SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666

By COGwriter

From time to time, I have been asked to explain how the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) is different from the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA). Although the differences are too numerable for a short article, I would like to focus on two prophetic ones--the identity of the two horned beast of Revelation and the number 666. (The article will also mention some similarities and other differences as well.)

It should be noted that when this article indicates that something is an SDA position, it is based on positions published by SDA supporters who appear to agree with Ellen G. White, who was (as far as I can tell) the most influential individual in the formation of doctrines somewhat unique to the SDA Church. I am aware that various SDA supporters may hold different positions. (Here is a link to a related sermon titled CCOG and SDA differences and similarities)

The Seventh Day Adventist Position on the Two Horned Beast

The SDAs primarily base their position on the two-horned beast from interpretations of Ellen G. White whom they consider to have been a prophetess. Normally, in modern times, they sometimes refer to her as "Sister White" and frequently when quoting her writings sometimes say "Inspiration" explains or teaches something without mentioning her name (Plain View. Jan-Mar 2005).

The basic SDA position in every written document that I have seen is that the two horned beast in Revelation 13 is referring to the United States of America.

In a recent article, here is what one SDA-affiliated publication wrote:

Prophecy Speaks
_____And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him . . . He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." (Verses 11, 12, 15-17).
++++It is well known, particularly in Adventists circles, that this two-horned non-royalist power represents our blessed country, the United States of America.2 No doubt you're also familiar with the reasons. Unlike the other beasts of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, this two-horned beast comes up out the earth, the new World3--the domain away from the "sea"--the old world.4 The two crownless horns show two non-royalist rulers, while their lamb-like appearance forecasts youthful innocency--Christian--in profession pure, gentle, and harmless, established upon the principles of peace and liberty, but later one speaks as a dragon. Then, the face that he has the power to dictate who should buy and who should not, shows that he represents a nation that leads in controlling the world's wealth and industry.
++++Having only two horns, not ten, the beast therefore depicts a local, not a universal government. Nevertheless, he will influence all Christendom to "make an image to the beast, while had the wound by a sword, and did live." That is, he will engineer a worldwide government set-up, re-enthroning the principles of the church-state rule of Ecclesiastical Rome; a system now characterized by Catholicism, apostate Protestantism, and Capitalism. "The prediction that it will speak 'as a dragon,'" wrote Inspiration, "and exercise 'all the power of the first beast,' plainly foretells the development of the spirit of intolerance and persecution that was manifested by the nations represented by the dragon and the leopard-like beast."5
++++Put still another way, it means that America will urge the world to reestablish an apostate religious-political system after the model of Western society, with principles, imagining those of the Dark Ages. (Verse 12). Note that it did not say that the Two-horned beast urged the world to worship the "head"--the Papacy, (more about this another time) but the "beast"--the system--Catholicism, apostate Protestantism, and Capitalism, topped off with Spiritualism! This is when, "Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government..."6...

2. Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 440-442
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p.451

(Vance MP. The Future of Democracy. Plain View, Jan-Mar 2005, pp.5-6).

The following is from one of Ellen White's most popular books (note the prophet she is referring to is the Apostle John):

Says, the prophet, "I beheld another beast coming out of the earth and he had two horns like a lamb." Revelation 13:11...One nation, and only one. meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America...

"And he had two horns like a lamb." The lamb-like horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as "coming up" in 1798...But the beast with lamb-like horns "spake as a dragon..."...

But what is the "image to the beast"? and how is it to be formed? The image is made by the two-horned beast, and is an image to the first beast. It is also called the image of the beast. Then to learn what the image is like, and how it is to be formed, we must study the characteristics of the beast itself,--the papacy...

"The beast"...is the first...beast of Revelation 13,--the papacy (White E.G. Will America Survive? 1888; Reprint, 1988 by Inspiration Books East, Jemison (AL), pp. 420-423,425).

This view is not only held by Ellen G. White and the Plain View, SDA minister A. Jan Marcussen, in his book, National Sunday Law, also states the United States is the two-horned beast that comes from the earth (pp. 2-3) and cites Ellen G. White's Cosmic Conflict, p.388.

I should add, however, that A. Jan Marcussen does consider that a Pope is the 666 of Revelation 13:18 (pp. 21-22, 27) and other SDAs may as well--and the context of Revelation 13 suggests that the two horned beast is involved with the one whose number is 666. But we in the Churches of God do not believe that the Bible teaches that the first beast represents the papacy.

The Church of God Position on the Two Horned Beast

The position held by many in the Churches of God (COGs) differs completely that held by the Seventh Day Adventists and its leaders. The following are taken from a booklet written in 1960 by Herbert W. Armstrong, titled Who is the Beast?:

The "Two-horned Beast"

Satan has his civil government on earth. He gave it “his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
_____He also has an ecclesiastical organization — a CHURCH —as his instrumentality in deceiving the world. In 2 Corinthians11:14, we find Satan is transformed into an “ANGEL OF LIGHT.”According to Revelation 12:9 and 20:3, he has DECEIVED the whole world. How?
_____Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Satan has HIS ministers who pretend to be the ministers of righteousness,but are actually false apostles, deceitful workers, calling themselves the ministers of Christ! Therefore they claim to be CHRISTIAN ministers. They are the MANY, not the few, because all prophecies say it is the MANY, not the few, who have been DECEIVED. Satan’s main labor for six thousand years has been the deceiving of the world. Now turn to the 13th chapter of Revelation, beginning with verse 11:
_____“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth;and he had two horns like a LAMB, and he spoke as a DRAGON."
_____ Who — what — is this “beast”?
_____ Some say it will be the United States aligned with the papacy. Some believe it is a federation of Protestant churches. Others declared it the Pan-American Union. MOST church organizations ignore this very vital subject completely, or say frankly, “WE DO NOT KNOW!”
_____ Why this ignorance, when the answer is so plain? Yes,why indeed?

The Bible Interpretation

Remember, first, THE BIBLE INTERPRETS ITS OWN SYMBOLS! When men put their OWN interpretation on Bible symbols, their conclusions are always false!
_____Notice, after John saw one BEAST, which we have proved to be the ROMAN EMPIRE, he now sees ANOTHER — a different — beast rise up. We have learned that “BEAST” is a symbol for a kingdom, or government (Dan. 7:17, 23), and the term represents either the kingdom or its leader, as the case may be (Dan. 7:17, 23).
_____So this other beast with the two horns is the prophecy of another kingdom or government. In these prophecies, God pictures to us the earthly Gentile governments as the wild beasts whose characteristics describe them. This two-horned beast appeared as a Lamb. But actually it spoke as a DRAGON— its true characteristic — for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34).
_____What does the word “Lamb” symbolize, in the Bible? The answer is, CHRIST (John 1:29; Rev. 17:14). And “DRAGON” is a symbol of the DEVIL (Rev. 12:9, 20:2).
_____So here is some kingdom or government masquerading as that of CHRIST, or the KINGDOM OF GOD, but actually being a government of SATAN!
_____Christ did not set up a government (kingdom), at His first appearing on earth. After His resurrection the disciples asked Him if He would at that time restore the KINGDOM (Acts1:6); but He did not. The Church is not the Kingdom. Because some thought it was, Jesus spoke the parable of Luke 19:11-27 to show that He first must ascend to His Father’s throne in heaven to receive the royal power to become King of kings, to set up the world-ruling Kingdom of God.
_____But Satan is a deceiver, and he has deceived the world into supposing his (Satan’s) CHURCH, and system of churches, is the Kingdom of God.
_____Now notice carefully (Revelation 13) verse12:
_____“And he exerciseth ALL the power of the first beast before him.”The first beast is the Roman Empire. Here is ANOTHER government, also controlled by Satan, pretending to be CHRIST’S government, the Kingdom of God, taking, exercising, using, employing, ALL the power of the first kingdom, the Roman Empire.
_____Now when? “He exerciseth ALL the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to WORSHIP the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” (verse 12). So, it was AFTER the deadly wound (of A.D.476) was healed. It was healed when Justinian brought about the restoration of the Empire in the West in A.D. 554.Consequently this RELIGIOUS government took over, exercised,by ruling, all the power of the Roman Empire AFTER A.D. 554 when it was called the Holy Empire and, later, the Holy Roman Empire.

Did a Church Government Rule Rome?

