SDA Doctrine versus Bible Truth: Seal of God

In brief, SDAs...

  1. Teach the Seal of God is given to those who observe the seventh-day as Sabbath

SDA Doctrine of the Seal of God

In the book of Revelation there is no direct connection between the Seal of God and the Sabbath. Seventh-day Adventists make the connection by piecing together various verses from the Bible. Here are the main points SDAs use to prove the Sabbath is the Seal of God:

1. The Sabbath has always been kept by God's true people throughout history. From Adam to Noah to Abraham to Jesus to the Apostles to the current SDA Church, true believers are distinguished by their day of worship. The prophetess Ellen G. White writes:

The Sabbath was instituted in Eden and observed by our first parents before the fall. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command, and ate of the forbidden fruit, they were expelled from Eden; but they observed the Sabbath after their fall.1
Hallowed by the Creator's rest and blessing, the Sabbath was kept by Adam in his innocence in holy Eden; by Adam, fallen yet repentant, when he was driven from his happy estate. It was kept by all the patriarchs, from Abel to righteous Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob.2

Not only did Ellen White explain that all good people kept the Sabbath, she also said the evil ones did not keep it:

The Sabbath was honored by all the children of Adam that remained loyal to God. But Cain and his descendants did not respect the day upon which God had rested.3

2. The Sabbath was a "sign" between God and the Israelites (Ex. 31:13, Eze. 20:12,20). Since SDAs believe that they are "spiritual Israel," they claim the Sabbath is still a sign, or identifying mark, of God's true people.

3. Isaiah 8:16 reads: "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." This verse is used by SDAs to support their idea that the Seal of God is found inside the "law," which according to SDAs, is the Ten Commandments.

4. According to SDA pioneer Uriah Smith (and Revelation Seminars), ancient seals contained the name/title of the ruler, the extent of his dominion, and his right to rule. These elements are all found in the fourth commandment (Ex. 20:8-11). Therefore, the Sabbath is the Seal of God.

The lack of any direct Bible evidence linking the Seal of God to Sabbath-keeping is supplied by SDA prophet Ellen G. White:

In these things I saw great danger; for if the mind is filled with other things, present truth is shut out, and there is no place in our foreheads for the seal of the living God. This seal is the Sabbath.4

5. The Sabbath is the great dividing issue that will separate the true believers in God from those who are not true Christians. Sabbath observance is the identifying mark of the remnant church (Rev. 12:17). At the end of time, every Christian will be tested upon whether or not they are willing to accept the Sabbath truth. Those who do not accept the Sabbath will receive the Mark of the Beast and go to Hell. Those who accept the Sabbath will receive the Seal of God and go to Heaven. According to Ellen White, the day a Christian chooses to worship upon is what marks the difference between those loyal to God and those disloyal:

The Sabbath is the great test question. It is the line of demarkation between the loyal and true and the disloyal and transgressor. ... It is the seal of the living God.5
Thus the distinction is drawn between the loyal and the disloyal. Those who desire to have the seal of God in their foreheads must keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Thus they are distinguished from the disloyal, who have accepted a manmade institution in place of the true Sabbath. The observance of God's rest day is a mark of distinction between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.6


Problems with the SDA Doctrine of the Seal of God

1. Has Sabbath observance always been a sign of true believers? - Genesis says nothing about Adam and Eve "resting" with God on the first seventh day. It says only that God rested. While it is certainly possible that Sabbath was observed by believers before the Exodus, there is no direct Biblical evidence that Adam, or Eve, or anyone else participated in rest on the seventh day of creation until at least 2,600 years had passed and the Israelites had left Egypt.

Sydney Cleveland writes:

Contrary to Sabbatarian assertions, the Bible is completely silent upon the subject of the "Sabbath" until the time of the Exodus. In fact, the word "Sabbath" is not even mentioned in the Bible until 2,600 years after Creation week. Check your Bible Concordance and you will discover the Hebrew word for "rest" (Shabbat/Sabbath in the sense of resting from one's work) is not mentioned until the Exodus, 2,600 years after Creation!7

God had laws which Abraham obeyed (Gen. 26:5), and most of the Ten Commandments are mentioned in one or more places in Genesis, but the Sabbath is never mentioned in Genesis after the creation week. Since Abraham kept God's laws, one could assume he and his descendants kept the Sabbath. If so, the Sabbath could have been lost during Israel's long years of slavery in Egypt when they were most likely required to work every day of the week. The first explicit mention of Sabbath observance dates from approximately 1450 B.C. at the time when manna was given in the desert of Sinai. Shortly afterwards, God made the Sabbath regulation known to the Israelites when He gave them the Old Covenant:

You came down on Mount Sinai...You made known to them (Israelites) your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. (Neh. 9:13-14)

While the Israelites may have had some prior understanding of the importance of the Sabbath based upon the God's provision of the manna on six days of the week, they most likely did not fully understand the requirement of Sabbath rest until the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.

