The Religion of Seventh Day Adventism
This is one of those aberrant so-called “Christian” sects or cults which espouse many good and acceptable beliefs following the biblical model. However, serious flaws are clearly recognizable upon deeper investigation of their claims of orthodoxy to biblical concepts. Their origins alone cast a cloud of darkness as to the sanity and legitimacy of their leadership at the very beginning of this belief system. Today, although everything on the surface actually looks pretty good, something is still fundamentally very wrong. Even the name “Seventh Day” Adventism is telling much about the obsessive fetish that followers of the sect adhere to, namely, the completely unbiblical assertion that the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is holy and should be kept holy. Interestingly, and in total contrast, the Scriptures declare:
“SO, LET NO ONE JUDGE YOU IN FOODOR IN DRINK, OR REGARDING A FESTIVAL OR A NEW MOON OR SABBATHS, WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME, BUT THE SUBSTANCE IS CHRIST.” (Colossians 2:16 NKJV, bold and underline mine)
The two things that still hold many followers of SDA are first and foremost the heresy they teach about the Sabbath, and the vegetarianism and dietary regulations they not only preach, but worse, tie in and make part and parcel with the teaching of salvation. These heresies are harmful in so many ways that people who have learned the truth about their false prophet Ellen G. White, and who have accepted that they have been duped, still have a rough time letting go of all the trash they believed at first. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to SDA but is common to all false teachings, especially when you’re a 2nd -, 3rd -, 4th -, or even 5th -generation adherent and were simply brought up and schooled by their doctrines, however wrong, all your life.
Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and now Mormonism, largely because of the presidential race between the incumbent Barak Obama and his Mormon challenger Mitt Romney in 2012, Seventh Day Adventists have been able to convince many that they are now a legitimate Christian organization. I would remind you that just because an organization or group posts a statement of belief on the web, or anywhere else, does not make them legitimate. Anyone can and many do make claims of adherence to biblical doctrines. Our very own The Berean Way Fellowshipis no exception. For this reason, all should individually know what they believe and what they don’t believe and be able to confirm the reasons for their beliefs by what the Holy Spirit teaches them concerning the Bible, His inspired, God-breathed Word.
Having said that, I want to advise people that what an individual says about his or her faith doesn’t matter. What does matter is what the official writings of any system declare.
Right at the outset, know that SDA and JWs are cut from the same cloth. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a spinoff from Seventh Day Adventism, which had connections to the Millerites. William Miller was a powerful and convincing preacher who greatly influenced the future SDA founder Ellen G. White and her family, who at the time were said to be Methodists. Miller made many false predictions, but Ellen was so convinced of them that even after Miller himself denounced some of them, she would have no part in it and made excuses to keep her convoluted dreams about his false predictions alive. Miller and Charles Taze Russel of the JWs had affiliations with the Restoration Movement, from which we have the “Church of Christ” and various forms of the “Christian Church” with a desire to bring the apostate, weak condition of the Church back to reality, faith, and trust in the Lord Jesus and His Gospel. As noble as this is, it cannot and does not work that way. Unless the Holy Spirit Himself gives the ecclentic, which is that spark of power, making it possible for someone who was dead in their sins and trespasses to receive the Gospel and attain eternal life, it isn’t going to happen. God, knowing every heart exactly, causes this to occur as He wills and in His timing. (Ephesians 2:1) We, who say yes to this spark of life-giving power, are most blessed for He calls out to everyone, since Jesus died for all, but especially and effectively for all who believe. (1Timothy 4:10)
From the Adventists’ official website the following is given about the Scriptures and the Trinity under the heading “Fundamental Beliefs”:
“Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word.”
Walt’s comment on the above: Scripture means what it says and says what it means. Biblical truth was, is, and will remain the same into eternity. A fuller understanding of biblical truth is not necessary nor possible where the most important aspects of the Bible are concerned, namely, the Gospel message of salvation, the creation account, the virgin birth, the doctrine of faith, the Resurrection, and a few others. The only doctrine regarding where more revelation can be true is in the teachings of eschatology, or the end times. Because we’re living in the end of the last days, it is possible to fine-tune more closely the events of the last days in relation to what we read in the prophecies about the end times.
Straight from the SDA Official Website:
1. Holy Scriptures:
The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)
There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever-present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.)
