IS SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM A CULT?
SDA has Extra Biblical writings which are considered inspired which is an addition to the scripture
Even though the SDA Church accepts the Bible as the inspired and authoritative, it also has other extra biblical writings which it considers inspired. The writings of their prophetess Ellen G. White are held in high honour and considered authoritative.
Who was Ellen G. White and what were her writings?
Ellen G. White (1827-1915) was formerly a Methodist who became a leader of the Adventists in 1863. She was converted to Adventism through the preaching of William Miller. Miller predicted Christ would return in 1843 then later changed the date to October 22,1844. When his prophecy failed many of his followers were disappointed and the movement was divided into many factions. Ellen who was 17 year then came into the scene by claiming that she had received visions to explain the failed prophecy. She claimed that actually Christ entered the holy of holies on that day in 1844 to complete the work of atonement and investigative judgement. Here is an excerpt from their official website www.adventist.org
There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle that the Lord set up and not humans. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. At His ascension, He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and, began His intercessory ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the holy place of the earthly sanctuary. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary. 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. (https://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental-beliefs/restoration/christs-ministry-in-the-heavenly-sanctuary).
Writings of Ellen G. White
Seventh day Adventist view Ellen G. White as an inspired prophet. She wrote more than 40 books and 5000 articles. The seventh day Adventist considers her writings to be inspired. Here is a list of some of the her most prominent books:
– The great controversy
– The desire of ages
– Patriarchs and prophets
– The acts of the apostles
– Prophets and kings
The following is the official statement of SDA General assembly held in 2015,
“As delegates to the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, we express our deep gratitude to God for the continuing presence of the various spiritual gifts among His people (1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11-14), and particularly for the prophetic guidance we have received through the life and ministry of Ellen G White (1827-1915).
On the centennial of her death, we rejoice that her writings have been made available around the globe in many languages and in a variety of printed and electronic formats.
We reaffirm our conviction that her writings are divinely inspired, truly Christ-centered, and Bible-based. Rather than replacing the Bible, they uplift the normative character of Scripture and correct inaccurate interpretations of it derived from tradition, human reason, personal experience, and modern culture.
We commit ourselves to study the writings of Ellen G White prayerfully and with hearts willing to follow the counsels and instructions we find there. Whether individually, in the family, in small groups, in the classroom, or in the church, a combined study of the Bible and her writings provide a transforming and faith-uplifting experience. We encourage the continued development of both worldwide and local strategies to foster the circulation of her writings inside and outside the church. The study of these writings is a powerful means to strengthen and prepare His people for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
This statement was voted by the General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventists Church in San Antonio, Texas, July 2-11, 2015. The Adventist Home, page 479, indicates that the Conflict of the Ages series “should be placed in every family in the land.”
It is clear that the SDA church has the writings of E.G. White and the Bible. This means one thing and that is THE BIBLE ALONE IS NOT A SUFFICIENT, INFALLIBLE SOURCE OF AUTHORITY FOR CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE.
SDA teaches that Christ had a sinful human nature similar to that of Adam after the fall.
They teach that the human nature of Jesus Christ was not only weakened by sin, but had propensities toward sin itself. His nature was like that of Adam after the fall. Because of his success in overcoming sin, Jesus is primarily our example.
Adventists affirm (in a Publication of the Seventh Day Adventists) the following about Christ:
“Jesus also, himself, likewise, took part of the same” fallen, weakened, sin-affected, sin-infected, human nature, that by total dependence and reliance upon the Father, He could kill sin’s power by paying sin’s wages, death on the cross in the human body of His sin-weakened, fallen human nature.
He became one of us in that he took on, at His incarnation (or “en-flesh-ment”), the same weakened, fallen, human raw material — “sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3) that we have as a result of the fall. Sinless human nature before the fall could not die, but sinful human flesh after the fall could die. That’s the kind of human nature, “sinful flesh” that the Bible teaches Jesus assumed at His incarnation and finally to His death on the cross.”
But what does the bible say:
“You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 (ESV).
“For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.” Heb 7:26-27 ESV.
“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Hebrews 9:14 ESV
Christ’s nature according to the scripture is both divine and human. The two natures are joined together in what we call the hypostatic union. The SDA have no problem with the divine nature of Christ. They believe that He was both God and Man, which is true and Biblical. However, regarding Christ’s human nature, they hold a very heretical view. Claiming that Christ possessed a sinful nature not only negates from Christ but actually makes atonement a joke. How could one with a sinful nature and sinful tendencies pay for the sins of men. The Bible is clear that only a perfect sacrifice could atone for the sins of men. Only a lamb without blemish was used for atonement.