So here we have pictured a government — a RELIGIOUS government — appearing as CHRIST’S government, masquer-ading as the KINGDOM OF GOD, actually ruling the civil Roman Empire, AFTER A.D. 554. Was there such a government? Indeed there was! And only ONE!
_____Prior to 554, Justinian had written a letter to the pope, acknowledging his supremacy in the West. And when he restored the empire in the West in 554, the popes dominated the Western Empire from Rome. The Roman Empire, thus restored to continue until 1814 (1260 years), became known later as “The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE.” We read in history that the popes were accepted as the “Vicars of Christ,” which means “IN PLACE OF Christ.” The teaching was that the Second Coming of Christ had occurred — Christ had returned to earth, as KING of kings and as LORD of lords, in the person of the popes. The millennium had begun.
_____For the entire 1260 years, the emperors accepted the popes as such, ruling the nations with a “rod of iron” as Christ is to do WHEN He really comes. Consequently they acknowl-edged the supreme religious power of the popes. The Church was organized as a GOVERNMENT — as a dual, two-fold government (symbolized by its TWO horns or kingdoms — for“horns” symbolize kingdoms also — see Dan. 7:24). It embodied CHURCH government, and it also was a STATE, or civil government, always occupying a certain amount of territory over which it, alone, ruled as an independent sovereign state— in addition to actually ruling over the vast civil kingdom called the Holy Roman Empire. Even today, it is a separate,independent, sovereign STATE. Most nations send ambassa-dors to the Vatican, just as they do to the United States, or to Italy, Britain or the USSR.
_____Notice, this second beast was to wield power over ALL THE EARTH, because it was to CAUSE the earth, and them that dwell therein, to WORSHIP this first beast “whose deadly wound was healed” after 554. In most any encyclopedia, under article “MILLENNIUM,”you will read the history of this very event — of how the“Holy Roman Empire” was called the “Kingdom of God upon earth.” They claimed the MILLENNIUM had arrived!
_____Notice verse 14: “And DECEIVETH them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.” Verse 13 says “he doeth great wonders.”
_____So notice these three points:
_____(1) This beast performs miracles.
_____(2) He performed them “in the sight of” the Holy Roman Empire, or the first beast.
_____(3) With them he DECEIVED all nations.

All Nations Deceived

Where else, in the Bible prophecies, do we find these same identical facts?
_____First, note Rev. 17. Here is pictured a woman. In II Cor.11:2, Eph. 5:22-27, and elsewhere, we learn that “woman” is a symbol for CHURCH...

_____Now notice the last battle of “the great day of God Almighty.” It is in Rev. 19:19-20. Here is pictured the beast —“and WITH him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, WITH WHICH HE DECEIVED them that had received the MARK of the beast, and them that had worshipped HIS IMAGE.
_____”Note it! Compare with the two-horned beast of Rev.13:11-17.
_____(1) BOTH perform miracles.
_____(2) BOTH perform them before, or in the sight of, the beast.
_____(3) WITH them, BOTH the false prophet and two-horned beast DECEIVE them that have the MARK of the beast — cause them to receive that mark (Rev. 13:16).
_____Certainly, then, this two-horned beast, the false prophet, ...are all one and the same thing — the {final revised} ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH with its pope, its other bishops, its priests and deacons, comprising the hierarchy of order!
_____Now did the two-horned beast deceive the very ones who have the MARK of the beast? He did! Continue in Rev. 13:
_____“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth” — HOW?“...saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an IMAGE to the beast, which had the wound by the sword and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and CAUSE as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. AND HE CAUSETH ALL, BOTH SMALL AND GREAT,RICH AND POOR, FREE AND BOND, to receive a MARK in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell [trade, earn a living, hold a job], save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (verses 14-17).
_____So, notice: This two-horned beast not only CAUSED people to receive the MARK of the beast (compare Rev. 19:20), but also perpetrated the forming of an image that caused the martyrdom of saints. As many as would not worship this image were caused to he killed. This false church did not kill them — she CAUSED them to he killed. History shows that the civil government of the Roman Empire martyred millions who were declared “anathema from Christ,” or “heretics” by the church.
____(Armstrong HW. Who is the Beast?)

Or to put it more succinctly, the COG teaches that the two-horned beast represents the the false prophet claiming the papacy who will for a while run a final (and revised) large church, while the other beast is the revived Roman Empire (which we normally believe is the going to arise out of the current European Union).

Why the Basic Position of HWA is Right

Although I feel that Herbert W. Armstrong adequately explained the COG position as shown above, the reason that it is right because the Bible itself is to be the source of doctrine (II Timothy 3:16).

When I first read the first SDA article quoted (which was 1/29/05), I was wondering what part of the Bible they were quoting. And while I knew it had to be from the Book of Revelation, I was a little unsure of the chapter (the article stated neither). I thought that was peculiar, and then I considered it misleading.

Why?

Because in order to not expose the fallacy of the SDA position, I believe the author of that initial article (M.P. Vance) may have intentionally left out several verses (though to his credit, A. Jan Marcussen did mention them in his booklet).

Here is the entire passage that should have been quoted,

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six" (Revelation 13:11-18, KJV).

I intentionally left the verse numbers in there to demonstrate that the initial SDA article by M.P. Vance:

1) Left out 1/2 of verse 12, even though the article suggests they quoted it
2) Left out verse 15, even though the article suggests they quoted it
3) May have intentionally left out verses 13-15 as it would show some of the fallacy of the SDA position
4) May have intentionally left out verse 18 as it would show some of the fallacy of the author's position
5) Did not mention the book (Revelation) nor the chapter (13) that these verses were in, thus making it much more difficult for the casual reader to see if these things were so.

HWA explained adequately about verses 13-15, so I will not repeat that here.

666

The Bible teaches the following, which I will repeat here:

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666 (Revelation 13:18).

The first writing that have been found that suggests that a Roman is 666 was by Irenaeus, who claimed to have listened to Polycarp when he (Irenaeus) was a young man. Irenaeus wrote:

Then also Lateinos (LATEINOS) has the number six hundred and sixty-six; and it is a very probable [solution], this being the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel] (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 30, Verse 3. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

The SDAs have a couple of different views of 666--but officially they do NOT teach that it is a Roman government or leader. This was confirmed by the late SDA scholar Samuele Bacchiocchi:

First, the identification of 666 with the pope's title Vicarius Filii Dei, has never been an official teaching of the Adventist church. The truth is that our Adventist church has struggled over the years to understand the meaning of the number 666.  Initially, some of our pioneers (including possibly Ellen White, as shown in the lecture) believed that the number 666 was made up of the number of Protestant sects influenced by Rome...

The conclusion of recent Adventist studies, including the Sabbath School Lesson of June 1-7, 2002, is that the traditional numerical interpretation of the number 666 as representing the numerical value of the letter Vicarius Filii Dei, cannot be legitimately defended exegetically and historically.
 
The key phrase "it is a human number -arithmos anthropou" (Rev 13:18),  suggests that the meaning of the number is to be found, not in a name or title whose letters add up to the numerical value of 666, but in a human condition of rebellion against God.   In the context of the false worship promoted by the Beast and its image, the triple six stands for the total false worship, enforced by the endtime Antichrist (Bacchiocchi S. Our Adventist Church Has Struggled to Define 666
. ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 144, March 15, 2006).

This SDA scholar also noted the following about Ellen White and 666:

Surprisingly, in all her voluminous writings, Ellen G. White makes only one brief statement on the number 666 of the Beast. The statement is found in her vision of 1847, which was printed on one sheet under the title "A Word to the Little Flock." The statement reads: "I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up; and that it was the beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope's, and not God's Sabbath." (Emphasis supplied. First printed by Joseph Bates on April 7, 1847).

We do not know for sure what Ellen White meant by the phrase "I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up." Some of the pioneers, including John N. Andrews initially believed that the number 666 was made up by the number of Protestant sects influenced by the Catholic Church (Bacchiocchi S. The Saga of the Adventist Papal Tiara: Part 2.ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 146, May 2, 2006).

In the previously cited HWA booklet, here is some of what he explained about the number 666 discussed in Revelation 13:18,

The expression “the name of the beast, or the number of his name” makes plain that the number 666 is the number of the NAME OF THE KINGDOM OR EMPIRE. 6. The expression “it is the number of a man” must also count this number in the name of the king, or ruler, over the kingdom identified as the “BEAST.”... The Bible describes the symbol “woman” to mean a CHURCH. See II Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7; Eph. 5:23-27. On the other hand, “beast” is a symbol of a KINGDOM, or EMPIRE. The woman of the 17th chapter is described beyond possibility of doubt as the church which did reign over the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire. Let us be consistent. The beast of Revelation 13 is not the WOMAN who rode the beast — the beast is the GOVERNMENT, and the woman is the CHURCH. The beast of Revelation 13 is THE ROMAN EMPIRE!...

