SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS - ARE THEY CHRISTIAN?
From the Bible Based Cults & Isms Web Site.
Ellen G. White founded this religion, though she was a follower of one William Miller of New York, who propounded much of what Mrs. White later adopted for her religion. It is interesting to note that a 7th Day Adventist Physician, Dr. William Russel, wrote in 1869 that 'Mrs White's visions are the result of a diseased organization or condition of the brain or nervous system." While we should feel pity for Mrs. White, we must point out that her teachings were, and are, BLASPHEMY AND DIRECTLY OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE VERY WORD OF GOD SAYS!
The standard work of Mrs. White is THE GREAT CONTROVERSY BETWEEN CHRIST AND SATAN which has been published many times. This is, perhaps THE most authoritative expose of Adventist teachings. One of Mrs. White's counselors and intimates, D.M. Canwright, wrote about Mrs White, "She often copies her subject matter without credit or sign of quotation from other authors. Indeed her last book, THE GREAT CONTROVERSY, which they laud so highly as her greatest work, is largely (mainly in the historic parts) a compilation of Andrews' HISTORY OF THE SABBATH; HISTORY OF THE WALDENSES, by Wylie; LIFE OF MILLER, by White; THOUGHTS ON REVELATION, by Smith, and other books." Additional denouncements were made, both by Adventists and other critics concerning plagerism by Mrs. White, yet the preface to the current published version still reads: "We believe she has been empowered by Divine illumination to speak of some past events, which have been brought to her knowledge with greater minuteness than is set forth in any existing records, and to read the future with more than human foresight."
Although there are MANY heresies within the Adventist church, we will deal with six of the areas that the Adventists feel are mandatory teachings:
(1) Seventh Day Adventism denies the Biblical Doctrine of the COMPLETE atoneing Sacrifice of Christ as THE ONLY means of man's salvation. This is the most serious of the heresies of the Adventist. We quote Mrs. White: "The ministration of the priest throughout the years in the first apartment of the sanctuary (which sanctuary Mrs. White places in heaven and not on earth.) ... Represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension ... For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record." -THE GREAT CONTROVERSY- We have yet to obtain an answer from the Adventist to the question, How are sins pardoned YET kept on the books?
(2) Seventh Day Adventism denies the FINALITY of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. They THUS claim Jesus to be a LIAR in His statement, "IT IS FINISHED!" Again, we quote Mrs. White: "As in typical service, there was work for atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ's work for redemption of men IS COMPLETED, there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2,300 days ended.
(NOTE: Mrs White taught that this was the year 1844!) At that time, as foretold by Daniel the Prophet, our high priest entered the most Holy to perform the LAST DIVISION of His solemn work to CLEANSE THE SANCTUARY ... in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ, and TRANSFERRED, IN FACT, TO THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY ... so the actual cleansing of the heavenly (sanctuary) is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins that are there recorded. But, BEFORE this can be accomplished, there MUST BE AN EXAMINATION OF THE BOOKS of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His Atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a WORK OF INVESTIGATION - a work of judgement. Those who followed in the light of the prophetic word saw that, INSTEAD OF COMING TO THE EARTH at the termination of the 2,300 days in 1844 (as "prophet" William Miller had widely proclaimed), Christ entered in to the most holy place of the heavenly, to PERFORM the CLOSING WORK OF ATONEMENT preparatory to his coming."
-THE GREAT CONTROVERSY-
We feel it helpful to outline some history. William Miller prophesied that Christ would come (This is where the name 'ADVENTIST' - One who looks to the ADVENT) in 1844. We need not ask if this happened - it was a false prophesy! Look at what the Bible has to say about False Prophets. Mrs. White then stepped in with her "higher revelation" that Christ only went into the "heavenly sanctuary" and, as shown above, to "COMPLETE" the work that he started here on earth! This is what the Adventists refer to as "investigative judgement" -preparation for His Second coming.
We do not find a reference, in the BIBLE, for such an act of Christ nor do we find reference to a sanctuary in heaven. We cannot find reference to sin being in heaven as claimed above in Mrs. White's book! It would seem, from the writings, that THE SANCTUARY, in some manner actually becomes the sin bearer or mediator for believers!