God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father. (Gen.1:1; Rev. 4:11; 1 Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:17; Ex. 34:6, 7; John 14:9.)
God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God's power and was attested as God's promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:15-19; John 10:30; 14:9; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-19; John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; Heb. 8:1, 2; John 14:1-3.)
5. Holy Spirit:
God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ's life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13.)
Walt’s Comment on the above: As you can see, the above sounds pretty good and right on; and this is the same for many of the other explanations they give on their official website, until you go down to numbers 18, 20, 24, and 27, where elements of cultish beliefs are very much still in vogue. The following is straight from their website as well, with my commentaries after each explanation:
18. The Gift of Prophecy:
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)”
Walt’s Commentary: The fact that they clearly hold on and attribute prophesy to an extremely well-known heretic and false prophetess is astounding. Every single thing she prophesied never came to pass. The Bible says when a prophet speaks and it doesn’t come to pass, that prophet was someone through whom the Lord did not speak. (Deuteronomy 18:22) Considering that her many writings, of which more than 80 % were plagiarized, are considered on par with Scripture, makes no sense at all, except to say that SDA adherents are predominantly superstitious people who are easily swayed by every wind of doctrine. Consider that almost all of the delirious followers of the charismatic “Branch Davidian” cult leader David Koresh were former SDA members. SDA members are trying to live under two covenants. This cannot be done for they are different. God said that the old was abolished and no longer in force and that we are dead to the Law of Moses but alive to the Law of Christ. (Romans 7:4; Galatians 6:2)
Whenever Ellen White needed to make an excuse for her blunders, she used the concept of having had a vision from the Lord to further explain away the obvious lies that were announced previously. Interestingly, this is also what Mohammed did. He kept changing and rearranging what he needed but always told others that he had just heard the latest from God, usually in a vision. When you are weak and your leader, in whom you really believe, instead of believing in God, tells you that he saw God in a vision and heard instructions from Him, it is a powerful thing.
Although SDA’s claim to test everything by the Bible, they obviously define biblical truth quite differently from what the true prophets of the Old and the writers of the New Testament themselves did. Ellen White’s racist views became very evident in many of her writings, especially in the 1850s. Date setting was one of the most-used lies to entice her followers. Dave Ratslaff, a 4th- generation pastor of SDA as well as many others, exposed many of her false predictions, such as with the October 22 date of the year 1844 being a pivotal one as far as their convoluted doctrines are concerned. (Video, Seventh Day Adventism, The Spirit Behind the Church, Jeremiah Films 1998). This date, 1844, was given as the new date for the “cleansing of the sanctuary” after other earlier dates were found to be obvious lies and had to be explained away. I recommend the just-referenced video or DVD because it presents SDA from the vantage point of those who finally got out and who know the truth because they were actual pastors and teachers of their doctrine, many of them having been SDA members for several generations. The Bible is clearly NOT their standard to prove all things as they claim, but rather the convoluted teachings of their false prophetess Ellen G. White, though long dead, but still deemed “holy,” which is a perversion of the very meaning of the word. Holiness belongs to God alone!
The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God's kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God's creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Ezk. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)
Walt’s Commentary: Biblical truth couldn’t have escaped these people more. The Scripture I already gave should settle the issue on Sabbaths but it seems it’s never enough for some. (Colossians 2:16) Moreover, Jesus Himself preached that He is our Sabbath, not a day of the week. Failing to understand the difference between Israel and the Church is paramount. Sabbath, the day, was for Israel only and remains only for unbelieving Jews to this day. The Church’s Sabbath or rest, on the other hand is Christ Jesus Himself. Mark 2:27, 28 says that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. “Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” All the “legalism” that surrounds the idea of the observance of the Sabbath day was even broken by the Jews themselves as Jesus points out in John 7:22, 23. Elsewhere He reminded those who criticized Him and His disciples for plucking corn and eating it on a Sabbath that David also did this in violation of the day. (Matthew 12:2-8) Jesus’ point was that there are higher laws that supersede the Sabbath regulation in certain cases. Keeping from starving to death was one of them, circumcising exactly on the eighth day was another. Also, of significance and something that provides a big problem for SDA is the fact that Ephesians 2:15 reads, “having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create for Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.” Notice that Jesus abolished the law of commandments. There is simply nothing for SDA proponents to sink their teeth into to be able to make a case. All false teachings have the same unbiblical error of having to “work” for your salvation. Thank God that Jesus is our Sabbath, our Savior, our Lord, our God, and our King, and therefore He already did everything necessary to complete our salvation. All we have to do is believe it and correspondingly live it. Hallelujah!!!