There is no historical or anthropological evidence that Noah or his descendants kept a Sabbath or even a weekly cycle. The only ancient culture to observe a seven-day week were the Sumerians, who started the practice around 2,350 BC:

Sargon I, King of Akkad, having conquered Ur and the other cities of Sumeria, then instituted a seven-day week, the first to be recorded. ... They worshipped seven gods whom they could see in the sky. Reverently, they named the days of their week for these seven heavenly bodies.8

The Sumerian institution of a seven-day week had nothing to do with the creation week, but was in honor of their seven astronomical gods. Russell Kelley notes, "The frequency of market days, not an innate call to worship on the seventh-day Sabbath, determined the amount of days in a 'week' for ancient civilizations."9

  • Some tribes in West Africa adopted four-day intervals between market days.10
  • The Assyrians adopted five-day intervals.11
  • Ancient Rome adopted eight-day intervals.12
  • Ancient Egyptians adopted ten-day intervals.13
  • The Mayans, Aztecs, and Toltecs used a 13-day or 20-day weekly cycle.14
  • It was not until the first century B.C. that Rome adopted the seven-day weekly cycle.15

The idea that the followers of God prior to the Exodus kept the Sabbath, or even a weekly cycle, is not explicitly stated anywhere in Scripture or historical records. While it is possible Abraham and other early believers kept the Sabbath, there is no direct Biblical evidence to prove such. SDAs must make up for the lack of Biblical proof by relying on their prophet, Ellen G. White.

2. Is the Sabbath still a "sign" between God and His People? Under the covenant agreements that God made with Abraham and the Israelites, several practices were instituted by God as signs of obedience which the Israelites were expected to follow for all their generations.

The first was Circumcision (Gen. 17:9-14)....

And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This [is] my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.....and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you...and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant....

...and second was the Passover (Ex. 12:13-14)....

And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

...and the third was Sabbath observance (Ex. 31:13,17)....

But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, You shall surely observe my sabbaths: for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord that sanctifies you. ... It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

Notice that the Sabbath as a "sign" was given to the children of Israel. SDAs claim that they are "spiritual Israel". If so, then why do they not also practice the other "eternal signs" of obedience between Israel and God? Notice that the "signs" of Circumcision and the Passover were to be practiced by God's special people forever. So, why don't SDAs celebrate the Passover? The truth is that the signs of obedience given specifically to Israel, such as Sabbath-keeping, Circumcision, and Passover are never described in the New Testament as signs for Christians living under the New Covenant. While it is certainly appropriate for a Christian to observe the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath, there is no statement in the New Testament calling the Sabbath a sign of any sort between God and Christians.

Circumcision and observance of the laws of Moses were an issue in the apostolic church. A church council was convened in Jerusalem around 50 AD during which the Apostles debated over which of the laws Moses had written applied to Christians. During that council the brethren settled upon four laws for Gentile converts:

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye [1] abstain from meats offered to idols, and [2] from blood, and [3] from things strangled, and [4] from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well (Acts 15:28,29).

Notice that it was the "Holy Ghost" that made these requirements, and the Apostles were careful to say that "no greater burden" from the law of Moses was to be laid upon the Gentiles than these four requirements. In fact, in the same letter, the Church leaders make it clear that they never placed a burden of keeping the Mosaic law upon the Gentile converts:

Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment (Acts. 15:24).

This verse makes it abundantly clear that the Apostles never commanded their followers to "keep the law" of Moses. In this context, the law refers to all the ordinances and commands written by Moses in the Torah, including the passage where the Sabbath is described as a sign between God and Israel (Ex. 31:13,17). In fact, the Apostles considered that for Christians to attempt to observe the teachings of Moses in the Torah would be tantamount to "subverting your souls." There is no evidence that any of the three signs of Israel (Circumcision, Passover, Sabbath observance) were ever considered "signs" of Christianity.16 On the contrary, Paul fought vigorously against enforcing the sign of circumcision upon gentile converts (see Galatians). Paul also said that Christ was the fulfillment of the Passover (1 Cor. 5:7).

