Adventist teaching: Eventually Sunday Worship
Biblical teaching: Multiple Theories
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church teaches that the Mark of the Beast will eventually be worshiping on Sunday (which they call the “papal sabbath”) after a national—turned international—Sunday Law is passed mandating that everyone worship and rest on Sunday’s. This Law will supposedly come at the behest of a “threefold union” between the Roman Catholic Papacy, Apostate Protestantism, and Spiritualism.
Adventist’s will have to take a stand for the seventh-day Sabbath and be prepared to be hunted down globally for their refusal to observe this law.
The Bible nowhere says anything about a National Sunday Law or the Mark of the Beast having anything to do with which day someone worships or rests in conjunction with a law headed up by the Papacy. This is strictly inserting Ellen G. White’s claims into Revelation 13, which the SDA Church claims are divinely inspired and correct inaccurate interpretations of scripture. This means that what Mary Magdalene did on the first day—worshiped the risen Christ—will one day be the Mark of the Beast (Matthew 28:1-9).
The SDA Church likes to put out the image that their eschatology is impenetrable, they have it all figured out, and everyone else is just confused. The reality is, they are in the same boat everyone else is. They simply think they have been given an inspired commentator who gives them the correct interpretations with absolute certainty, hence why they are so dogmatic. At the end of the day, they simply have an interpretation (a flawed one at that) just like everyone else does.
There are multiple schools of eschatology and, depending on which one you adhere to, that will impact your interpretation around the Mark of the Beast. It’s important to understand that Revelation had application to the original audience it was written to in the first century, not just people thousands of years into the future. John’s original audience would have had to have been able to read the Revelation and apply what was written to them in their day. This doesn’t mean it has no application to us today, but it isn’t exclusively for a people thousands of years removed from the original audience. On this ground alone the Adventist theory falls flat.
We are of the opinion that the Mark of the Beast had connection to the Roman empire of the first century. John’s reference to the mark being placed upon the hand or the forehead makes perfect sense in light of the widespread first century practice of branding slaves—which was a mark of shame and subjugation. For more on our position, see Dr. Kim Riddlebarger’s article on the subject.