SDA is a CULT

Indictments
We indict Seventh-Day Adventism on four main counts, leaving out lesser (though none the less false) theories.

Indictment #1 – Attitude Towards the Atonement
Seventh-Day Adventism denies the Biblical Doctrine of the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ as the only means of man’s salvation.

This is the first serious indictment. We shall prove it from Mrs. White’s own writings, so that we may not be accused of misrepresentation or exaggeration:

The ministration of the priests throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary (which sanctuary Mrs. White places in heaven and not on earth!-Ed.) . . . 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.

Can it be unreasonable for us to inquire, What in the name of all that’s reasonable does this mean? Sins pardoned and yet still on the books!

(a) Seventh-Day Adventism denies the finality of the work of Christ on the cross, hence it makes Christ’s last cry on the cross, “It is finished,” to be a lie!

As in typical service there was a work of 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 (according to Mrs. White this was in the year 1844! Evidently the nineteenth century was more wonderful than we had imagined!-Ed.). 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 to cleanse the sanctuary. . . in the new covenant the sins of moval, or blotting out, of the sins which 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 judgment. Those who followed in the light of the prophetic word saw that, instead of coming to earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844 (as Prophet William Miller had so dogmatically and widely proclaimed.—Ed.), Christ then entered in the most holy place of the heavenly, to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to his coming.—Ibid.

We have given this extended quotation on purpose to show a fair specimen of Mrs. White’s writings and teachings. Here then are the facts–William Miller prophesied that Christ would come (hence the name Adventist) in 1844, but He did not! So Mrs. White steps in to save the situation. A mistake has been made–it was not to earth but to the “heavenly sanctuary” He came. Why? Her fertile imagination was equal to the question-to complete the work of atonement, and to carry on something she calls “investigative judgment,” all preparatory to His coming to earth at some later date! She assumes therefore; (i) there is a sanctuary in heaven, though the Bible says nothing about it being in heaven; (ii) there is sin in heaven, though the Bible says nothing about it; (iii) that in some mysterious way not explainable the sanctuary has to be a kind of “mediator” and bear the sins of the believer for at least a time; (iv) this sanctuary needs cleansing nevertheless; and (v) this cleansing and investigating began in 1844. We find it difficult to decide whether to be shocked at its rank heresy, or to pity the one who can write such balderdash. But there is worse ahead.

Indictment #2 – Satan the Sin-Bearer
Seventh-Day Adventism declares Satan to be the joint sin-bearer, and the vicarious substitute of the sinner.

It was seen also that while the sin-offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as 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 upon Satan, who in the execution of the judgment must bear the 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

Dr. D. Anderson-Berry gives but a just estimate of this rigamarole in his book when he says:

We have the choicest doctrine of the Gospel, justification by faith, utterly contemned and set at naught. Nay, more, as if that were not enough to damn their doctrine, they dare to substitute for Christ’s finished work on the cross, SATAN’S vicarious suffering in bearing away the sins of the people of God into a land of utter annihilation. It does not lessen, the blasphemous grossness of the idea to say that it is wholly imaginary, the figment of the addled brain of a hysterical woman. It merely explains it!

If ever there was a “damnable heresy” (see 2 Peter 2: 1) surely it is here! Mrs. White professes to found all this teaching on Leviticus 23 and the book of Daniel. We confidently hand both books, yea, the whole Bible itself, to any mature, sane-thinking Christian and challenge him to find anywhere in the whole sixty-six books of the Divine Library, one jot or tittle of evidence or proof (set forth according to fundamental and eternal principles of exegesis), for such consummate trash. It seems an insult to offer such stuff for the serious consideration of a reasonable mind.

With this, compare the following few texts (selected out of a vast number) from the Word of God itself, and then ask yourself, reader, which you are prepared to believe and stake your soul’s destiny upon.

“without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb 9:22).

“it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things . . .But with the precious blood of Christ. . .” (1 Pet 1:18-19).

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree. . .”
(1 Peter 2: 24).

“having made peace through the blood of his cross” (Col 1:20).

“But now in Christ Jesus . . .ye are made nigh by the blood of Christ”
(Eph 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” (Rom. 8: 1).

“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3: 24).

“The blood of Jesus, Christ His (God’s) Son cleanseth us from ALL SIN”
(1 John 1: 7).

Indictment #3 – Christ’s Humanity
Seventh-Day Adventists teach that the Lord Jesus Christ inherited a sinful, fallen nature.