Obviously, new converts were expected to follow the moral teachings of Christ which are based upon and expand upon the Ten Commandments and are explained further in the Torah and the Prophets. However, if Sabbath was indeed the "sign" of Christianity, then one would expect to find some mention of it in the New Testament, but there is none. For the authors of the New Testament to leave out something as fundamental as the "sign" of Christianity would have been a major oversight!

3. Is the Seal of God found in the Ten Commandments? Isaiah 8:6 reads: "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." Some SDAs teach the word "law" refers to the Ten Commandments. In reality, the word "law" means the Torah, which refers to the first five books of the Bible, said to be written by Moses. In the Torah there are 613 laws which the Israelites were expected to follow. As noted above, Christians are not required to keep all of the laws of the Torah. This verse has nothing to do with the Seal of God in Revelation.

4. If the Lord's name, title, and dominion appear in a Bible verse, is that passage the Seal of God? Just because a Bible verse mentions the name (YHWH), title (Elohim or Adonay) and dominion of God does not mean that verse is describing Revelation's Seal of God. For example, using SDA logic, one could argue that the Torah is the "Seal of God" because it contains this verse:

Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens [is] the LORD'S thy God, the earth [also], with all that therein [is]. (Deut. 10:14)

Or one could claim that the prophetic writings of Isaiah or Jeremiah are the "Seal of God" using SDA logic:

O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou [art] the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. (Isa. 37:16)
Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, [and] there is nothing too hard for thee. (Jer. 32:17)

In addition to the Ten Commandments, look at all of the other Bible verses that mention God's name (God), His title (Lord), and His dominion (heaven and earth):

Gen. 14:22, Gen. 24:3, Deut. 3:24, Deut. 4:39, Deut. 10:14, Jos. 2:11, 1 Ki. 8:23, 2 Ki. 9:15, 2 Chr. 2:12, 2 Chr. 6:14, Isa. 37:16, Jer. 32:17, Acts 4:24, Acts 17:24

It should now be evident that just because God's name, title, and dominion appear within a Bible verse does not prove that passage has any particular connection with Revelation's Seal of God.

5. Sabbath a Dividing Issue? - Is the Sabbath the great separating truth that will decide who the true believers are? According to the prophet Ellen White, the Sabbath is what separates real believers from false believers:

I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God's dear, waiting saints.17

Such a teaching is contrary to the New Testament. Never is the Sabbath described as a dividing issue by Jesus or the Apostles. Paul wrote:

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it (Rom. 14:5,6).

Stop and read Ellen White's quote again, and then read Paul's quote again. The two are completely incompatible!

In Romans 14, Paul goes through a lengthy discussion in which he warns Christians not to judge each other on points of minor importance. He concludes by saying, "Let us not therefore judge one another" (Rom. 14:13). The SDA will argue that Paul did not have the Sabbath in mind when he wrote Romans 14, and that could well be the case. Nevertheless, if Paul thought the Sabbath was the "dividing wall" between Christians and non-Christians he would have fought strenuously for its observance.

Throughout the New Testament Paul fights with all his might to establish the important doctrines of the Church: Faith, Hope, Love, Grace, Forgiveness, Salvation, Mercy. Paul also fights against the sins of the flesh. Paul even advocated cultural practices such as wearing a head-covering. Yet in all of his writings, he never mentions the seventh day Sabbath as being of particular importance to Christians. The only time he ever even mentions holy days (Rom. 14) he simply says that brethren should accept each other no matter what holy day they choose (or choose not) to observe. How could Paul discuss holy days in such a casual manner if it was indeed the great "dividing wall" between true believers and false believers? If it was truly the great "dividing wall," then Paul would have been all over the issue in his writings, warning Christians of their duty! Instead, we find the Sabbath rarely even mentioned by any of the authors of the New Testament. If the Sabbath was indeed the "one great truth" that is to divide the true believers from the false ones, then surely the Apostles, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, would have emphasized its overwhelming importance in their writings.

Bible Truth about Seal of God

It is certainly appropriate for Christians to set aside the seventh day of the week to worship God. Various Christian groups throughout the Christian era have seen this as an important part of their worship of God. Today, there are over 500 Christian groups and denominations that worship on the Seventh-day Sabbath. Most of these get along very peacefully with their Sunday-keeping brethren. While they may be concerned about their Sunday-keeping brethren's lack of attention to the Fourth Commandment, they certainly do not consider it into a salvational issue (Rom. 14).

