Ellen White Review and Herald, July 13, 1897:
“WHEN YOU OBEY THE DECREE THAT COMMANDS YOU TO CEASE FROM LABOR ON SUNDAY AND WORSHIP GOD, . . . YOU CONSENT TO RECEIVE THE MARK OF THE BEAST.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Position on ‘The Mark Of The Beast’ From 1850 – 1899:
- WORSHIPING JESUS ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK OFFENDS GOD!
- ASSEMBLING WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK OFFENDS GOD!
- CEASING FROM WORK ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK OFFENDS GOD!
From the founding of the movement until 1903 Adventist believed and taught that the Mark of the Beast was SUNDAY observance which entailed both cessation of work and worship of God on Sunday. In other words if you want to avoid the Mark of the Beast you must WORK on Sunday and not rest on that day.
J. N. Andrews – Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald November 7, 1854 wrote: “In this note we call attention to the fact that this commandment is the only precept in the Bible which tells us how to keep the first day of the week. That precept says: “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.” Whoever obeys the only precept for Sunday-keeping in the Bible, will commence labor on the first day of the week, just as God did, and when the Rest-day of the Lord arrives, they will cease from labor, and observe it according to the commandment. Whoever wishes to obey God in the observance of Sunday, can here find his will plainly expressed.”
E. J. Waggoner – Signs of the Times April 8, 1889. wrote: “If Sunday observance is enforced by law, it will result in the oppression of Jews, Sabbatarian Christians, and others WHO DEEM IT NECESSARY TO LABOR ON THAT DAY.”
A. T. Jones – The American Sentinel Articles February 19, 1891. wrote: “By this it is evident that were his will in Sunday-law matters performed, he would compel those people “to loaf” every Sunday, AND THEREBY PROHIBIT THEIR OBEYING THE COMMANDMENT, “SIX DAYS SHALT THOU LABOR.”
E. J. Waggoner – Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald April 16, 1895 wrote: “IT IS VERY CLEAR, THEREFORE, THAT IN ORDER TO KEEP THE SABBATH DAY ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT, WE MUST NOT ONLY REST ON THE SEVENTH DAY, BUT WE MUST ALSO HABITUALLY TREAT ALL OTHER DAYS OF THE WEEK AS LABORING DAYS. This would be true in any case; but when there is a day, as the first day, which is put forth as a rival to the Sabbath of the Lord, and which claims to be the Sabbath in its stead, the duty of emphasizing the difference becomes more urgent. We are by the commandment bound not only to show that the seventh day is the Sabbath, but also that the first day of the week is not the Sabbath.” “In a word, then, THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT IS OUR SOLE SUFFICIENT WARRANT FOR WORKING ON SUNDAY WHEN THE LAWS OF MEN REQUIRE US TO CEASE FROM LABOR ON THAT DAY.”
Using just these quotes which were all released from Adventist Printing Houses by prominent Adventist spokesmen, we know that Ellen White had no less than 41 years to rebuke this teaching. Did she do this? No! In fact after all these statements were released Ellen White released one that said the exact same thing.
Ellen White Review and Herald, July 13, 1897 wrote: “WHEN YOU OBEY THE DECREE THAT COMMANDS YOU TO CEASE FROM LABOR ON SUNDAY AND WORSHIP GOD, . . . YOU CONSENT TO RECEIVE THE MARK OF THE BEAST.
Ceasing from work and worshiping God on Sunday after the Sunday law was enacted WAS THE MAIN PROBLEM, and WAS THE MARK OF THE BEAST according to Adventist thinking during the entire 19th century according to the Adventist Pioneers and by Ellen White herself.
Just so we are clear about Ellen White’s interpretation we need to look at some other things that were written during this period of Adventist history.
Uriah Smith, The Marvel of Nations, pp. 170, 183. wrote: “Sunday-keeping must be the mark of the beast.” … “The reception of his mark must be something that involves the greatest offense that can be committed against God.”
Advent Review, Vol. I, No. 2, August, 1850 . wrote: “The Sunday Sabbath is purely a child of the Papacy. It is the mark of the beast.“
Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 281. wrote: “The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the authority of the Romish church.” … “The keeping of the counterfeit Sabbath is the reception of the mark.”
Ellen White, Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 117. wrote: “The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation. . . . The mark of the beast is the opposite of this–the observance of the first day of the week.”
Ellen White, Evangelism, p. 234. wrote: “The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath.”
Ellen White, Letter 31, 1898. wrote: “What Is the Mark of the Beast?–John was called to behold a people distinct from those who worship the beast and his image by keeping the first day of the week. The observance of this day is the mark of the beast.”
Ellen White, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 980. wrote: “When the test comes, it will be clearly shown what the mark of the beast is. It is the keeping of Sunday.”