The above verses show with no reasonable doubt that Christ was holy, unstained and that he did not need … “to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.” (Heb 7:26-27)
The SDA is a CULT by the fact that they subtract from Christ and present a Christ with a sinful nature – an imperfect Christ. A Christ that cannot satisfy God’s wrath. A Christ that presents a lame sacrifice to the father. Another Jesus! Jesus Christ of the Bible was holy, unstained, sinless and presented a perfect sacrifice to the father as atonement for the sins of men.
SDA teaches Salvation equals faith plus works
According to SDA theology, your salvation in the last days boils down to the day you worship on. In other words, there is no salvation outside the SDA church. Great emphasis is laid upon the teaching that the Sabbath day is on Saturday, and if a person does not keep Saturday as Sabbath, he cannot be saved.
The Bible says we are saved by grace through faith and nothing more. Ephesians 2:8-9.
They believe that the atonement through Jesus is not complete until He comes again, only your past sins are forgiven by grace up to that point. Justification is for sins committed in the past only. The Bible says that the atoning work of Jesus is finished, never again to be repeated: John 19:30; Hebrews 9:24-28
SDA teaches that they are the only true, remnant church…. only those who keep all God’s commandments including the sabbath
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SDA Church) holds itself to be the one true Church. The final remnant Church.
They believe that in the last days just before Christ returns, only those worshipping on Saturday will be saved. They particularly believe that worshipping on Sunday will be the mark of the beast. They consider themselves to be the only true, remnant church and all others will be condemned in time.
So, from what we read in the Bible, the “true church” of God will be those who keep all of God’s commandments, including the Sabbath, and have the faith and character of Jesus.
The bible says that the true church is not a visible church or denomination or an institution. The true Church are those who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, those have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, those whose names are written in lambs book of life. EPH 2:8-9.
For those who have been saved, it doesn’t matter the Church building or denomination they belong to, they are the true Church.
Other unbiblical teachings of the SDA
They Deny the immortality of the soul.
They teach that the wicked are annihilated.
They Deny the eternality of hell fire.
They teach that Jesus is Michael the Archangel.
They teach investigative judgement
What is the SDA teaching about the “sabbath day”?
SDA Church has been founded with Saturday sabbath at the center of their faith. Their name Seventh-day Adventist says it all. Founded on Saturday sabbath and belief in the advent of Christ. Their leader and founder, Ellen G. White said he had a vision to heaven was shown the center and prime commandment to be the one on sabbath. Here is Mrs. White’s “vision” of the Sabbath day:
“Elder Bates was resting upon Saturday, the seventh day of the week, and he urged it upon our attention as the true Sabbath. I did not feel its importance, and thought that he erred in dwelling upon the fourth commandment more than upon the other nine. But the Lord gave me a view of the heavenly sanctuary. The temple of God was opened in heaven, and I was shown the ark of God covered with the mercy seat. Two angels stood one at either end of the ark with their wings spread over the mercy seat and their faces turned toward it. This, my accompanying angel informed me, represented all the heavenly hosts looking with reverential awe toward the law of God; which had been written by the finger of God. Jesus raised the cover of the ark, and I beheld the tables 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. Said the angel, ‘It is the only one of the ten which defines the living God who created the heavens and the earth and all things that are therein.’” (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, Pages 95 and 96.)
The SDA claim the following about sabbath:
The sabbath is a memorial of creation and had no ceremonial significance by foreshadowing something to come. (This is an excerpt from the sdanet.org).
“All Seventh-day Adventists, as creationists, believe in the Genesis record of a fiat creation (Gen. 1:1 to 2: 2), with the seventh day as God’s recorded and attested rest day, and the sabbath given as the perpetual memorial of that creation”
“We believe that the moral law in its original form, though the wording has not been … rest day, and the Sabbath given as the perpetual memorial of that creation…have any ceremonial significance by foreshadowing something to come…”
The Sabbath of the fourth commandment had no ceremonial or typical significance that could be either “fulfilled” or “abrogated” in Christ. It was not instituted as part of the tabernacle ritual at Sinai, and did not point forward to the atoning sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. Instead, the Sabbath remained the established memorial of the original creation, hence pointed back to the work of the Creator. And this, by its very nature, could be neither fulfilled nor abrogated as long as His work of creation stands.