The founder and first king of Rome was ROMULUS. The Roman Empire was named after him. His name, the name of a MAN, also is the name of the KINGDOM. And every citizen in the kingdom bears the same name — a ROMAN. When John wrote this Revelation, telling us to COUNT the number of the Beast, he wrote in the GREEK language. Consequently, we should look for this name, and the number 666, in this language recognized in the BIBLE, not in the Latin. We are all familiar with the Roman numerals, where letters are used for numbers. All understand that I is 1, V is 5,X is 10, etc. But many do not know that the Greek language,in which the book of Revelation was written, also uses letters for numbers. In the Greek, the language in which Revelation was written, this name is “LATEINOS.” It signifies “Latin man” or“the name of Latium,” from which region the Romans derived their origin and their language. This word, too, signifies“ROMAN.” In the Greek, L is 30, A is 1, T is 300, E is 5, I is 10, N is 50, O is 70, S is 200. Count these figures. They count to exactly 666! It is indeed no coincidence that the name of the KINGDOM, its founder and first KING, and of each man in the kingdom, counts to exactly 666! Certainly THE BEAST stands identified! (Armstrong HW. Who is the Beast? pp. 14-16)

It should be noted that this understanding was NOT unique to HWA as it has long been the COG position. The late COG evangelist John Ogwyn wrote this about its meaning and origins:

Scarcely any prophetic subject has elicited more conjecture and speculation than the "mark of the Beast." In addition to a "mark," Revelation 13 also mentions an "image" of the Beast as well as the mysterious "number of his name"—666...

Since the Roman Empire is the Beast described by John in Revelation 13 and Revelation 17, the "mark" is a brand or mark of the Roman Empire. The "image" of the Beast must be something modeled or patterned after the Roman Empire.

Before going further, notice that Revelation 13 mentions a second "beast" with an earthly, not heavenly, origin (v. 11). It outwardly masquerades as Christian, seeking to be identified with Christ, the Lamb of God (cf. John 1:29) but receives its power from the devil, that old dragon (Revelation 12:9). In prophecy, horns are used to represent rulership or authority, and this creature is pictured with two horns. Revelation 13:12 reveals that this second beast insists that all give their allegiance and loyalty to the Holy Roman Empire, the beast whose deadly wound was healed (v. 12). This second beast is described as performing great miracles, which will deceive humanity (vv. 13–14). In Matthew 24:24, Christ prophesied of "false Christs" who will deceive all but the very elect...

The earliest proposed solution to the meaning of 666 is a tradition attributed to Polycarp, the disciple of the same Apostle John who wrote Revelation. This tradition is preserved in the second century writings of Irenaeus. The number 666 is "…contained in the Greek letters of Lateinos (L=30; A=1; T=300; E,=5; I=10; N=50; O=70; S=200)" (Commentary on the Whole Bible, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown). Lateinos is a Greek term referring to the Romans. Interestingly, the Greek expression meaning "the Latin kingdom" (h Latine Basileia) also has a numeric value of 666. Greek writers commonly referred to the Roman Empire in this way. The book of Revelation was originally written in Greek, as it was written to Greek-speaking churches in ancient Asia Minor...

The founder of ancient Rome was Romulus, from whose name Rome and Roman are derived. The Latin name Romvlvs is written in Hebrew as Romiith. In the Hebrew language this also adds up to 666 (resh=200, vau=6, mem=40, yod=10, yod=10, tau=400). Thus, in both Greek and Hebrew, the two languages of the Bible, the number 666 is stamped upon the kingdom that derived from Rome (Ogwyn J. The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?).

Hence, the COG teaches that 666 represents a civil Roman leader leading a kingdom (scripturally referred to as "the beast") who will maintain a religious alliance, while SDAs seem to teach that it represents all false worship (the SDA position seems similar to the one now held by the Jehovah's Witnesses). Personally, I consider that the idea of 666 simply representing all false worship leads to a discounting of the relevance of that which is revealed in the Book of Revelation.

And that is that 666 represents those that follow forms of false Christianity--but also symbolizes the beast--the final leader of the Holy Roman Empire who will be ultimately influenced by a changed one in the Vatican (by way of a demon-influenced individual who the Bible calls the false prophet, Revelation 16:13, and who is probably an "antipope" in the sense that even Roman Catholics would consider a demon-influenced pontiff an antipope).

Specifically 666 is the number of the first beast in Revelation 13 as distinguished from the Antichrist, who is the second, the two-horned beast, in the same chapter. And as Revelation 13 shows, the two-horned beast works with, and promotes, the seven-headed (and ten-horned) first beast in that chapter.

Please understand that the leader of the ten-horned Beast of Revelation 13:1-10 (see Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation) and the one called 666 in Revelation 13:10 is also the one who is the final King of the North. (More information on who he may be can be found in the detailed article Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North?)

Perhaps I should add emphasize that the two-horned beast (also known as the false prophet or the final Antichrist) is mainly a religious, not a military leader. This differs from the ten-horned beast who the Bible confirms is mainly a military and political leader (even though he practices a false religion), hence the first beast is not the papacy (as Ellen White's writings state). Here is more of what the Bible teaches:

...they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"...It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation (Revelation 13:4,7).

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army (Revelation 19:19).

Because the second beast in Revelation 13 is primarily a religious leader (even though he has political influence), it is he who is the final "Antichrist" as the all the specific warnings mentioning "antichrist" in the Bible are discussing religious leaders.

Holy Spirit Positions Were Very Similar

Originally Ellen White had positions on the Holy Spirit that were quite close to those held by Herbert W. Armstrong. Notice what Ellen White's statements about the Holy Spirit suggest (note one from an SDA background provided me the following statements including the source cited):

The Spirit is freely given us of God if we will appreciate and accept it. And what is it? The representative of Jesus Christ. It is to be our constant helper. It is through the Spirit that Christ fulfills the promise, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life". (The bell is sounding for morning worship, I must stop here)
(1888 Materials, pp. 1538, 1539, Letter to S. N. Haskell, May 30, 1896).

The church members need to know from experience what the Holy Spirit will do for them. It will bless the receiver, and make him a blessing. It is sad that every soul is not praying for the vital breath of the Spirit, for we are ready to die if it breath not on us.

We are to pray for the impartation of the Spirit as the remedy for sin-sick souls. The church needs to be converted, and why should we not prostrate ourselves at the throne of grace, as representatives of the church, and from a broken heart and contrite spirit make earnest supplication that the Holy Spirit shall be poured out upon us from on high? Let us pray that when it shall be graciously bestowed, our cold hearts may be revived, and we may have discernment to understand that it is from God, and receive it with joy. Some have treated the Spirit as an unwelcome guest, refusing to receive the rich gift, refusing to acknowledge it, turning from it, and condemning it as fanaticism. When the Holy Spirit works the human agent, it does not ask us in what way it shall operate. Often it moves in unexpected ways. Christ did not come as the Jews expected. He did not come in a manner to glorify them as a nation. His forerunner came to prepare the way for him by calling upon the people to repent of their sins and be converted, and be baptized. Christ's message was, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent ye and believe the gospel." The Jews refused to receive Christ, because he did not come in accordance with their expectations (Ibid., p. 1540).

And Jesus said He would give us the Comforter. What is the Comforter? It is the Holy Spirit of God. What is the Holy Spirit? It is the representative of Jesus Christ, it is our Advocate that stands by our side and places our petitions before the Father all fragrant with His merits (Reflecting Christ, p. 285).

It is the Spirit of Truth…It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought by the world’s Redeemer…The Holy Spirit is the breath of the spiritual life of the soul...It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. (White EH. The Desire of the Ages. Originally published in 1898. Nabu Press, 2012 paperback edition, pp. 419,501)

The Lord would have every one of His children rich in faith, and this faith is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit upon the mind. It dwells with each soul who will receive it, speaking to the impenitent in words of warning, and pointing them to Jesus, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. It causes light to shine into the minds of those who are seeking to co-operate with God, giving them efficiency and wisdom to do His work (Signs of the Times, September 27, 1899).

Like, Herbert W. Armstrong, Mrs. White realized that the Holy Spirit was not a person. They both referred to the Holy Spirit as "it."

However, Ellen White changed her position in later years as is shown in the section below. But before getting to that, let me show that the last statement from Mrs. White was edited by someone and reprinted as follows (according to my same source):

The Lord would have every one of His children rich in faith, and this faith is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit upon the mind. He dwells with each soul who will receive Him, speaking to the impenitent in words of warning, and pointing them to Jesus, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. He causes light to shine into the minds of those who are seeking to cooperate with God, giving them efficiency and wisdom to do His work (Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 59, 1995).