However, there is one sect of Sabbath-keepers, the Seventh-day Adventists, that takes an extreme position on the Sabbath. They make it a requirement for salvation. How so? They teach that in order to receive the "seal of God" one must keep the seventh day Sabbath. They teach that churches who do not keep Sabbath are part of "Babylon" or "Apostate Protestantism." This divisive teaching separates believers, families, and friends. It turns the Sabbath-Sunday debate into a battleground between the "loyal" Sabbath-keepers and the "disloyal" Sunday-keepers. For SDAs, it can lead to an "I'm better than thou" attitude of spiritual pride.

SDAs view the Sabbath as a test of their loyalty to their Creator, and a separating wall between true believers and false believers. In effect, they are passing judgment upon other Christians based upon their observance of a day. This is the exact practice which Paul forbid!

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths (Col. 2:16 NKJV).

While some Christians look at the New Testament and find evidences to support Sabbath observance, many others read the New Testament and do not come to the same conclusion. As Paul said, "let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" (Rom. 14:5).

1. In the Bible, what is the purpose of a seal?

Esther 8:8 says:

Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal [it] with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

The purpose of a seal is to prevent the contents of the object being sealed from being changed. A law that was sealed by the king's ring could never be changed. When Daniel was thrown in the Lion's Den, the entrance was "sealed" indicating the king's will could not be undone (Dan. 6:17). The tomb of Christ was "sealed" by Pilate to prevent anyone from touching its contents (Matt. 27:66).

2. What is known about those who are sealed?

The book of Revelation does not give many details about what the seal of God is. It only provides a few clues about those who are sealed:

  1. They are "servants of our God" (Rev. 7:3)
  2. They are 144,000 in number (Rev. 7:4)
  3. They are from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4)
  4. They have the "Father's name written in their foreheads" (Rev. 14:1; in ancient seals, the king's name was usually found on the seal.)
  5. They "were redeemed from the earth" (Rev. 14:3)
  6. They "are virgins" (Rev. 14:4)
  7. They "follow the Lamb" (Rev. 14:4)
  8. Their speech is pure (Rev. 14:5)
  9. They are "without fault" (Rev. 14:5)

Please note: There is nothing in the description of the 144,000 about Sabbath-keeping. If Sabbath-keeping is indeed the most important and prominent sign that separates true Christians from false ones, then why didn't John at least mention it here in the section of Revelation that is describing those with the Seal of God?

3. What is the Seal of God?

Revelation does not tell us in precise detail what the seal is or how it is administered, so one must assume it was a well-known concept in the early church. As a matter of fact, the word "seal" appears many times in the New Testament. From studying these verses, one can get a good understanding of how the church of the apostle John's era understood the meaning and significance of the "seal."

The Apostle John18 wrote of Jesus:

....him hath God the Father sealed (John 6:27).

Just as ancient kings sealed objects to make them unchangeable, the King of the Universe sealed Jesus Christ so that evil could not destroy, change, or alter who He was. How was Jesus sealed? John wrote of Jesus....

...for God gives the Spirit without limit (John 3:34 NIV).

Paul repeatedly talks about the Holy Spirit's presence being the seal of Christianity:

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (2 Cor. 1:22).
In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Eph. 1:13).
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).

Ephesians 4:30 makes it abundantly clear that God seals Christians to keep them until the "day of redemption." The Holy Spirit is given to Christians so that evil cannot destroy, alter, or change them.


Not once in the New Testament is the Sabbath ever referred to as a sign or a seal for Christians. Just as the Lord's supper celebration replaced the Jewish Passover celebration, so has the Holy Spirit replaced the Sabbath as the "sign" or evidence that a person is one of God's chosen people. If one allows Scripture to interpret Scripture, then one must conclude that the New Testament teaches the seal of Christianity is the Holy Spirit, not the Sabbath.

Consider this carefully. What is the best way to tell whether or not a person is a true Christian? Is it by what day they go to church on? Even SDAs will tell you that going to church on Saturday does not make someone a Christian. There are some people who go to church on Saturday while they deny their Christian faith by their actions. Their hearts are filled with perversion, hatred, adultery, and idolatry. So what is the best way to tell if a person is a true Christian? By their spirit! If they have the Holy Spirit in their hearts, they will manifest the fruits of the Spirit in their lives: "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith." These fruits of the indwelling Holy Spirit will be evident to all. How do you tell if a tree is an apple tree? What is the sign? It's recognized as an apple tree if the tree bears apples. Likewise, these fruits of the spirit are the true sign of a believer. The Sabbath is not the sign of a true Christian. It never has been. It never will be.

Your Questions Answered

QUESTION: Exodus 31:17 says the Sabbath is to be a sign forever. My SDA Pastor told me that is proof that the Sabbath is still a sign between God and His people today. Is that true?