A Biblical Response to Their Claim
The Bible indicates that the Sabbath points both forward and backwards. Hebrews 4 makes a comparison between the rest of sabbath day and the rest of heavenly glory:
“For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works. For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. Hebrews 4:4,8-11.
From the above verses it is clear that the sabbath is a type of heavenly rest and does not just have a commemorative significance. It is true that the sabbath has its root in the creation and its binding to all mankind but the coming of Christ has brought a change of order in which day the rest is observed. Since Christ rose from the dead on the first of the week, that was the beginning of the Christian sabbath. A day called ‘The Lord’s Day:
Acts 20:7: On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
1 Cor 16:2: On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come
Paul says in Colossians that Sabbath was a shadow of what is to come- Christ is the substance.
Col 2:16-17 “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day, things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”
They teach and believe in the restoration of the sabbath by citing Revelation 14
Revelation 14:9-12 (ESV): “And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”
They claim that the three angel’s messages pointed to the mission of the SDA Church to restore true worship of God – Saturday sabbath.
The third angel’s message is a strong warning against worshipping the beast and his image and receiving the mark of the beast (deliberate Sunday-keeping). “The papacy has attempted to change the law of God. The second commandment, forbidding image worship, has been dropped from the law, and the fourth commandment has been so changed as to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. But papists urge, as a reason for omitting the second commandment, that it is unnecessary, being included in the first, and that they are giving the law exactly as God designed it to be understood. This cannot be the change foretold by the prophet. An intentional, deliberate change is presented: ‘He shall think to change the times and the law.’ The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy. For this the only authority claimed is that of the church. Here the papal power openly sets itself above God.”—Great Controversy, p. 446.
A Biblical Response to Their Claim:
Revelation 14:9-12 has nothing to do with sabbath.
They claim that the New testament emphasizes the observance of the seventh day as the sabbath.
They claim that Our Lord Jesus Christ observed the Sabbath. They say that Apostle Paul observed the seventh day rather than the first day.
A Biblical Response to Their Claim:
That argument does not hold water because it is evident that Christ, who was a Jew, fulfilled the OT regulations before he went on the cross. Christ was circumcised, was dedicated at the temple, observed feasts etc. After paying for the sins of men on the cross, Christ rose again on the first day of the week. It is important to note that He then went to appear to his disciples on successive first days of the week.
Apostle Paul went to the synagogues for one purpose to witness to the Jews. Acts 20:7 talks of a Church gathering for worship on a Sunday and Paul preached the sermon.
“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” Acts 20:7
WHY DO WE HOLD ON TO A SUNDAY SABBATH CALLED THE LORD’S DAY?
The first day of the week was the day on which our Lord rose from the dead. Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. (John 20:1).
The first day of the week is called “the Lord’s day” and the early church met on that day to worship:
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day….” (Rev 1:10)
“On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.” (1 Cor 16:2).
The first day was the day on which the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church. (Acts 2:1-36)
There is sufficient historical evidence from the early church regarding Sunday worship.
Justin Martyr (100 – 165 AD), in his first apology (chapter LXVII), says, “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs and exhorts to the imitation of these good things […] But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.”
Ignatius (35 or 50 – from 98 to 117 AD), the third bishop of Antioch, in his epistle to the Magnesians (9), writes, “We have seen how former adherents of the ancient customs have since attained to a new hope; so that they have given up keeping the sabbath, and now order their lives by the Lord’s day instead (the Day when life first dawned for us, thanks to Him and His death. That death, though some deny it, is the very mystery which has moved us to become believers, and endure tribulation to prove ourselves pupils of Jesus Christ, our sole Teacher).”
Origen (184/185 – 253/254 AD) further writes, “On Sunday none of the actions of the world should be done. If then, you abstain from all the works of this world and keep yourselves free for spiritual things, go to church, listen to the readings and divine homilies, meditate on heavenly things.”
How do SDAs interpret Revelation 14:6-11?
“Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Rev 14:6-12)
The SDA Church call that portion of scripture the “Three Angel’s Message” which they say is to prepare the world for the second coming of Christ. It considers that portion of Scripture to be its main mission as the only true and last remnant Church. They say they are called to proclaim that message. In the 28 fundamental beliefs of the SDA we have the following as the Mission of the Remnant church.