Hence, those who believe that they are relying on her original writings need to be very careful.

Trinitarian Difference

Since many reading this article are interested in doctrinal differences between the COGs and the SDAs, there is one major difference that should be highlighted here. And that difference has to do with the position on the Theodosius trinity, which some believe is one of the doctrines of Antichrist.

Although it somewhat came about via the Millerite movement (and William Miller was a trinitarian), at the time of its re-formation the SDA Church held some of the same doctrines as did the Church of God (more on that subject can be found in the article The Sardis Church Era).

The SDA movement was originally anti-Trinitarian, but was essentially made trinitarian by Ellen White according various SDA scholars (some SDA-related groups disagree that Ellen White ever endorsed the trinity).

Notice the following by SDA scholar Gerhard Pfandl:

A number of Adventist authors today who are opposed to the doctrine of the Trinity are trying to resurrect the views of our early pioneers on these issues. They are urging the church to forsake the “Roman doctrine” of the Trinity and to accept again the semi-Arian position of our pioneers...

J. N. Loughborough, in response to the question “What serious objection is there to the doctrine of the Trinity?” wrote, “There are many objections which we might urge, but on account of our limited space we shall reduce them to the three following: 1. It is contrary to common sense. 2. It is contrary to scripture. 3. Its origin is Pagan and fabulous.” (Pfandl G. The Doctrine of the Trinity Among Seventh-day Adventists. Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 17/1 (Spring 2006): 160–179)

Thus, a founder of the SDAs claimed that the trinity was pagan.

Notice what James White (the husband of Ellen White) wrote:

The Father is the greatest…The Son is next in authority…The inexplicable Trinity that makes the godhead three in one and one in three, is bad enough...(Quoted in Wiebe E. Who Is the Adventist Jesus? Published by Xulon Press, 2005, p. 167).

…the Trinity does away with the personality of God…(ibid, p. 88).

The greatest fault we can find in the Reformers is, the Reformers stopped reforming.  Had they gone on, and onward, till they had left the last vestige of the Papacy behind such as the natural immortality, sprinkling, the trinity, and Sundaykeeping, the church would now be free her unscriptural errors (Ibid, p. 89).

So James White considered the trinity to be in the same category as Sundaykeeping--do SDAs realize this?

Here are some admissions concerning Ellen White and the trinity from The Ellen White Estate, Inc. official website:

Ellen White never used the term "trinity"…at times she used the pronoun "it" when referring to the Holy Spirit (The Ellen G. White Estate. Questions and Answers About Ellen G. White: The Godhead.  http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/faq-egw.html#faq-section-c2 viewed 7/30/08).

In a book co-written with James White, SDA pioneer Joseph Bates wrote:

Respecting the trinity, I concluded that is was an impossibility for me to believe...(Bates J, White J. The Early Life and Later Experience and Labors of Elder Joseph Bates.  Published by Steam Press of the Seventh-day adventist publishing association, 1878. Original from the New York Public Library. Digitized Jun 13, 2007, p. 210).

SDA pioneer J. Waggoner wrote:

The inconsistencies of Trinitarians, which must be pointed out to free the Scripture doctrine of the Atonement from reproaches under which it has too long lain, are the necessary outgrowth of their system of theology. No matter how able are the writers to whom we shall refer, they could never free themselves from inconsistencies without correcting their theology...“To the contrary, the advocates of that doctrine really fall into the difficulty which they seem anxious to avoid. Their difficulty consists in this: They take the denial of a trinity to be equivalent to a denial of the divinity of Christ. Were that the case, we should cling to the doctrine of a trinity as tenaciously as any can; but it is not the case. They who have read our remarks on the death of the Son of God know that we firmly believe in the divinity of Christ; but we cannot accept the idea of a trinity, as it is held by Trinitarians, without giving up our claim on the dignity of the sacrifice made for our redemption. (J. H. Waggoner, ‘The Atonement in Light of Nature and Revelation’, 1884 Edition, chapter ‘Doctrine of a Trinity Subversive of the Atonement’)

SDA scholar Samuele Bacchiocchi wrote:

The truth is that our Adventist church would not be here today, had it not been for the prophetic guidance of Ellen White. She played a leading role in shaping our message and mission. For example, we noted in the newsletter no. 150 the role of Ellen White in leading our church to accept the Doctrine of the Trinity (ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 153."The Pre-Advent Judgment - Part I").

He also wrote:

The doctrine of the Trinity has been under the crossfire of controversy during much of Christian history. Our Adventist Church has not been exempted from the controversy. In the newly released book The Trinity: Its Implications for Life and Thought (Review and Herald, 2002), Prof. Jerry Moon, one of the three authors, offers a most informative historical survey of the gradual evolution of Adventist pioneers from anti-Trinitarian to Trinitarian beliefs...

It is unfortunate that those apologetic endeavors often resulted in heretical anti-trinitarian teachings that have plagued Christianity until our time. In fact, most of today's anti-trinitarian heresies found in such religious movements as the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Unitarians, and liberal theologians, trace their roots to the early church (Bacchiocchi S. The Importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity. ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER NO. 147. 5/11/06).

The above is probably not a good poor use of the term "liberal theologians." The normal definition (as Dr. Bacchiocchi must have known) is that liberal theologians are normally those that discount original teachings--that is what the SDAs themselves have sadly done. The truth is that the SDAs were once anti-Trinitarian. This is a significant difference between the COGs and the SDAs as the Church of God has always been non-Trinitarian (please see the article Binitarian View). (For quotes from SDA scholars on what the SDAs once believed and now believe on the Godhead, please see Appendix A at the end of the article titled Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?)

The SDA Church was not just anti-Trinitarian, it was also binitarian. Another SDA scholar, G. Pfandl, wrote this about the Semi-Arians (a title that somewhat applies to those in the COGs):

While the Seventh day Adventist Church today espouses the doctrine of the Trinity, this has not always been so. The evidence from a study of Adventist history indicates that from the earliest years of our church to the 1890's a whole stream of writers took an Arian or semi Arian position...

Semi Arianism...They rejected the Arian view that Christ was created and had a different nature from God (anomoios dissimilar), but neither did they accept the Nicene Creed which stated that Christ was "of one substance (homoousios) with the Father." Semi Arians taught that Christ was similar ( homoios) to the Father, or of like substance (homoiousios), but still subordinate" (Pfandl, Gerhard. THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY AMONG ADVENTISTS. Biblical Research Institute Silver Spring, MD June 1999, http://www.macgregorministries.org/seventh_day_adventists/trinity.html, 5/12/06).

A number of Adventist authors today who are opposed to the doctrine of the Trinity are trying to resurrect the views of our early pioneers on these issues. They are urging the church to forsake the “Roman doctrine” of the Trinity and to accept again the semi-Arian position of our pioneers...

J. N. Loughborough, in response to the question “What serious objection is there to the doctrine of the Trinity?” wrote, “There are many objections which we might urge, but on account of our limited space we shall reduce them to the three following: 1. It is contrary to common sense. 2. It is contrary to scripture. 3. Its origin is Pagan and fabulous.”

And R. F. Cottrell, in an article on the Trinity, stated:

To hold the doctrine of the trinity is not so much an evidence of evil intention as of intoxication from that wine of which all the nations have drunk. The fact that this was one of the leading doctrines, if not the very chief, upon which the bishop of Rome was exalted to the popedom, does not say much in its favor…

The rise of the Trinity doctrine in our church was the outworking of a slow process that occurred over many years. It was not imposed on the church arbitrarily; it evolved slowly from within. The first positive reference to the Trinity in Adventist literature appeared in the Bible Students’ Library series in 1892…

Most early Adventist pioneers were anti-Trinitarians… In 1931 the Adventist Yearbook contained a statement of twenty-two fundamental beliefs, one of which was the Trinity (Pfandl G. The Doctrine of the Trinity Among Seventh-day Adventists. Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 17/1 (Spring 2006): 160–179).

What the above quotes leave out is that the anti-Trinitarian writers lost out because Ellen White allegedly published a pamphlet in 1897 declaring the Holy Spirit "the third person of the Godhead" (the SDAs were "Semi-Arians" before this--though they did not tend to use that term). The truth about the Holy Spirit can be found in the article Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity?

Furthermore, SDA scholar Dr. Jerry Moon reported:

In 1846 James White dismissed the doctrine of the Trinity as “the old unscriptural trinitarian creed”… That most of the early leaders among Seventh-day Adventists held an antitrinitarian theology, and that a major shift has since occured, has become standard Adventist history  in the 43 years since E. R. Gane wrote an M.A. thesis on the topic…

At the core of the debate is the question whether Ellen White's position on the Trinity ever changed. Some assume that she never changed, that either she always believed in the Trinity or never believed in the Trinity. There is ample evidence, however, that Ellen White's beliefs did change...

