without Christ. Now from this perspective keeping any commandment would be unacceptable and/or legalistic, and this would correspond to Romans 10 which talks about going about to establish your own righteousness, but not submitting to the righteousness of God. In other words, the relationship with Christ Jesus should trump the religion and rituals of worship, and it should vicariously determine what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. In other words, being in Christ Jesus might even trump going to church or “doing” anything else on Sabbath so one could truly spend private time with Jesus if he/she needed to rekindle that personal relationship with Christ. NEVERTHELESS, I WILL STILL SAY IT AGAIN, THIS IS NOT LAWBREAKING. THIS IS SABBATHKEEPING, AND JESUS CHRIST WOULD NOT TELL US WE COULD BREAK HIS COMMANDMENTS. By the grace of God, I have a minute understanding of the”being in Christ” motif, and while many Seventh day Adventists (just like other Christians) just don’t get it, it does NOT do away with obedience to God’s law. On the contrary, because Christ Jesus lives in us we give God what I would call TRUE OBEDIENCE. Yet at the same time you are not dependent upon your own works of righteousness (not even those done in and through Christ), but you are totally leaning on the completed work of Christ Jesus in His life, death, and resurrection. Yet if someone says that being in Christ Jesus does away with the law than they need to study the gospel of Jesus Christ a little more. Read and pray over Romans 3:31, 1 John 2:3-4, 3:1-10 (actually all of 1John). It clearly says we DON’T KNOW CHRIST IF WE ARE NOT KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS, and while God may be giving each individual different commands personally the foundational commands that everyone is to keep are the 10 commandments. I’ll try not to continue to post more comments. God bless and m aranatha.
What about the state of the dead? You mentioned that in the things you disagree with. Can you elaborate? I agree we should focus on Jesus. He will always be enough. If we allow Him, he will never lead you wrong.
You preached a sermon on walking in your anointing that changed my life. You should dig up that sermon, bro. Disappointed
Hello Pastor Kurtley I really thank God that you made the right decision. Im also a former adventist and I understand your feelings the moment you left but don’t worry the Lord provided you with skills to work for your family. You can be a great potential Pastor or a speaker in Evangelical church like the former Adventist Fellowship that I usually watch at Youtube.
God bless you and your family.
I grew up in the Adventist Church……went to church school, eventually taught church school for two years. Went to Pine Forge, Oakwood & Union College. I thank God for nurturing me in the Advent family. Eventually I was led to move beyond the Adventist Church and 3 sisters moved on too. We left independently and never tried to influence each other in any way. Perhaps the miracle is that none of my family or Adventist family turned away from me or stopped loving me. I really expected that some would. My last sister died last May and we talked about how blessed we were to have been born into a church with such loving people. When my sister went into hospice, an Adventist minister was her counselor and we knew that God was smiling on us because we didn’t know who would be assigned to her until he came.
She was memorialized in the SDA church we were raised in and I let the members know that we had come home and felt comforted and welcome to be back……tears flowed down my face. I was 25 years old when I left the church and next month I will be 74 next month. Leaving the church is one of the best decisions I’ve made as a young Christian man. My Adventist roots helped to grow into an amazing life and I thank God and I love me some Jesus. He has been with me every step of the way…..in the SDA church and out of it. Jesus never fails. I know he will never fail you, Pastor Kurtley.