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STUDIES IN THE

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM


% weekly % of U.S. pop.
# who church Church
Denomination affiliate with % of U.S. pop. attendance attendance

Catholic 50,873,000 24.50% 48% 11.74%

Baptist 33,830,000 16.30% 50% 8.13%

Methodist 14,150,000 6.80% 49% 3.33%


Lutheran 9,580,000 4.60% 43% 1.98%

Pentecostal/ Charismatic/
Foursquare 4,407,000 2.10% 66% 1.40%
Presbyterian 5,596,000 2.70% 49% 1.32%
Mormon/ 2,697,000 1.30% 71% 0.92%
Non-denominational 2,489,000 1.20% 61% 0.73%
Church of Christ 2,593,000 1.20% 58% 0.72%
Episcopal/Anglican 3,451,000 1.70% 30% 0.50%
Assemblies of God 1,106,000 0.50% 69% 0.37%

Congregational/
United Church of Christ
Seventh-Day Adventist 724,000 0.30% 47% 0.16%
Symbol of the
Seventh-Day Adventist Church

The Bible-as open and its foundation

The Cross-Central to the Biblical message

Flame-Holy Spirit, the messenger of truth


History of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The origin of the Seventh-day Adventists
can be traced to the Millerite Movement of the
19th Century. This movement was largely
responsible for what has been called the Great
second advent awakening. William Miller
(1782-1849) was a farmer who settled in
upstate New York after the war of 1812. He was
originally a Deist (a person who believes that
God created the universe but has not been
actively involved since). After two years of
private Bible study, Miller converted to
Christianity and became a Baptist lay leader.
He was convinced that the Bible contained
coded information about the end of the world and
the Second Coming of Jesus. He also realized that
he had an obligation to teach his findings to
others. In 1831, he started to preach; the next year,
he wrote articles about his findings. In 1833, he
published a pamphlet on end-time prophecy. In
1836, his book Evidences from Scripture and
History of the Second Coming of Christ about the
Year 1843 was published.
One of the key texts that he interpreted was in
the Book of Daniel: Daniel heard two angels
talking; one asked how long it will take until the
destruction of the Temple is avenged and it is
restored to its rightful state. The other replied in

Daniel 8:14 "And he said onto me, unto 2,300 days,


then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

Miller believed that the 2,300 days were each of


one year duration and that the interval started in
457 BCE. He concluded that the cleansing of the
temple (i.e. the Second Coming) would occur
sometime between two spring equinoxes:1843-
MAR-21 to 1844-MAR-21.
He found other methods of calculating the
end time which also seemed to point to the year
1843 CE. In common with all other predictions
of the Second Coming, the end didn't happen on
cue. Samuel Snow, a follower of Miller, then
interpreted the "tarrying time" referred to in
Habakkuk 2:3 as equal to 7 months and 10 days,
delaying the end time to 1844-OCT-22. That
prophecy also did not come to pass. Many
believers left the movement in what has become
known as The Great Disappointment.
Ellen Harmon (later known by her married
name Ellen White) joined with other Adventists,
including Joseph Bates, and her husband
James White to form a small group of Baptist,
Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian
believers in Washington NH. The church was
formally organized as the Seventh-day
Adventist Church. on 1863-MAY-21. She
believed that the 1844 prediction was correct,
but that it referred to the start of an
Investigative Judgment. This is a time when
Christ will judge the dead and the living on earth
for righteousness. She predicted that this would
soon be followed by the second coming of
Jesus.
Victor Houteff joined the SDA church in
1919. His beliefs deviated from main-line church
doctrine. This became obvious when he wrote
his book The Shepherd's Rod in which he
outlined errors that he found within the church.
He left the church and formed a new sect in
1929 called the Davidian Seventh-day
Adventists. This group split further and
eventually led to the organization of the The
Students of the Seven Seals, popularly known
as the Branch Davidians. In 1993, after a long
standoff with the FBI, the Branch Davidian's
compound burned down with major loss of life.
Questionable Beliefs
of the Seven-day Adventists
Baptism

“…Christ made it clear that He required baptism


of those who wished to become part of his
church, His spiritual kingdom.” “In baptism
believers enter into the passion experience of
our Lord.” “…[B]aptism also marks [a] person’s
entrance into Christ’s spiritual kingdom.…it
unites the new believer to Christ.… Through
baptism the Lord adds the new disciples to the
body of believers — His body, the church.…
Then they are members of God’s family” (SDA’s
Believe…, pp. 182, 184, 187).
Response

Although Baptism is important to the Christian


experience it is not salvation. “Water Baptism is
an outward symbol of an inward experience.”