She did not initially recognize His trinitarian nature… About 1850 she reported, “I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that He is a person. I asked Him if His Father was a person and had a form like Himself.  Said Jesus, ‘I am in the express image of My Father’s person.’”   Thus she gained visionary confirmation of what her husband had written in the Day-Star in 1846, that the Father and the Son are “two distinct, literal, tangible persons”…

Brick by conceptual brick, (perhaps without even being aware of it herself) she was slowly but surely dismantling the substructure of the antitrinitarian view, and building a trinitarian view. In another clear break with the prevailing semi-Arian consensus, she declared in 1878 that Christ was the “eternal Son”…

In 1890, she followed up her 1888 affirmation of Christ's unity with the Father (in nature, character, and purpose) with perhaps her last major statement that can still be read ambiguously. "The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both."46 Retrospectively, this phrase harmonizes perfectly with her later statements (especially Desire of Ages, 530) that Christ is "self-existent" and that His Deity is not "derived" from the Father. It is also possible, however, to read the sentence from a binitarian (two-person Godhead) or even semi-Arian (Christ inferior to the Father) perspective...

As the conflict dragged on into 1905, Ellen White wrote … There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ… Her latest affirmations of one God in three persons are fully in harmony with the first explicitly trinitarian belief statement among Seventh-day Adventists, published in 1913, during her lifetime, by F. M. Wilcox, editor of the Review and Herald...

As the conflict dragged on into 1905, Ellen White wrote … There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ… Her latest affirmations of one God in three persons are fully in harmony with the first explicitly trinitarian belief statement among Seventh-day Adventists, published in 1913, during her lifetime, by F. M. Wilcox, editor of the Review and Herald…

...the 1946 General Conference session voted the first officially Adventist endorsement of belief in the Trinity, just 100 years after James White's strong rejection of that idea in the 1846 Day-Star. This change was not a simple reversal. The evidence is that Ellen White agreed with the essential positive point of James's belief, namely that "the Father and the Son" are "two distinct, literal, tangible persons." Subsequent evidence shows that she also agreed with James's negative point: that the traditional, philosophical concepts held by many trinitarians did "spiritualize away" the personal reality of the Father and the Son.82 Soon after this she added the conviction, based on visions, that both Christ and the Father have tangible forms. She progressively affirmed the eternal equality of Christ and the Father, that Christ was not created, and by 1888, that an adequate concept of the atonement demands the full and eternal Deity of Christ. Only in the 1890s did she become aware of the full individuality and personhood of the Holy Spirit...at Avondale in 1899 she declared, "the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes; . . . He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind."83 This confirms the fourfold hypothesis with which this article opened. First, E. R. Gane's characterization of Ellen White as a "trinitarian monotheist" is accurate regarding her mature concept of God, from 1898 onward. (Moon J. "Ellen White and the Trinity"1. ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 150. June 27, 2006).

It is important to note that SDA scholars admit that the Semi-Arian position was the prevailing view as late as 1878--thus this is something that the SDAs have changed (again, others have claimed that some changed Ellen White's writings and that she never endorsed the trinity).

SDA Glibert Valentine, vice-president for academic administration, Mission College, MuakLek, Thailand wrote:

Many early Adventist pioneers such as James White, Joseph Bates, J. H. Waggoner, and R. F. Cottrell were, in fact, strongly anti-Trinitarian… semi-Arian concepts of Christology were fairly deeply imbedded in early Adventist beliefs and literature (Valentine G. How clear views of Jesus developed in the Adventist Church. At Issue, December 2006).

Unlike the SDAs, the Church of God (while believing in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has been essentially anti-Trinitarian and has never accepted the Roman, Eastern Orthodox, nor Protestant views of the Trinity (as adopted in 381). But, the SDAs have.

(Another difference between the two groups that is documented at the COGwriter site has to do with military service. Many SDAs now condone it, while the faithful in the COGs still opposes it. This is documented in the article Military Service and the COGs. A quite noticeable difference between the COG and the SDAs relates to the biblical holy days--the SDAs normally do not observe them, though a few do. A possible article of interest may be Is There "An Annual Worship Calendar" In the Bible?).

Church of God, Seventh Day Notes Similarities and Differences

The Denver-based Church of God (Seventh Day) (CG7) teaches this about some of the similarities and differences between them and the SDAs:

Most differences between the groups involve the role and writings of Ellen G. White. Mrs. White was a founder of the SDA Church and is regarded by it as a true prophetess. The Church of God (Seventh Day) considers Mrs. White as it would any other writer since the completion of the biblical canon: Her “truth” is mixed with error. It regards neither Mrs. White nor her writings to be an expression of the "Spirit of Prophecy." This is the fundamental difference between the two churches.

Beyond this basic difference, here are some teachings of the Church of God (Seventh Day) that are not endorsed by Seventh-day Adventists:

Those of us in the Continuing Church of God (CCOG), would agree with the above points on where we agree and disagree with the Seventh-day Adventists.

Perhaps I should also mention that the main reasons for the Church of God (Adventist)/SDA split were:

1) The CGA did not accept Ellen White's messages as on par with the Bible
2) The CGA would not accept the name "Seventh-day Adventist"
3) The CGA taught that the millennium is to occur on the earth (SDA's officially teach heaven as the location; see Seventh-day Adventist Official Position on the Millennium Differs From Beliefs of Early Christians)
4) The CGA taught that there is an opportunity for salvation in the age to come

In 1923, what officially was still called CGA officially became Church of God (Seventh day). Although CG7 no longer emphasizes that last point, here is some information about what the belief differences were in the mid-1800s. The SDAs have reported the following about the "CGA group" in Marion in the 1860s that had affiliation with its Gilbert Cranmer (CG7's currently essentially officially claimed founder):

The Marion party adopted the name Church of God (Adventist)…While retaining Sabbath observance, they differed in their understanding of the Millennium, favoring an earthly millennium at which time, with Christ’s presence upon the earth, all mankind will be converted.  They promoted the keeping of Old Testament Feast days and advanced the unscriptural notion that Christ died on Wednesday and arose Saturday afternoon, having spent seventy-two hours, three whole days and nights, in Joseph’s tomb.

…an offshoot of this church formed adopting the named Church of God (Seventh Day ) (Standish RR, Standish C. The General Conference Confronts Apostasy.  Hartland Publications, , 2006, p. 84).

Of course, Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday (for details, please see What Happened in the Crucifixion Week?). Additionally, it is not the CCOG position that all win be converted, it is the proper COG position that nearly everyone will be converted (please see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants).

On matters of history, perhaps it should be mentioned that we in the Continuing Church of God do believe that we have direct ties to the original apostles and can trace our history from the time of Peter, Paul, and John through the faithful in Asia Minor through Europe and to the Americas (for some details, please see The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3). For specific information on history and other matters between the COGs and SDAs in the 1800s, please see the article The Sardis Church Era.

A Non-Biblical Message

Although I have found that nearly all the SDA members I have come in contact to be sincere individuals, I believe that to a great degree that the SDA movement is based upon a non-biblical message. Which message?

The non-biblical message is the inaccurate sanctuary interpretation of 1844 by Ellen White that she taught essentially explained "a complete system of truth." Notice what she wrote:

THE SUBJECT OF THE sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonius, showing that God's hand directed the great advent movement, and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people (White E.G. Will America Survive? 1888; Reprint, 1988 by Inspiration Books East, Jemison (AL), p. 405).

Now while I do believe that Ellen White was correct that prophecy is important, I do not believe that the message of the Bible is that the Advent movement is correct because of her sanctuary interpretation. It is the Bible, and not Ellen White's interpretations, that unlock the mysteries of God and which is the complete system of truth. Ellen White's sanctuary explanation was an attempt to say that a false prophecy about Jesus' return was not false. Jesus did not return in 1844 and the 'explanation' was not true, but a message from the devil.

The plain truth is that the Church of God people had a lot of biblical doctrines in the 1800s. The Whites came in contact with some of them (and others) and accepted many of their doctrines, and hence did teach many biblical truths. However, their excessive fixation on Ellen White's prophetic interpretations, combined with the fact that she (and ultimately nearly all other SDAs), began to lose many biblical doctrines shows that the SDAs are simply not part of the true Church of God (though some who believe that they are in that movement possibly may be).

If you are an Adventist, should your "system of truth" be the Bible or traditions outside of it? Please pray about that.