It may surprise and pain the reader to learn that the above-statement is actual FACT. If such is a foundation-stone on which the Seventh-Day Adventist church is founded, how can it stand? Such is not the Christ we have learnt to know–not the Holy Lord of Holy Writ.

The following extract, taken from one of their own publications–Bible Readings for the Home Circle, makes this astounding statement (p. 115, 1915 edition):—

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.

In other words they say, If you do not accept our teaching on the “sinful, fallen nature” of Christ, you have no Saviour! This writer continues: —

The idea that Christ was born of an immaculate or sinless mother,* 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 like victories over sin in his own sinful flesh. Thus each one is to overcome as Christ overcame (Rev. 3:21). Without this birth there can be no victory over temptation, and no salvation from sin, John 3: 3-7. (Their italics.)

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*This, the writer perfectly well knows, is a doctrine which is held by no body of evangelical Christians–it is Roman to the core.

Let us examine somewhat carefully the above teaching.

The Scripture tells us that we are partakers of God’s holiness (Heb. 12:10); God and Christ are one (John 10: 30); yet above we are assured that Christ “partook of our sinful, fallen nature!” What a contemptuous denial of Scripture! Are we not distinctly told that He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners?” How could He be at once “Holy” and “undefiled” and at the same time partake of our “fallen nature;” inherit what we as sinners inherited, and yet be “without sin” (“sin apart,” R. V.; see Heb. 7:26; 4: 15)?

After publishing the above quotation with these and other comments in The Indian Christian for January, 1927, we received a letter from the Editor of Oriental Watchman, the official organ of the Seventh-Day Adventist people in India, in which he sought to explain the teaching which he says, is orthodox to the very core!” We can only give short extracts as the letter covers more, than five type-written pages. He says:—

I wish to affirm definitely just the contrary to your conclusion by saying that if Jesus did not take our fallen nature in His own person (his italics) by His incarnation, fallen humanity is left without a saviour…
There was but one kind of humanity in the world that Jesus could have taken, and that is fully described in Romans, chapter three, where Paul describes it as sinful and fallen, and beyond all hope if left to itself.*
He who was holy and undefiled, had sin imputed unto Him. The sinful nature which He bore was not that which came by the sins of His own doing, for it is written of Him: “Who did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth” (I Pet. 2: 22), but they were the sins of imputation–sins committed by others which were laid upon Him.

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*He apparently does not know that: “Sin is no property of humanity at all, but the disordered state of our souls” (Faussett).

W. Kelly says: “Not a trace of evil was in Christ. He was man as truly as the first Adam–Son of man as Adam was not, but Son of Man which is in heaven–a Divine Person, yet none the less a Man. But for these very reasons He was capable and competent, according to the glory of His Person, to be dealt with by God for all that was unlike Him in us. Had there been the smallest taint in Him this could not have been done. The perfect absence of evil in this one Man furnished the requisite victim; as in Himself and all His ways the divine nature found satisfaction and delight. Would He then bear all? Be willing to go down to the depth of the judgment of all men, according to God’s estimate of the evil of our nature? The entire, unbroken, unmitigated judgment of God fell upon Him in order to deal with it and put it away forever. No less, I believe, is the force of Christ’s death for us.”

He also quotes 2 Cor. 5:21, and draws attention to Isaiah 53.

So, then, we are to understand that Christ carried the burden of imputed sin His whole life long, not only on the cross, for it was at His birth He inherited His human nature.

Again if Christ inherited a sinful, fallen nature, when did He disinherit it? Do they teach that He who is the same yesterday and today and forever, has taken His “sinful, fallen nature” to God’s right hand?

Let us now turn to orthodox teaching on this point. Dr. I. M. Haldeman of New York says of Christ:—

He was begotten of God from the seed of the woman, by and through the Holy Ghost. That which was begotten was not a person, but a nature—a human nature. This human nature was holy, Scripture calls it “that Holy Thing.” It was the holiness produced by and out of the Holy Ghost. It was the holiness produced by and out of God. It was, therefore, in its quality the holiness of God. Since its quality was the holiness of God, there was no sin in it, and no possible tendency to sin. This holy, sinless human nature was indissolubly joined to the eternal personality of the Son.

Dr. Griffith Thomas on Romans 8: 3* says: “Observe the wonderful fulfilment of this verse. Thus we have the Deity of Christ, ‘His own Son,’ the Incarnation ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh,’ that is, He was like us in all things except sin—Christ’s flesh was not sinful, never the seat of sin; and His atonement ‘for sin,’ which means ‘as an offering for sin’.”