Rom. 3:21–26, 28; 4:4–6, 23–24; 5:1; Gal. 2:16;


3:26; 5:1–6; Eph. 2:4–10; Col. 1:13–14; 2:13–14.
These passages make it clear that salvation is
entirely by God’s grace alone, apart from any
works, and laid hold of by faith alone.
The Sabbath

“…The divine institution of the Sabbath is to be


restored… The delivering of this message will
precipitate a conflict that will involve the whole
world. The central issue will be obedience to
God's law and the observance of the Sabbath.…
Those who reject it will eventually receive the
mark of the beast” (Ibid., pp. 262–63).
Ellen White and the Sabbath

In one of her most revered works, Ellen White


wrote that Sabbath observance would be the
“line of distinction” in the “final test” that will
separate God’s end-time people who “receive
the seal of God” and are saved, from those who
“receive the mark of the beast” (The Great
Controversy Between Christ and Satan, p. 605).

She also wrote of some Adventists failing to


understand that “Sabbath… observance was of
sufficient importance to draw a line between the
people of God and unbelievers” (p. 85).
Response

This is certainly against the gospel message.


As seen in the scripture above. See also, Rom.
14:5–6; Col. 2:16–17. The Old Testament
Sabbath was never anything more than a
shadow of the substance. The reality of the New
Testament Sabbath rest of God, which Paul and
the writer of Hebrews make clear, is Christ
Himself, and the rest one experiences from
one’s own works when one enters into Christ
(Heb. 4:1–10).
The Investigative Judgment:

“In 1844…[Christ] 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… 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”
(SDA’s Believe…, p. 312).
Response

The whole concept of the investigative


judgment is opposing to the Gospel. Jesus did
not wait until 1844 to enter the Holy of Holies in
heaven (Heb. 1:3; 6:19–20; 8:1; 9:6–12, 24;
12:2). Neither is he still making an atonement in
heaven (Heb. 9:25–26; 10:11–14). The
investigative judgment proposes to “vindicate
the justice of God in saving those who believe
in Jesus,” by showing they were “loyal,”
“penitent,” and “faithful” commandment
keepers. This is an outrage. God’s justice in
saving sinners is vindicated by Christ’s death
on the cross, period (Rom. 3:24–26).
Other distinctive SDA teachings

Vegetarianism and other “health”


issues; the doctrine of “soul sleep,” a
misnomer for the belief that between
death and resurrection one is essentially
non-existent except in the memory of
God; the annihilation of the wicked (as
opposed to conscious torment for
eternity).
Response

Some of the SDA health message may


actually be helpful, and it does not conflict with
the gospel except when, as is often the case,
spiritual stigma is attached to non-observance
of its asceticism (Gal. 2:11-16).

The soul-sleep doctrine conflicts with the


gospel because, closely examined and fully
understood, it actually constitutes a denial of
the resurrection (though it is doubtful any SDA
understands it to be so).
Notwithstanding a smattering of “proof-texts,”
the annihilation doctrine is definitely aberrant
from the teaching of the Bible. It leaves the sinner
facing no eternal consequences for his sin; angst
over annihilation will not survive annihilation.
Indeed, many people today think annihilation
preferable to even this life. They live on only
because they cannot shake the conviction that
there is “hell to pay.” God has set eternity in their
hearts (Eccl. 3:11).
Even when speaking of being saved by the
righteousness of Christ, Adventist writers refer
to imparted righteousness, seldom to the
biblical concept of imputed righteousness.
Calling it “Christ’s righteousness,” while
insisting on the believer’s perfection of
character as a prerequisite to salvation, is at
worst a thinly veiled works salvation, or at best
an attempt to mix grace and works, something
the Bible says is impossible to do (Rom. 11:6).
The error is compounded by the teaching
that this latter day 1844 event must be believed
in to exercise the proper faith necessary to be
saved. When Jesus said on the cross, “It is
finished,” i.e. completed, paid in full, it cannot
be that there is yet another salvation event
more than 1800 years later, just as essential to
salvation as Christ’s death on the cross, in
which one must believe in order to be saved.
This is clearly “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6–9).
Mrs. Whites words are crystal clear—one
will not be forgiven until all sins are eradicated
from one’s life and one’s character is perfected.
Precisely the same heresy is found (besides
many others) in Mormonism. It is not the
salvation by grace alone through faith alone
offered in the Bible.
Christians Response

I believe that a Christian must be very


careful with the Seventh-Day Adventists. One
of the major problems is the fact that they have
been inclusive. Not allowing themselve to be
part of any evangelical group.
They have also purposely pursued many from
the Christian church by purporting some false
doctrines.