Another non-biblical change that the SDAs seem to be moving towards is the ordination of women as ministers see Seventh-day Adventists moving towards ordaining more women ministers. There are other non-biblical doctrines that have been adopted or are under at least some considerations.

Remnant Church?

Ted N.C. Wilson, as President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, stated the following.

We are to be a peculiar people, God’s remnant people, to lift up Christ, His righteousness, His three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 and His soon coming…As God’s remnant people identified in Revelation 12:17as those “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” we have a unique message of hope and a mandate to proclaim God’s grace to the world…Now, getting back to Revelation 12:17 and another great distinguishing mark of God’s remnant people. We read that they will “have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”…

As God’s faithful remnant, may we never make of none effect the precious light given us in the writings of Ellen G. White…

When we use that term, remnant church or remnant people, we must never use it in a self-centered, exclusive manner…

He wants to use His remnant church in a most powerful way…

And then, God proclaimed to the Children of Israel through Moses the same command He gives His last- day remnant church today. Verse 15 declares,(NEXT SLIDE) “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to GO FORWARD.” When God says, Go Forward, we must Go Forward.
(Wilson TNC.  “GO FORWARD” General Conference Sabbath Sermon – July 3, 2010)

This idea of being the remnant church has often been mentioned throughout SDA circles.  However, Adventists would be wise to look at the entirety of the scripture that actually mentions that “remnant” term:

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.  15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:14-17, KJV)

The term “remnant” is translated as “rest of” in the NKJV, so I quoted the KJV above as that is where the SDA’s have gotten this concept.

But a careful read of the above passages show that there are two churches being mentioned.  One that goes to a place of protection in the wilderness and the other “the remnant” that gets persecuted because they do not get protected.  The SDAs apparently believe that they are that remnant.  And while we in the Continuing Church of God believe we are the leading woman of the Revelation 12:14-16, we do not consider that the SDAs are part of the COG (though some of their members might possibly be).

If the SDAs really did understand prophecy better, they would realize that the Bible praises the group (which are identified as the the Philadelphians in Revelation 3) that gets protected, but that Jesus condemns the two other Christian groups of Revelation 3 (Sardis and Laodicea) who do not get protected.

Concluding Explanation

A major difference between the COGs and SDAs is how they view their respective, deceased, major leaders, Herbert W. Armstrong and Ellen White.

Those faithful of us in CCOG do NOT refer to HWA's writings as "Inspiration," yet many of the SDAs refer to Ellen White's writings as "Inspiration." By "Inspiration" SDAs seem to teach that Ellen White's writings should be equal to or even preferred above scripture. That is not a valid position (please see the article Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings).

While there are some in the SDA movement who do not do so, the major position among SDAs seems to be the Ellen White was God's prophetess.

While, we in the Continuing Church of God do acknowledge that some fringe individuals/groups do have a biblically excessive view of Herbert Armstrong--that view is simply that--a fringe view not held by most in the various Church of God groups (more information on Herbert Armstrong can be found in the article Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today?).

Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about himself,

Emphatically I am NOT a prophet, in the sense of one to whom God speaks directly, revealing personally a future event to happen or new truth, or new or special instruction from God--separate from, and apart from what is contained in the Bible. And I never have claimed to be (Armstrong Herbert W. Tomorrow's World, June 1972).

Additionally, HWA taught was "Don't believe me. Believe what you see in your own Bible!" And even the Bible says that the Bible is where we are to get doctrine (see II Timothy 3:16).

That is why the COG position is correct. Those truly in the genuine Church of God get their beliefs from the Bible, while many of the SDAs seem to prefer the "inspirations" or later understandings of Ellen G. White (more on Mrs. White is shown as Appendix A below on this page).

To learn more about the actual identity of the United States from scripture, you may wish to read the booklet The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.

For quotes from SDA scholars on what the SDAs once believed and now believe on the Godhead, please see Appendix A at the end of the article titled Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? (it also includes comments from an SDA-related group that has a different view).

For some information discussing SDA/Church of God history and the related split, please see the article The Sardis Church Era (predominant circa 1585 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D.).

Appendix A in this paper discusses some additional concerns about Ellen White's writings, while Appendix B discussed Christmas within the SDA community.

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B. Thiel, Ph.D. SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666. www.cogwriter.com/sdawhite.htm (c) 2005/2007/2008/2009/2010/2012/2013/2014 0515

Appendix A. Have Adventist Leaders Always Known About Problems in Ellen G. White's Life and Writings?

The following is from a book titled "More than a Prophet" by SDA scholar Graeme Bradford. Note: This scholar is supportive of Ellen G. White and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The point of showing this information is to point out the fact that SDA leaders have long known about problems with Mrs. White's life and writings.

Anyway, here is some of what SDA scholars acknowledge about Mrs. White:

They still believed in Ellen White, even though they were also aware of weaknesses in her life. And they could have listed them as well:

1. She did have some problems in her marriage. There were times when she and her husband worked apart.116
2. She had problems with her children. She tended to favour Willie as the "good boy." James Edson, the only other of her four sons who survived to adulthood, turned away from the faith, but she won him back and he became a missionary to former slaves in the south of the United States.
3. She often became despondent over the criticism she faced. She could even doubt her own experience in Christ.117
4. She could be forgetful.118
5. She may not have always been as open about her use of other sources as she could have been.119
6. She struggled to give up eating flesh foods and live up to the health counsel she had given to others.120...

It can be unsettling for some to come to grips with the fact that there are historical inaccuracies in her writings...In other words, she is not a historian. Rather, she is giving a meaning to history. She is interpreting history for Christians. Today these historical inaccuracies are acknowledged by the White Estate; but this should not a problem for those who have a correct view of her work.158...

This point is made even stronger when we read a letter written to W. W. Prescott from her secretary Clarence E Crisler. In this letter he appeals to Prescott to come to give some help in the work of Ezra (which must have been for writing the book Prophets and Kings). In this letter he makes a list of the problem areas they need help and then says at the end, "I am sure that Sister White would be specially pleased and cheered, if she could know that you were coming soon to help us over hard places."163...

Even in her day, not everyone had this idea clearly in mind and they gave her writings an authority beyond what was appropriate. This could account for the protest that Prescott made to Willie in the year that Ellen White died. "It seems to me that a large responsibility rests upon those of us who know that there are serious errors in our authorized books and yet make no special effort to correct them. The people and our average ministers trust us to furnish them with reliable statements, and they use them as sufficient authority in their sermons, but we let them go on year after year asserting things we know to be untrue. . . .

"The way your mother's writings have been handled and the false impression concerning them which is still fostered among the people have brought great perplexity and trial to me. It seems to me that what amounts to deception, though probably not intentional, has been practiced in making some of her books, and that no serious effort has been made to disabuse the minds of the people of what was known to be their wrong view concerning her writings. But it is no use to go into these matters. I have talked to you for years about them, but it brings no change. I think however that we are drifting toward a crisis which will come sooner or later and perhaps sooner. A very strong reaction has already set in."164

Adventists Should be Better Informed About Ellen White's Writings

Prescott's letter is indeed a serious one. It seems Willie White and Prescott held to the same ideas regarding how Ellen White's work was produced, their difference lay in the fact that Prescott felt Adventists should be better informed.165 What he says is hinted at in the conversation of the 1919 Bible Conference after-meeting. It seems many Adventists held to a view of verbal inspiration regarding her writings.166 J. N. Anderson asks the question, "Is it well to let our people in general to go on holding to the verbal inspiration of the Testimonies? When we do that, aren't we preparing for a crisis that will be very serious some day?"167

Some say that when she states "I saw," her words have special authority. However, we know there were times when she used these words and then quoted from the works of others. It could be that the words "I saw" or "I was shown" mean "she saw" or "was shown" through the study of books. There are even times when she uses the words of authors when describing words she had heard spoken in vision. Ron Graybill, an Associate Secretary of the White Estate, made the following comments in a series of General Conference Worships in 1981.

"Did Mrs White ever borrow when she was reporting a vision? Did she ever say 'I was shown' and then proceed to borrow? The answer to that is 'yes,' although examples of it are not very plentiful. They are quite rare. I know of only three clear and unequivocal examples." 172

(Bradford, Graeme. Excerpt from More than a Prophet. ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 151, July 11, 2006).