Dr. C. I. Scofield says: “Our sins were borne ‘in His body,’ but not in His nature.”

Were the teaching of-the Seventh-Day Adventist church true we would have a monstrosity—Deity inheriting a sinful nature!

If this could have been so there could have been no sinless sacrifice, no hope for sinners, no Saviour. And how could it have been written: “The prince of this world cometh, and hath NOTHING, in Me” (John 14: 30). Further the Scripture says, “In Him Is No SIN” (1 John 3: 5)!

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*Rom. 8: 3 is nicely balanced. “Sinful” necessitates “likeness.” “Sinful flesh” would have meant that He Himself had needed a Saviour. “Likeness of flesh” would have meant that the Humanity of the Saviour was unreal—later the Docetic heresy (C. F. Hogg).

Indictment #4 – Soul Sleep
Seventh-Day Adventism believes in Soul-sleep after death and Conditional Immortality.

This indictment will not take up much of our time, as we deal with both these heresies elsewhere in this booklet (see separate articles). Mrs. White says:—

Upon the fundamental error of natural immortality rests 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.

Will the Seventh-Day Adventists explain then why Paul could use such language as, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord”; and, “to be with Christ, which is FAR BETTER”? Will Mrs. White tell us what “natural immortality” means, and who is so foolish to preach it, when we see thousands dying around us every day? Will Mrs. White or any of her disciples dare to set up “the feelings of humanity” against the plain Word of the Living God-“These (i.e., sinners) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal”? (See the article on Soul-sleep).

Indictment #5 – The Sabbath
The fourth indictment is that Seventh-Day Adventism tries to force the believer back under Law and so away from Grace, by their Sabbath teachings.

As the Seventh-Day Adventists materialized the sanctuary in heaven, they were forced to materialize everything. So besides an actual sanctuary in heaven, with candlesticks, curtains, table of showbread and ark, they were forced to add within the ark the two tables of stone, and call upon all to put themselves under the law. Mrs. White at first refused to believe that the Fourth Commandment was more binding than any other. Elder Bates urged its great importance until Mrs. White had a convenient vision, in which she asserted she was taken to heaven, and shown the sanctuary and its appointments! A description of her vision is given: “Jesus raised the cover of the ark, and she beheld the tables of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written. She was amazed as she saw the Fourth Commandment in the very center of the ten precepts, with a soft halo of light encircling it.

The Adventists have found a handle for their teachings in the erroneous way Christians speak about the first day of the week (the Lord’s Day) as if it were the Sabbath.

The Adventists claim that Christians being still under the Law of Moses, are bound to keep the “least of its precepts,” and therefore must keep the Sabbath. They also state that Protestants acknowledge that the Roman Catholic Church, away back in the year A.D. 364, at the Council of Laodicea, changed the Sabbath or Seventh day to Sunday or the First day. Neither statements are tenable when judged in the light of Scripture and early Church history.

The Sabbath was given as a “sign” and “perpetual covenant” between Jehovah and Israel, as is most clearly stated in Exodus 31: 12-18. The Ten Commandments, of which the law of the Sabbath is the fourth, were written with the finger of God on tables of stone. These commandments are called “the ministration of death” and “the ministration of condemnation,” “written and engraven in stone” (2 Cor. 3: 7, 9), which ministration, the Holy Spirit tells us, is “done away” and “abolished” (vers. 11, 13), and in its place we have “the ministration of the Spirit” and “the ministration of righteousness” (vers. 8, 9). Hence in Colossians 2: 16 we read, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” See also Rom. 14: 5, 6. Again we read in Colossians that the “handwriting of ordinances” was “blotted out” and “nailed” to Christ’s cross (as of old, bills were nailed to the doorpost when when paid), for Christ has fulfilled the law on our behalf, met its every claim.

Further, Scripture emphatically teaches our position of freedom from the law, e.g., “Ye are not under the law but under grace” (Rom. 6: 14; see also Rom. 7: 4, 6; Gal. 5: 18); indeed the Epistle to the Galatians was written to establish this very thing. The rebuke given to those who sought to bring the Gentile converts under the yoke of the law as given in Acts 15, still holds good for legalizers, such as the Seventh-Day 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?” (v. 10).