(3) Adventism has declared SATAN to be JOINT SIN BEARER, and the vicarious substitute of the sinner! ONCE AGAIN, we quote Mrs. White: "It was seen also that while the sin-offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as the mediator, the SCAPEGOAT typified SATAN, the author of sin, upon WHOM THE SINS OF THE TRULY PENITENT WILL FINALLY BE PLACED. When the high priest by virtue of the blood of the sin-offering removed the sins from the sanctuary, he placed them upon the scapegoat. When Christ, BY VIRTUE OF HIS OWN BLOOD, REMOVES THE SINS OF HIS PEOPLE FROM THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY AT THE CLOSE OF HIS MINISTRATION, HE WILL PLACE THEM ON SATAN, who in the execution of judgement must bear final penalty. The scapegoat was sent into a land not inhabited, never to come again into the congregation of Israel. So will SATAN be forever banished from the presence of God and His people and HE WILL BE BLOTTED FROM EXISTENCE IN THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF SIN AND THE SINNER."
-THE GREAT CONTROVERSY-
Here, we have total elimination of the most loving doctrine of the Bible - JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH. And the belief that SATAN is substitute for the FINISHED WORK on Calvary by CHRIST, is more than heresy - it is final condemnation to the Lake of Fire as shown in Revelation.
Mrs. White alleged that she found this teaching in Leviticus 23 and the Book of Daniel. We have asked Adventists to show us this teaching ANYWHERE in the BIBLE - to date they have not. (3/15/82). Let us look at WHAT THE BIBLE DOES, IN FACT, SAY TO REFUTE THIS LIE BY MRS. WHITE.
"Without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22) "The blood maketh atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11) "Redeemed by the precious blood of CHRIST" (I Peter 1:19) "Who His own self bare OUR SINS in HIS OWN BODY on the tree" (I Peter 2:24) "Made peace through the blood of His cross" (Colossians 1:20) "Made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13) "He that believeth on HIM is not condemned" (John 3:18) "There is therefore NOW NO CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24) "The blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS (God's) SON cleanseth us from ALL SIN" (I John 1:7)
(4) Adventism believes Christ inherited a sinful, fallen nature. In the Adventist publication BIBLE READINGS FOR THE HOME CIRCLE, page 115 in the 1915 edition, we read: "In His humanity Christ partook of our sinful, fallen nature. If not, then He was not 'made like unto His brethren," was not 'in all points tempted like as we are," did not overcome as we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the complete and perfect Saviour man needs and must have to be saved." This can be restated - Believe in what we say OR YOU HAVE NO SAVIOUR! Continuing: "The idea that Christ was born of an immaculate or sinless mother (Note - This is adopted ONLY by the ROMAN church - not evangelical believers!), inherited no tendencies to sin, and for this reason did not sin, removes Him from the realm of a fallen world, and from the very place where help is needed. On His human side, Christ inherited just what every child OF ADAM inherits - a sinful nature. On the divine side, from His very conception He was begotten and born of the Spirit. And all this was done to place mankind on vantage- ground, and to demonstrate that IN THE SAME WAY everyone who is 'born of the Spirit' may gain victories over sin in his own sinful flesh. Thus each one is to overcome as CHRIST OVERCAME. (as in Revelation 3:21). Without this birth there can be no victory over temptation, and no salvation from sin, John 3:3-7"
We need to investigate the above teaching VERY CAREFULLY. In the BIBLE, we are told that we are partakers of God's Holiness (Hebrew 12:10); God and Christ ARE ONE as in John 10:30. Above, we are told that Christ partook "OUR SINFUL, FALLEN NATURE." The BIBLE tells us JESUS was "Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners". Adventists would like us to believe that one could be "holy and undefiled" yet have a "sinful, fallen nature!" If CHRIST INHERITED a sinful, fallen nature, then HE WAS SUCH FOR HIS WHOLE LIFE! This MAKES IT NECESSARY THAT CHRIST, HIMSELF, WOULD NEED A SAVIOR!