P.S. To the assertion that the Sabbath is a sign, token, or symbol and foretaste of our eternal future in God’s kingdom, it is noteworthy to know that actually it is the Holy Spirit Himself by whom we believers were sealed until the day of redemption, not a day or any decree concerning that day as revealed in Ephesians 4:30.
24. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary:
There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it, Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13,14; 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.)
Walt’s Commentary: Jesus doesn’t make available any “benefits” of His atoning sacrifice. We know from 1 Corinthians 12 that God gave gifts to men. We find in Ephesians 4:11-13 that these were given for the building up of the body of Christ, the Church. Having been given gifts to aid us on earth and having a High Priest in heaven at the right hand of the Father to intercede against Satan’s accusations is all we need. No other “benefits” are needed, for we’ve been [past tense] given, by His divine power, “…all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue…” according to 2 Peter 1:3 While some others also use this word “atone,” it is not really correct usage in this sense. Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross was a full payment to satisfy the sin debt owed. To atone for something is to cover it until such a time as complete satisfaction can be achieved. This is what all the animal sacrifices did that led up to Jesus. Christ’s death on the Cross did not just cover but was the actual completion that we all waited for, the perfect and therefore final sacrifice. It’s completely accomplished; nothing more is owed by us sinners once we accept the already-paid-for pardon by faith, that is to say, by really trusting in God.
What Jesus does is intercede for us as High Priest over His house, which we, the Body of Christ represent. (Hebrews 10:21) Jesus is performing His second of three offices, which is to be our High Priest. He came as a prophet, serves us now as High Priest, and will be our King when He rules on earth starting with the millennium after His 2nd Coming to earth. There is nothing special about the year 1844 and there is no “prophetic” period of 2300 days. All of this is a perversion of the Book of Revelation, as well as the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and all the prophets. End-times prophecy is one major reason SDA was begun, albeit with false notions. Concerning the notion of an “investigative judgment,” there is no such thing. It is a complete fabrication of SDA, as is purgatory as taught by the Roman Catholic Church, and totally unbiblical. All conclusions based on this nonsense are of course pure heresy invented and believed by superstitious and weak-spirited individuals. It’s as simple as this: When the Philippian jailer asks, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul the apostle answered very directly, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30, 31; Romans 10:9, 10; 13)
27. Millennium and the End of Sin:
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Ezk. 28:18, 19.)”
Walt’s commentary: The wicked dead are in fact not judged until the thousand years are over. After the one-thousand-year reign of Christ, wickedness will have had ample time to reestablish itself into the hearts of mankind, proving that rehabilitation is not an option for sin. Sin must be eradicated and completely wiped out. All those who make it into the millennium will have been found righteous because of their deeds toward the Jews who have suffered immense persecution at the hands of anti-Christ and all the rest of the godless masses on earth who have taken His mark. Those “righteous” ones are not righteous like the Church saints were because they were, because they were not born-again of the Spirit of God, the only way to be included into the true Church; otherwise, they would have been included in the Rapture of the saints. However, because they feared God enough to not take the infamous “mark of the beast” and because they helped the remaining Jews and any Gentile Tribulation saint in their most terrible time of hard persecution, they are allowed to go into the millennium and can be described as earth-dwellers or as Scripture says of them, “those who dwell on the earth.” (Rev. 3:10; 6:10; 11:10; 13:8; 14:6; 17:8) Anyone, saint or sinner, is an earth-dweller who does not possess a brand-new resurrected body. All of us now on earth are earth-dwellers because we’re bound by space, time, dimension.
Saints, on the other hand, don’t have the confines of space, time, dimension anymore as earth-dwellers continue to have. Earth will indeed be inhabited by these individuals and they will propagate and fill the earth once more. At the end of that time, sin and godlessness will again be so great that Satan, who is now released from his one-thousand-year incarceration in the bottomless pit, (Rev. 20:1, 2) will upon his release, (Rev. 20:3, 7) be able to gather around him so many people that numbering them is likened to numbering the sands on the sea shore.