The Adventists say:-

Christ further declares that whosoever breaks even so much as one of the least of the precepts of the law … shall be called the least . . . in the kingdom of heaven.” See Signs of the Times (Extra No. 15, p. 50).

If this still holds good, why do Adventists ignore circumcision? Again, if Christians are bound to observe “the least of the precepts of the law,” why did the great Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), when writing to the Gentile converts, declare their freedom from the law, and write of those who had sought to make them keep the law, as those who “troubled you with words subverting your souls” (v. 24)? If the keeping of the Sabbath was to be observed, why was it not enjoined here? Why was it never enjoined to believers in a single passage of the New Testament?

Before going further it might be well to note how the Sabbath was to be observed. Someone has put it thus:—

It was to be kept from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23: 32). If within twenty-four hours any burden was carried (Jer. 17: 21), any fire kindled (Exod. 35: 3), any cooking done (Exod. 16: 23), the Sabbath would be broken; the penalty for which was death (Num. 15). Were this law observed by Adventists they would all quickly be exterminated, as the above rules they consistently break. How very inconsistent lie is who preaches to others to keep the Sabbath when he does not keep it himself. Surely this man’s religion is vain.

D. M. Panton has well said: —

An honest, if uninstructed, error is very prevalent among the Churches of Christ, and affords the Seventh-Day Adventist the fulcrum for his lever. It is said that the ceremonial law, and the civil law of Israel, have been abolished but not the moral law, and that the Sabbath as occurring in the Decalogue, is part of the unrevoked moral law of God. But (1) most remarkably no inspired writer ever makes any such distinction between “moral” and “ceremonial” law; the ceremonial law (e.g., Lev. 19) contains laws as purely moral as any in the Decalogue, and had we been delivered from the ceremonial, while remaining under the moral, Paul would most surely have said so—an utterance he never makes. (2) The Sabbath, in-its nature, is itself a ceremonial law: the moral law is all law which appeals to the conscience, and needs no written revelation; but as to which day to observe, or whether to observe any day at all, conscience is silent. If we aye to distinguish between the moral and the ceremonial law, on the ground that one is passed, and the other still in force, then–as the Sabbath is purely ceremonial law–it is passed. But the most important point still remains. (3) I, as a Christian, obey all law that is moral in the Decalogue, not because it is in the Law, but because it is in the Gospel. Worship of God only is enjoined fifty times in the New Testament; idolatry is forbidden twelve times; profanity four times; honor of father and mother is commanded six times; adultery is forbidden twelve; theft six; false witness four; and covetousness, nine times. “The Ten Commandments,” as Luther says, “do not apply to us Gentiles and Christians, but only to the Jews.” So therefore, Paul, in all his fourteen epistles, never once names the Sabbath–except in a single passage where, classing it with the entire law, he declares it has been totally abolished. So the early Church held.

Now as to the second claim, viz., that at the Council of Laodicea the Roman Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from the Seventh to the First day. Whatever may have happened at that Council, we submit that the Sabbath was not changed. For no decree of man could or can change God’s covenant. What did take place, so far as we can learn, was “to in a manner quite abolish” the observation of the Sabbath for Christians. That is, that they made it illegal for Christians acknowledging the sway of Rome, to observe the Sabbath as their day of worship. But let it be well noted, large numbers of Christians were at that time, and long before, observing the first day of the week as their day of worship. The assertion of the Seventh-Day Adventists is entirely misleading as is proved from the following extracts:-

(i) The Epistle Of Barnabas about A.D. 100.

“Wherefore, also we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead.”

(ii) The Epistle Of Ignatius: A.D. 107.

“Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor -with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish Law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace. . . . If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in. the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death.”

(iii) The Writings of Justin Martyr: A.D. 145-150.

“And on the day called Sunday all who live in cities or in the country gather together in one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read. . . . But Sunday is the day on which we all hold a common assembly, because it is the First day of the Week on which God made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.”

(iv) Apostolic Constitutions: Church life in the 2nd Century.

“On the day of the resurrection of the Lord–that is, the Lord’s Day–assemble yourself together without fail, giving thanks to God and praising Him for those mercies God has bestowed upon you through Christ.”

(v) Irenaeus: A.D. 155-202.

“The Mystery of the Lord’s Resurrection may not be celebrated on any other day than the Lord’s Day, and on this alone should we observe the breaking off of the Paschal Feast.”* (Our italics all through).

