This quarter we will study some of the most important landmarks of the faith taught in Scripture and believed by Seventh-day Adventists. By landmarks we mean prominent Bible teachings that have direct relevance to our salvation and that enable us to detect and avoid religious errors and spiritual delusions.
Writing in 1889, Ellen White endorsed the righteousness-by-faith message that had been presented to the church atthe Minneapolis General Conference session the year before. She briefly outlined the "old landmarks" to which the Adventist church is committed.
"The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth, [also] the first and second angels' messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, 'The commandments of God and the faithof Jesus.' One of the landmarks under this messagewas the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God's law. The nonimmortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks." -- Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 30, 31.
According to this passage, there are five "old landmarks": (1) the pre-advent judgment; (2) the three angels' messages; (3) the law; (4) the Sabbath; and (5) the mortality of the soul. The significant fact is that the message preached in 1988 was intended to place each of these landmarks in the context of righteousness and salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Christ and His saving grace are central to the Advent message. The landmark truths have relevance to life only as Christ is seen in them.
We begin this quarter's lessons by reviewing Bible teaching regarding righteousness by faith in Christ. We then consider other aspects of the the first angel's message: the earthly sanctuary services as types or analogies of Christ's heavenly mediatorial and judgment ministries; the law; and the Sabbath. We study the second and third angels' messages in relation to last-day events and in relation to special counsel given to God's last-daypeople. The doctrine of the soul's mortality points us to the great truth of the resurrection at the second coming of Jesus.
"Faith in God's word, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield from Satan's power and will bring us off conquerors through the blood of Christ." - Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 302.