In other words, some of her inaccuracies and blatant hypocrisy have long been apparent to many Adventist leaders. Also, the fact that all know that she CHANGED the view of the Godhead is clear proof that the SDAs do not hold "the faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

Perhaps I should add that the late Richard Nickels reported the falseness of at least one of Ellen G. White's "visions"

1856 Vision Proven False

Ellen G. White wrote in her Testimonies for the Church that "At the General Conference at Battle Creek, May 27, 1856, I was shown in vision some things which concern the church generally; . . . I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel, 'Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus'."12

All of the people alive at that conference have died, presenting a serious question as to the authenticity of Mrs. White's visions. (Nickels R. History of the Seventh Day Church of God, Volume I. Chapter IV)

The seven last plagues still have not began, Jesus has still not returned, and all that attended that Conference are dead. This vision was false.

Notice something else that Ellen White taught:

...the Day of Atonement occured on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month (Leviticus 16:29-34)...So it was believed that Christ, out great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless His waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord’s coming…

“There shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he comes out.” Leviticus 16:17.  So when Christ entered the holy of holies to perform the closing work of the atonement, He ceased His ministration in the first apartment.  But when the ministration in the first apartment ended, the ministration of the second apartment began.  When in the typical service the high priest left the holy on the Day of Atonement, he in before God to present the blood of the sin offering on behalf of all Israel who truly repented of their sins.  So Christ has completed only one part of His work as our intercessor, to enter upon another portion of the work, and He still pleaded His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners. (White EGH.    The great controversy between Christ and Satan: the conflict of the ages in the Christian dispensation.  Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1911, pp. 400, 428-429)

Notice how she is tying her interpretation in with the biblical Day of Atonement.  R. Nickels, discussing Ellen White's position, pointed out:

It is a well-documented fact that the Day of Atonement in 1844 fell on September 23, and Atonement can NEVER fall as late as October 22 (Nickels, We Are Sabbath-Keepers, Not Seventh-Day Adventists, p. 8).

Thus, Ellen White’s interpretation does not square with what one would expect with the biblical/Hebrerw calendar.  But this was her first big “prophetic” insight—and biblically in error.

Also notice this warning from Ellen White:

It is not really wise to have children now. Time is short, the perils of the last days are upon us, and the little children will largely be swept off before this. –Letter 48, 1876 (White E.  Last Day Events: Facing Earth's Final Crisis.  As printed by Pacific Press Publishing, 2002, p. 36)

As far as I have been able to see, the Adventist children were not “swept off” then as it was not time for “the perils of the last days” that Ellen White discussed in 1876.

Here is another prediction from Ellen White:

Testimonies Volume 1…“January 4, 1862, I was shown some things in regard to our nation…it is all a bitter denunciation of Lincoln’s administration and management of the war. Every move had been wrong and only defeat was prophesied..." (Cornelius J. The Commandments of Men.  Xulon Press, 2008, p. 286)

But Lincoln’s side did win that war (granted at a major cost). Thus saying she “was shown” that Lincoln’s side would be defeated is proof that she was not shown by God.

Thus, while Ellen G. White may have correctly stated some events before they occurred, the falseness of the above "predictions" indicates that she was not truly God's prophetess.

Yet Ellen White claimed:

In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me.  I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own views.  They are what God has opened to me in vision— the precious rays of light shining from the throne (White EGH.  Testimonies for the church, Issue 31.  Pacific Press, 1882.  Original from Columbia University. Digitized Aug 19, 2009, p. 63).

Catholic "prophets" have also gotten some events correct, but as they have gotten others wrong and contradict the Bible (Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus?), just because a prophet sometimes is correct, does NOT make him or her God's messenger. And since according to Ellen White her "testimonies" were always from God, since they were not always correct, she truly did not represent the true God.

Furthermore, how she sometimes got her visions is an issue. Notice this account of one of her visions by supporter J.N. Loughborough:

While she was in the vision, Elder White and myself were sitting by one side of the bed, and Elder Andrews on the other side. Her hands were alternately clasped over her breast or moved with her arms in her usual graceful manner toward the different scenes she was viewing. The upper portion of her body was raised from the bed so that there was a space of some eight or nine inches between her shoulders and the pillow. In other words, the body from the hips upward was flexed at an angle of about thirty degrees. And in that position she remained during the continuance of the vision, which was thirty minutes. No one could naturally assume that posture, unsupported by hands and arms, much less hold himself there for that length of time. Here again was proof that some power over which she had no control was connected with the vision (Loughborough JN.  Rise and progress of the Seventh-day Adventists: with tokens of God's hand in the movement and a brief sketch of the Advent cause from 1831 to 1844.  General Conference Association of the Seventh-day Adventists, 1892.  Original from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Digitized May 15, 2009, p. 219).

Here is one analysis of this by the late R. Nickels (bolding in source):

The Bible, however, shows that God’s true prophets are never possessed with such a spirit.  “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the control of the prophets” (I Corinthians 14:32, NIV). Verse 14 of Romans 8 shows that God’s Spirit leads and does not take over and control us apart from our own will.  From her childhood, when she was struck in the head by a rock and was in a coma for days, until later in life, Mrs. White suffered nervous and physical disorders (Nickels R.  What Seventh-Day Adventists Should Know About Other Sabbath-keepers, p. 15).

It should be noted that the same cautions hold true for various “Catholic” and other mystics.  The way many of them claimed to receive their “prophecies” was not biblical.

Appendix B: Do Adventist leaders know that they added Christmas, a Roman Sun-God Holiday?

While the none of the faithful in the COGs celebrate Christmas, many Adventists now do.

We in the genuine Church of God have long cited Jeremiah 10 as proof that Christmas trees are not appropriate for Christians, in the late 1800s Ellen White had a different view:

God would be well pleased if on Christmas, each church would have a Christmas tree on which shall be hung offerings, great and small, for these houses of worship (Ellen White, Review and Herald, Dec. 11, 1879 per http://www.ellenwhite.org/criticg.htm 1/11/07).

Do Adventists know that Christmas is of non-Christian origin? Well certainly many of their leaders do.

For example, SDA Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi wrote:

The Celebration of Christmas in Some Adventist Churches

          The religious celebration of Christmas in Adventist churches is a recent development.  I grew up in Rome, Italy, where we never had a Christmas tree in our home or church. My father worked regularly on Christmas day. Our family regarded Christmas as a Catholic festival, similar to the weekly Sunday, Easter Sunday, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on March 25, the Feast of Mary’s Assumption of August 15, All Saints Day on November 1, etc.  

          When I first came to the USA in 1960 as a seminary student at Andrews University, Christmas was primarily the Winter break. I do not recall much Christmas decorations and celebrations in the churches I visited during the four years I spent at the seminary from 1960 to 1964. 

          Gradually things have changed during the past 50 years. This is evident by the profusely illuminated and decorated front-end area of many Adventist churches at Christmas time. Some churches seem to compete with the rich decorations usually found in Greek Orthodox churches. 

          Frankly, I am not inspired by the elaborate Christmas decorations and celebration, because as a church historian I am aware of their pagan origin. Jesus was born in a humble manger. There were no fanciful decorations to celebrate His birth. It would be more in keeping with the setting of His birth, to keep the decorations simple, designed to help people catch the real spirit of Christ’s humble birth. 

          It was the celebration of the birth of the Sun-god in ancient Rome that was accompanied by a profusion of lights and torches and the decoration of trees. To facilitate the acceptance of the Christian faith by the pagan masses, the Church of Rome found it expedient to make not only the Day of the Sun the weekly celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but also the Birth Day of the Invincible Sun-God on December 25, the annual celebration of Christ’s birth...

          The term “Christmas” is not found in the Bible. It derives from “Christ + Mass,” that is, from the Mass Catholics celebrate in honor of Christ’s birth on the night of December 24. Surprisingly, there is no mention in the New Testament of any the celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Christ. The Gospels’ accounts of Jesus’ birth are very brief, consisting only of few verses. (Bacchiocchi S. Day and Meaning of Christmas. ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 161, December 2006).

While Dr. Bacchiocchi appears to be against it, Ellen White and her followers appear to have decided that this compromise with sun-worshipers is acceptable.

An article announcing Dr. Bacchiocchi's death also had this regarding his position on Christmas:

The adoption of the 25th of December for the celebration of Christmas is perhaps the most explicit example of sun worship’s influence on the Christian liturgical calendar,” Bacchiocchi wrote. “It is a known fact that the pagan feast of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti – the birthday of the Invincible Sun, was held on that date.” (Expert on Bible, Sabbath dies at 70 Samuele Bacchiocchi best known for explaining shift toward Sunday worship. World Net Daily. Posted: December 21, 2008 12:49 pm Eastern. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=84204)

And since Mithras day was Sunday and his birthday was December 25th, why would any SDA find Christmas acceptable? (Those interested in learning more about Mithratic teachings and their adoption amongst those who profess Christ should read the article Do You Practice Mithraism?)