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*These quotations are taken from Dr. D. Anderson-Berry’s book Seventh-Day Adventism-he was a scholar of no mean repute. He states that these are “extracts all made by myself, so that ignorance of the context might not mislead me; the portions omitted I have omitted since they do not affect the sense, and merely cumber the pages.”

As a matter of fact, the first day of the week–the Lord’s Day–was selected not in place of the Sabbath, but as a day in which to celebrate our Lord’s death and resurrection. As a writer has well said: “It is a day of thanksgiving and liberty to the Christians, and a day which they delight in regarding as unto the Lord (Rom. 16: 6). It is the Lord’s Day, as John called it in Rev. 1: 10. On that day Jesus rose the Head of a new creation. On the Lord’s Day He appeared to His disciples. On the Lord’s Day the Holy Ghost was given. On the Lord’s Day the door of the kingdom was unlocked and 3,000 souls entered in. On the Lord’s Day the disciples came together to break bread in remembrance of Him (Acts 20: 7).”

In answer to the following question, The Witness (Scotland) gives the accompanying lucid reply from the able pen of the late David Baron, one of the most eminent and learned of Jewish believers:

How can a Hebrew Christian be shown that he must not keep the Seventh-day Sabbath seeing it is written: “The children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant” (Exod. 31: 16)?

There is no necessity to “show” or teach the Jewish believers that they “must” not “keep the Sabbath” as if the Gospel made the non-observance of the Seventh-day rest compulsory or a condition of true discipleship. . . . When more fully instructed, and as he grows in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, he will be brought to see for himself that the Jewish Sabbath has no significance in this dispensation and in relation to those whose calling is a heavenly one, and whose destinies are bound up –not with time but with eternity….

The Sabbath is thus essentially connected with the old marred creation, with the imperfect Mosaic dispensation, and with the typical redemption from Egypt. But Christians are children of the new creation, and are in the dispensation not of the Law but of the Spirit. “With Christ’s resurrection,” says an old writer, “the Seventh-day Sabbath expired, transmitting its sanctity and its privileges to the new Sabbath–the first day of a new week, which became our day of -rest (and of worship) in the power of a new creation.”

The Editor of The Witness well says: “Sticklers for keeping the exact ‘Seventh Day,’ or Sunday, or ‘Lord’s Day,’ have a difficulty in the way days have been calculated and thrown about. In 1582 Gregory XIII found a miscalculation and decreed to drop October 5-14 and to drop 3 leap years in every century. In England 11 days (September 3-13) were dropped in 1752, in addition to other changes.”

References:
1 A. J. Pollock, Seventh-Day Adventism

What do YOU think?

comments

Comments

  1. cowrevenge says:

    Martin Luther explains this in detail, but the book to stuyd is Romans.

     

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

  2. since you are saying that the TEN COMMANDMENTS are abolish it means man is at liberty to go against the ten commandment. Therefore if i dont observe the SABBATH am not at fault. THANK YOU. But remember if am not at fault for breaking the sabbath then am at liberty to worship other gods, commit adultery here and there. This means we will in more sin. because sin is the breaking of the law, the ten commandment, the ROYAL LAW which is the MORAL law found in James 2 ;8-13. To be cont…

  3. since you are saying that the TEN COMMANDMENTS are aboliish it means man is  at liberty to go againt the ten commandment. Theae fore if i dont observe the SABBATH am not at fault. THANK YOU. But remember if am not at fault for breaking the sabbath then am at liberty to woship other gods, commit adultery here and there. This means we will in more sin. because sin is the breaking of the law, the ten commandment, the ROYAL LAW which is the MORAL law found in james 2 ;8-13. To be cont…

  4. David J. Conklin says:

    >Seventh-Day Adventism denies the Biblical Doctrine of the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ as the only means of man’s salvation.

    From SDA beliefs:

    9. Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ:
    In Christ’s life of perfect obedience to God’s will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God’s law and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of Christ proclaims God’s triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.) (emphasis added)

  5. Marc Rasell says:

    Hello, as a seventh day adventist and at one time a minsiter of the church, I wanted to give a response to “sda-is-a-cult”.
    If you are willing to consider what I have to say I would appreciate it.