The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. -Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh Day Church:
“In accordance with God’s uniform dealing with mankind, warning them of coming events that will vitally affect their destiny, He has sent forth a proclamation of the approaching return of Christ. This preparatory message is symbolized by the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, and meets its fulfillment in the great Second Advent Movement today. This has brought forth the remnant, or Seventh-day Adventist Church, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual).
How they interpret the passage:
The first angel (Rev 14:6-7):
“Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7 And he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’” Rev 14:6-7
They say that the first angel’s message is the “everlasting gospel” – the “good news of God’s infinite love”. It is also a warning that the investigative judgement has begun and a call to worship the Creator of the world, specifically in the keeping of the Sabbath commandment. “The first angel’s message calls for the restoration of true worship by presenting before the world Christ the Lord of Sabbath.
Biblical response to this claim:
Interpreting keeping of the sabbath in the text is the epitome of deception. A call to worship God and to fear Him is what the text says. Claiming true worship has something to do with keeping Saturday sabbath is heretical. The Bible says in Col 2:16-17, “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”
Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and nothing more is required to be a true Christian. Worship of God has nothing to do with a day or place. God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth – John 4:23-24.
Investigative judgement is a man-made doctrine with no scriptural basis. The judgement of God spoken of there is not what the SDA Church teach
The second Angel (Rev 14:8):
Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”
Babylon is considered to be the Apostate church which the SDA consider to mean the Roman catholic church, the papacy and the protestants who reject the truth. In Revelation 14 the first angel is followed by a second proclaiming: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” (Revelation 14:8). The term “Babylon” is derived from “Babel,” and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate religion. – E.G White, The Great Controversy.
The third angel (Revelation 14:9-11):
“And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.’”
“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. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 117.)
“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 (Letter 31, 1898, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 979.)
The third angel, according to the SDA, identifies the remnant people of God by the following three main characteristics:
The patience of saints, which is developed under great tribulation.
The keeping of the commandments of God, including the seventh-day Sabbath, which is the seal of the living God and the special sign between Him and His people.
The upholding of the faith of Jesus which is the everlasting gospel and faith in His power to save to the uttermost those who accept Him as their personal Saviour.
In summary they claim,
– Those who do not keep seventh day (Saturday) sabbath are not God’s remnant.
– Observance of the first day of the week is the mark of the beast.
– Those who observe seventh day sabbath have the seal of God etc.
Contrary to SDA teachings, the third angel’s message warning on the mark of the beast has nothing to do with a day of worship (Saturday).
Not once in the New Testament is Sunday ever referred to as the Mark of the Beast.
What is the SDA teaching about “investigative judgement”?
Adventists teach that a cosmic investigative judgement is happening right now. It began in 1844 as the fulfilment of the time prophecy in Daniel 8:14. As the antitypical Day of Atonement, the heavenly sanctuary is being cleansed from our sins with the blood of Christ. In this process our individual records may come up any day to reveal our destiny. Seventh-day Adventists believe that salvation is not universal. Wondering whether we will be saved is legitimate. Salvation can be lost by the free action of the will. Here is the part of the fundament beliefs of the SDA church;
“There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle that the Lord set up and not humans. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. At His ascension, He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and, began His intercessory ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the holy place of the earthly sanctuary. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary. 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 summary, this unbiblical teaching says that Jesus entered into the Holy of Holies in 1844 to begin his work of Investigative Judgment, i.e., the process of deciding who is “worthy” to enter heaven or not.
How do we respond to such a teaching?
There is nothing taught in the Scriptures about a “second phase” of Christ’s atoning work. If this be true (which it is not), then salvation can ONLY be found through Seventh-Day Adventism. The notion of a “second phase” of redemption is exclusive to SDA. The Investigative Judgment is a bizarre teaching, not based upon genuine Scriptural teachings.
The SDA doctrine of the Investigative Judgment implies that Christ’s work of redemption was insufficient, and that Jesus needs to continue His redemptive work in Heaven. The Bible does NOT teach such nonsense. It is blasphemy against the Word of God! The blood which Jesus applied to the heavenly mercy seat was all-sufficient and acceptable to the Father. Christ’s work of redemption was complete.
The SDAs talk out of both-sides-of-their-mouth. On one hand they say that Jesus died once; YET, they simultaneously claim that there is a “second phase” to redemption.
This teaching is lie that was fabricated as a cover up for William Millers failed prophecy. William Miller predicted the Lord’s return in 1844, and when it didn’t happen his followers fabricated a bigger lie to cover it up, calling the new doctrine, Investigative Judgment.