ANSWER: Just because a sign is called "everlasting" in the Bible does not mean that it was meant to last forever, nor does that sign apply to those living under different covenants. Here are some examples of everlasting things God gave to the Israelites that did not last forever:

1. Possession of Palestine was lost to Babylon, and later Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and British empires. Even today, part of Palestine is possessed by Arabs. Notice how God said the Israelites would possess it forever:
Gen 13:15 - For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
Gen. 17:8 - And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Gen. 48:4 - And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee [for] an everlasting possession.
Ex. 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit [it] for ever.
2. The various feast days were said to last forever:
Ex. 12:14 - And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
Ex. 12:17 - And ye shall observe [the feast of] unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
Ex. 12:24 - And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
Lev 23:41 - And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. [It shall be] a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
3. The Israelite priesthood ended nearly 2,000 years ago:
Ex. 40:15 - And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.
Lev 7:34 - For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel.
Num 25:13 - And he shall have it, and his seed after him, [even] the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.
Deu 18:5 - For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.
4. The annual Atonement service ended 2,000 years ago:
Lev 16:31 - It [shall be] a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.
Lev 16:34 - And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
5. The Sanctuary services ended nearly 2,000 years ago:
Lev 24:3 - Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: [it shall be] a statute for ever in your generations.
Lev 24:8 - Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, [being taken] from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.
6. Kingdom of David ended thousands of years ago:
2Sa 7:13 - He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
2Sa 7:16 - And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
1Ki 2:45 - And king Solomon [shall be] blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.
1Ch 17:12 - He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
1Ch 17:14 - But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
2Ch 13:5 - Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, [even] to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?
7. Kingdom of Solomon ended thousands of years ago:
1Ki 9:5 - Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
8. The Temple of God was destroyed, first by Babylon, and later by the Romans in 70 A.D.:
2Ch 6:2 - But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.
2Ch 7:16 - For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

Just as Circumcision, the Levitical Priesthood, the Temple, the land of Palestine, the Kingdom of David, and the Feast Days are no longer signs for Christians, the Sabbath is no longer an identifying mark for Gentile believers. This is why Paul let Christians know that Christianity is not about following rules of diet, or keeping holy days, but about being in Christ:

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ (Col. 2:16,17 RSV).

Conclusion: Under the New Covenant the seal or sign of Christianity is the Holy Spirit as witnessed by the fruits of the Spirit, not the Sabbath.

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Rom. 8:9).


Links for Deeper Study

Ellen White and the Seal of God by Brother Anderson. A history of how the Seal of God teaching developed in the SDA Church.

What is the Seal of God? by Robert Sanders


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1. Ellen G. White, "The Signs of the Times", February 6, 1879, para. 15.

2. Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy (1888), 453.

3. Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (1890), 80.

4. Ellen White, Present Truth, Jan. 31, 1849.

5. Ellen White, Selected Messages Book 3, 423.

6. Ellen White, Review & Herald, April 23, 1901. Mrs. White also wrote the following: "The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord's memorial of creation" (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 117). Also: "...Too late they see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God" (The Great Controversy, 640).

7. Sydney Cleveland, "Sabbath Facts",

8. "The Power of Seven", Economist, Dec 20th 2001, The Babylonians later adopted the 7-day week from Sumeria. It should be noted that Abraham is believed to have been born sometime between 1800 BC and 2136 BC. Since Abraham, his father Terah, and his grandfather Haran all lived in Ur, it is possible Abraham and Terah adopted the seven-day week from the Sumerians and brought the concept into Canaan. Since the 7-day week was instituted by a pagan king prior to the birth of Haran, it cannot be said that Haran or his children were the cause of the adoption of the seven-day week. Instead, the Sumerians chose a 7-day week to honor the seven deities they worshipped.

9. Russell Earl Kelley, Exposing Seventh-day Adventism, 107. See also comment from Wikipedia: "Although seven day weeks are common to all modern societies now, anthropologists note that weeks of other durations (varying from three to eight days) are found in many pre-modern societies. They also observe that the name for 'week' is often the same as that for 'market day', suggesting the concept of a week is likely to arise in any agrarian or pre-agrarian society where people have marketplaces or market days." (

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid.

14. "The Mayan Calendar",, as of Dec. 20, 2008.

15. Ibid.

16. The only part of the Law of Moses enforced on gentiles was the law of the sojourner (Lev. 17:8-15, 18:1-26), which dealt with eating the blood of animals and sexual sin.

17. Ellen G. White, Early Writings, 33.

18. It is believed by many Christians that the same John who wrote the Revelation was also the author or originator of the gospel of John.

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