Those who had not taken the Mark of the Beast, and those who were martyred or beheaded for faith in Christ reigned with Him for a thousand years. (Rev. 20:4) Rather than the earth being empty, it will be inhabited and procreation will continue so that after the millennium the descendants of the original earth-dwellers will have grown to hate Jesus even though He ruled with perfect justice and even though Satan was locked up and therefore not guiding them, as it were, into sin. What this proves is that once sin took hold, it became the very nature of man; God is showing, with this last of the seven major dispensations, that even if everything were as it should be, sin would still reign in the hearts of men. This is why men had to be given a chance to come under perfect rule, to prove to them that even that condition of no bought-off judges, no back door deals of any kind, no covenant-breaking shenanigans at all, no false monetary, religious, educational, or political system, because the earth is ruled by Christ Himself and all his holy saints, and still, this just isn’t enough for sin to be eradicated. We must be born-again of the Spirit of God for this to work.
After this failed and very final coup d’etat of Satan, God will rain fire down from heaven and destroy all opposition to Him and His saints, and the last great judgment will be held, called the Great White Throne judgment. (Rev. 20:11-14) This is when Satan and all who followed him will be tried, because books will be opened of all of men’s deeds, and another book will be opened, which is the Book of Life. All who were not found written in the Book of Life were thrown into the Lake of Fire for all eternity, where the anti-Christ and the false prophet await them having been cast into it at the end of Armageddon a thousand years earlier. Notice that the false prophet and the anti-Christ are in the Lake of Fire not were or have been. This signifies that their state in suffering is eternal where there is no clock. (Rev. 20:10) It also shows that they are still there and have not been annihilated, which is a false teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses as well.
Chapter 21 of the Revelation then proceeds to inform us that John saw a new heaven and a new earth. In light of the fact that the earth will never pass away or cease to exist, according to (Eccl. 1:4; Ps. 89:37; 148:5, 6), this must refer to a refurbishing by fire as 2 Peter 3: 7,10, which speaks of the earth and all that is in it will be burned up right down to the very molecules where the “elements will melt with fervent heat.”
Much more could be said about SDA-ism but it would just be a repetition of the many blunders and false assertions they and all false teachings adhere to. Interestingly, there are several dualities that SDA shares with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They both are guilty of much plagiarism, both have their own Bible version in which they have changed the Word of God to suit their false theologies, both claim to be the true believers, both claim that Michael the archangel is Jesus, both have set many false dates, both constantly cover up their errors, and both teach the unbiblical false doctrine of soul sleep (where a soul is in a state of rest awaiting the resurrection). While admittedly the Mormon Church has done and is doing the most covering up of their many errors, SDA is probably second in line with their cover ups.
In The White Truth, a book written by John J. Robertson in which he was trying to defend Ellen G. White while she was being sued for yet another plagiarizing work, he wrote, “What we are as a church is a reflection of our faith in the divine authority evident in the writings of Ellen G. White.” (P. 61) It’s amazing but what evidence could there possibly be? The sixty-six books of the Bible are the completed canon of Scripture. No other work, whether good, bad, or indifferent, can match God’s standard of perfection. The Bible is Jesus in written form. The Son of God is revealed in WORDS known as the Word of God, or LOGOS in Greek, in human form the Word became incarnate, that is to say He took on flesh through being born of a virgin, whom we know as the man Jesus who walked the region of Galilee, as John 1:14 makes crystal clear. Hebrews 1:1-3 cannot be more persuasive about the fact that God used to speak through prophets of old - before the Cross - but NOW, after the Cross, He speaks to us through His Son (the written LOGOS), not through Ellen White, Joseph Smith, Charles T. Russell, Mohammad, David Koresh, Jim Jones, the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, the Pope, any Hindu Yogi, or anybody else.
Why don’t people just trust the Bible which is God’s Word to you and me and indeed to everyone? (NOTE: We recommend any older version of the KJV, NKJV, American Standard, and some others in English because most new Bibles which have come out in the last 30 years are heavily perverted and are thus not the Scriptures at all. Avoid the Renovare’ Bible (New-Age/ Emergent theology), the Queen James Bible(pro-homosexual), the Clear Word Bible (SDA), New World Translation Bible (JW’s), Eugene Peterson’s the Message New Testament Bible, the NIV, (which has more than 3000 subtle changes from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts), and many more “versions”. It goes without saying that extreme discernment must be applied to even choosing a Bible that is actually THE BIBLE.