(5) The Final Heresy is the dogma of "SOUL SLEEP" based on the teaching, found in many of the Adventist pamphlets, etc: "upon the fundamental error of 'natural immortality' rest the doctrine of consciousness in death, a doctrine like eternal torment, opposed to the teaching of the Scriptures, to the dictates of reason and to our feelings of humanity. The theory of 'eternal punishment' is one of the false doctrines that constitute the wine of the abominations of Babylon...They received it from Rome, as they received the false Sabbath."
This teaching ignores Paul's statement "Absent from the Body, PRESENT WITH THE LORD" or "To be WITH CHRIST, which is FAR better." We, also, cannot find ANY explanation of the term "NATURAL IMMORTALITY" - especially when we see epitaphs in the newspaper EVERY day! God is not the God of confusion and, we feel these teachings are illogical, and contrary to the expressed Word of God.
(6) Adventists DEMAND believers to come back under the LAW and away from GRACE, in their demand that the SABBATH is to be followed WITHOUT QUESTION. Mrs White wrote of a vision, thusly: "I was taken into Heaven and shown the sanctuary and its appointments. Jesus raised the cover of the ark, and I beheld the tablets of stone on which the ten commandments were written. I was amazed as I saw the Fourth Commandment in the very center of the ten precepts, with a soft halo of light encircling it."
The Adventists claim that the Council of Laodicia in 364 A.D. changed the Sabbath to Sunday. Additionally, they claim that Christians are still under the Law of Moses and are bound to keep the "least of its precepts" - therefore keep the Sabbath. Let us review these issues in full:
The Sabbath was given as a "sign" and perpetual covenant between Jehovah and Israel, as shown in Exodus 31:12-18. The Ten Commandments, of which the law of the Sabbath is the fourth, were written by the finger of God on tablets of stone. These commandments are called the "ministrations of death" and the "ministration of condemnation," "written and engraven in stone" (Corinthians 3:7,9), which ministration, the HOLY SPIRIT tells us, is "done away" and "abolished" (verses 11,13), and in its place we have the "ministrations of the Spirit" and "the ministration of righteousness" (verses 8,9). Thus we read "Let no man therefore judge you .. of a Sabbath day" (Colossians 2:16 - also Romans 14:5,6).
WE also read that the "handwriting of ordinances" was "blotted out" and "nailed" to Christ's cross (as of old, bills were nailed to the doorpost when paid), for Christ has FULFILLED the law on our behalf, met it EVERY claim.
Look also to Romans 6:14) where we are placed in a POSITION of FREEDOM from the Law, "Ye are not under the law, but under GRACE" (See also Romans 7:4,6 and Galatians 5:18). The ENTIRE book of Galatians is directed at this main issue. The rebuke is given by Paul to those who sought to bring the Gentile converts under the yoke of the law as given in ACTS 15. We feel it is still applicable to the Adventists: "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" (Verse 10)
If the SABBATH was to be a MANDATORY precept to be followed OR LOSS OF SALVATION occurred, then WHY does the BIBLE not make this evident, especially in the discourse of the Council of Jerusalem in ACTS 15. Why did the APOSTLES, instead refer to those who were teaching this heresy as "those who troubled you with words and subverting your souls?" If this precept were mandatory, why is there not ONE single verse demanding compliance in the NEW TESTAMENT?
The sad part is that EVEN the ADVENTISTS do not follow the SABBATH laws as mandated in the OLD TESTAMENT. Look at Leviticus 23:32, where the Sabbath was to be kept from SUNSET to SUNSET, or Jeremiah 17:21, where it states that NO BURDEN could be carried within 24 hours, or Exodus 35:3, where no fire could be kindled and Exodus 16:23, where NO COOKING could be done. What THIS means is that EVERY ADVENTIST IS CONDEMNED BY THEIR OWN STANDARD.
We pray for the release from this bondage by Adventists. We ask that you check out this teaching, if you are Adventist or have Adventist friends or relatives. Show them the Love of God that provided Christ to pay for their sins. A Christ (Messiah) that by the BIBLE had to be PURE and without BLEMISH! Jesus Christ, the ONLY son of God, was AND IS that - "The Lamb of God that taketh away the sins OF THE WORLD" as John the Baptist recognized, even then. Jesus loved you enough to die in YOUR place. Jesus LOVES you, now to provide for TOTAL release from the yoke you now live under. Come to JESUS
-Computers for Christ