Here is some of what the last newsletter from Dr. Bacchiocchi stated about Christmas:

THE CELEBRATION OF CHRIST’S BIRTH  

The celebration of Christ’s birth poses two problems: the date and the manner of the celebration. Regarding the date of Christ’s birth, we shall shortly see that the adoption of the date of December 25th by the Western Church to commemorate Christ’s birth was influenced by the pagan celebration of the return of the sun after the winter solstice.  

Several scholarly studies suggests that the Feast of Tabernacles in September/October provides a much more accurate Biblical timing and typology for celebrating Christ’s birth than the pagan dating of December 25th.  The latter date is not only removed from the actual time of Christ’s birth, but also is derived from the pagan celebration of the return of the sun after the winter solstice...

The good news of the date of Christ’s birth, is not a festival, with its gifts, parties, fun, feasting, yule log, and lighted Christmas tree–for these are but vestiges of a pagan culture that knows nothing of the true God. The good news of Christ’s birth centers around a person–God’s unspeakable gift, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.

The Celebration of Christ’s Birth in Some Adventist Churches

Several fellow believers asked me to comment specifically on the celebration of Christ’s Birth in some Adventist churches. It is not uncommon for our larger Adventist churches to have a Christmas eve religious service. Somebody asked me the question: “Could you explain to me why some Adventist churches have special Christmas’ eve services while others do not?”

Frankly, I do not understand why some Adventist churches today are adopting the popular practice of an evening church service on December 24.  Perhaps they may not be aware that they are imitating the Catholic “Christ—Mass” celebrated at midnight of December 24. They may also ignore the pagan origin of the date of Christ’s birth, which will discussed later.  Most likely, for these churches it may be just a matter of cultural conformity, namely, the desire to imitate the impressive Christmas eve services held in Catholic and Protestant churches.

The religious celebration of Christmas in Adventist churches is a recent development...Gradually things have changed during the past 50 years. This is evident by the profusely illuminated and decorated front-end area of many Adventist churches at Christmas time. Some churches seem to compete with the rich decorations usually found in Greek Orthodox churches.

Personally I am not inspired by the elaborate Christmas decorations and celebration, because as a church historian I am aware of their pagan origin...

It was the celebration of the birth of the Sun-god in ancient Rome that was accompanied by a profusion of lights and torches and the decoration of trees. To facilitate the acceptance of the Christian faith by the pagan masses, the Church of Rome found it expedient to make not only the Day of the Sun the weekly celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but also the Birth Day of the Invincible Sun-God on December 25, the annual celebration of Christ’s birth...

THE DATE OF CHRIST’S BIRTH

Surprisingly, there is no mention in the New Testament of any the celebration of the anniversary of Christ’s birth. The Gospels’ accounts of Jesus’ birth are very brief, consisting only of few verses found only in Matthew 1:16-24 and Luke 2:1-20). By contrast, the accounts of what is known as “The Passion Week,” are lengthier, taking several chapters...

The Early Christians commemorated annually Christ’s death and resurrection at Passover, but we have no clear indications of an annual celebration of Christ’s birth. A major controversy erupted in the latter part of the second century over the Passover date, but the date of Christ’s birth did not become an issue until sometimes in the fourth century. At that time the dispute centered primarily over two dates for Christ’s birth: December 25 promoted by the Church of Rome and January 6, known as the Epiphany, observed by the Eastern churches. “Both these days,” as Oscar Cullmann points out, “were pagan festivals whose meaning provided a starting point for the specifically Christian conception of Christmas.”

Most Likely Christ Was Born toward the End of September or the Beginning of October

It is a recognized fact that the adoption of the date of December 25th by the Western Church to commemorate Christ’s birth was influenced by the pagan celebration of the return of the sun after the winter solstice. More will be said later about the factors which influenced the adoption of this date. At this juncture it is important to note that the date of December 25 is totally devoid of Biblical meaning and is grossly inaccurate as far as the actual time of Christ’s birth.

If, as it is generally agreed, Christ’s ministry began when He was about thirty years of age (Luke 3:23) and lasted three and one-half years until His death at Passover (March/April), then by backtracking we arrive at the months of September/October, rather than to December 25.2 Indirect support for a September/October dating of Christ’s birth is provided also by the fact that from November to February shepherds did not watch their flocks at night in the fields. They brought them into a protective corral called a “sheepfold.” Hence, December 25 is a most unlikely date for the birth of Christ.3

The most likely date of Christ’s birth is in the latter part of September or the beginning of October. This date corresponds to the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, known also as the Feast of Booths. This feast was the last and most important pilgrimage of the year for the Jews. The overcrowded conditions at the time of Christ’s birth (“there was no place for them in the inn”—Luke 2:7) could be related not only to the census taken by the Romans at that time, but also to the many pilgrims that overrun the area especially during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Bethlehem is only four miles from Jerusalem. “The Romans,” notes Barney Kasdan, “were known to take their censuses according to the prevailing custom of the occupied territories. Hence, in the case of Israel, they would opt to have the people report to their provinces at a time that would be convenient for them. There is no apparent logic to calling the census in the middle of winter. The more logical time of taxation would be after the harvest, in the fall,”4 when people had in their hands the revenue of their harvest.

Support for the belief that Christ was born at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, which occurs in late September or early October, is provided by the Messianic themes of the Feast of Tabernacles...

Ideal Time for the Birth of Jesus

The Feast of Tabernacles was the ideal time for the birth of Jesus because it was called “the season of our joy.” The emphasis on the joyfulness of the feast is found in the instructions given in Deuteronomy 16:13-14: “You shall keep the feast of booths seven days, when you make your ingathering from your threshing floor and your wine press. You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns.”

A final interesting sideline supporting the possibility that Christ was born at the very time of the Feast of Tabernacles, is the reference to the wise men that came from the East to visit Christ (Matt 2:1). The land of the East is most likely Babylon, where many Jews still lived at the time of Christ’s birth. Only a remnant of the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile to Palestine during the Persian period. The wise men, most likely, were rabbis known in Hebrew as chakamin, which means wise men.

We are told that the wise men made their journey from the East to Bethlehem because they had seen “the star in the East” (Matt 2:1). Watching the stars was associated especially with the Feast of Tabernacles. In fact, the roof of the booth was built with leafy branches carefully spaced so that they would screen out the sunlight without blocking the visibility of the stars. The people watched for the stars at night during the feast because of the prophecy “a star shall come out of Jacob” (Num 24:17). It is possible that it was during the Feast of Tabernacles, the special season of star watching, that the wise men saw the Messianic star and “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matt 2:10).

In the light of the foregoing considerations, most likely Christ’s birth coincided with the Feast of Tabernacles. Being the feast of thanksgiving for God’s willingness to protect His people with the tabernacle of His presence during the wilderness sojourning, it could serve fittingly to celebrate Christ’s willingness to become a human being and pitch His tent among us in order to become our Savior.

The implications of this conclusion are self-evident. The Feast of Tabernacles in late September/October provides Christians today with much more accurate Biblical timing and typology for celebrating Christ’s birth, than the pagan dating of December 25th. The latter date not only is removed from the actual time of Christ’s birth, but is also derived from the pagan celebration of the return of the sun after the winter solstice. Why celebrate the birth of Jesus at the wrong time of December 25th,—a date derived from pagan sun-worship—when the Bible provides us with a more appropriate timing and typology for commemorating such an important event?...

The Pagan Origin of Date of Christmas

The adoption of the 25th of December for the celebration of Christmas is perhaps the most explicit example of Sun-worship’s influence on the Christian liturgical calendar. It is a known fact that the pagan feast of the dies natalis Solis Invicti—the birthday of the Invincible Sun, was held on that date...

Rome and the Origin of Sunday, Easter Sunday and Christmas

Let us note that the Church of Rome pioneered not only the observance of Sunday and Easter-Sunday, but also the new date of December 25 for the celebration of Christ’s birth. In fact the first explicit indication that on the 25th of December Christians celebrated Christ’s birthday, is found in a Roman document known as Chronograph of 354 (a calendar attributed to Fuzious Dionysius Philocalus), where it says: “VIII Kal. Jan. natus Christus in Betleem Judaeae—On the eighth calends of January [i.e., December 25th] Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”

(Bacchiocchi S. (ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 218 “The Meaning, Celebration, and Date of Christmas”. November 2008)

The idea of a December 25th Christmas is pagan, the SDAs originally did not observe it, we in the Continuing Church of God do not observe it, and it should not be observed by true Christians.

An article of related interest may be What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?

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