    1. we do believe in the completed atonement on the cross. Hebrews speaks of Christ’s ministry as our High Priest where he applies the merits of his completed sacrifice to repentent beleivers Hebrews 7:25. This concept was accepted by Calvin and also the Puritans.
    The final stage of Christ’s word, one of judging God’s people, does not alter their relationship with Christ, it is done for the sake of the heavenly beings so that “justice can be seen to be done”. We believe Satan accused God of injustice, and so God demonstrates his justice in an open way, in Daniel 7 this heavenly court is brought to view. And then in verse 22 judgment is rendered in favour of the saints. Paul said in 2 Cor. 9:10 that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
    This is because there are people who claim to be Christians but as Jesus said, say Lord, Lord but are in fact workers of iniquity.

    2. the most ancient Jewish and Christian writers attributed the scapegoat to a satanic being. There were two goats, one for the Lord and one for Azazel – representing two beings, one holy the other unholy. The scapegoat was never sacrificed as the Lord’s goat was. And in Rev. 20 Satan is confined to the wilderness of this desolate earth fulfilling the prophecy.
    The feast days point to both the first and second coming of Christ, and after the Day of Atonement, when all sin and sinners will be cleansed from the earth, then we will tabernacle with Christ in heaven. This is why Paul says they are shadows “of things to come”.

    3. We do not believe Christ has a sinful human nature, that has never been our doctrine. We do believe he had a nature that was weakened, he did not have a body that was like Adam before the fall. Nevertheless despite his weakened body, he resisted all temptations and was without sin.

    4. as for soul sleep ecclesiates says the dead know nothings in 9:5, and Jesus said lazarus was asleep, Peter said David is dead and buried and has not ascended to heaven. The teaching of Christ is that the dead are raised on the last day when he returns. John 5:28-29, John 14:1-3. It is when he returns that the dead are raised – also 1 Thess 4; 1 Cor 15.

    5. almost all denominations in their creeds and doctrines affirm the moral law and the 10 commandments while recognising that the other laws are obsolete. because all the principles of the 10 commandments can be found before moses and are eternal in nature. The 10 commandments are endorsed by Jesus Matthew 5:17-18 and James James 2:10-11 and Paul Romans 7:12; 3:31.
    The reformers including Luther, Calvin and Wesley endorsed the moral law and 10 commandments.
    The weekly Sabbath as it was made sacred in the creation week with Adam and Eve is a day for all mankind and an eternal institution. The sacredneess of Saturday was never abolished or changed in the NT.
    In the 2nd century they began to observe Sunday in addition to the Sabbath, and then by the 5th century both days were being observed. Then beginning at Rome they started to drop the Sabbath because of anti judaism and also because Sunday fitted in better with converted pagans. The RCC church claims to have changed the day, although there is no biblical authority.
    However there were 7 annual sabbaths such as the first and last day of the passover and also the day of atonement which were abolished at the cross because they involved animal sacrifices and were shadows of things to come.
    Hebrews 4 says nothing about the abolition of the Sabbath, it uses it as a symbol of divine rest. Adam had both a literal and spiritual rest in God. This was lost by sin, and it is this spiritual rest that we are called back to. However there is no reason we cannot have both and that was God’s original intention for man. Justification by faith does not lead to lawlessness. 1 John 3:4.

    • JustAGuy says:

      Marc, I grew up in the Worldwide Church of God. I know what it is like to have people calling you a cult and the frustration of them judging you openly while they say you believe all manner of things that you simply don’t and that your church has taught against.

      I agree on the scapegoat. It mirrors Rev. 20 too closely. Jesus took our sins on the cross, but at his return, he as the High Priest will place those sins on the head of the rightful owner, Satan. Jesus said of him, “he is a liar from the beginning and the father of it.”

      The feast days are an interesting discussion. I grew up keeping them along with the weekly sabbath. We had our reasons for keeping them as they are prophetic as well as typical. Some of these are still yet to be fulfilled and the shadow for them has not occurred yet. For example, Atonement itself is pictured with the scapegoat and is not fulfilled. The Passover is fulfilled.

      You will have to acknowledge scripture does not say to cease keeping the holy days, nor does it more generally say to not keep a day if it has a sacrifice in it. The fact that sacrifices and the annual days are to be kept in the millennial reign of Christ should make us consider the validity of the days as being not attached to historical fulfillment. A question that goes unanswered by your explanation of fulfillment and animal sacrifice is, “Why do we not keep new moons?”

      The undeniable fact is that the SDA reasoning for the abolition of the annual sabbaths is identical to the traditional reason for abolishing the weekly sabbath – and the same scriptural foundation for the assertion is the same – zero. No where does scripture say a day of observance was abolished. It simply states that we are not to judge others by the days they choose to keep.

      Here is a brief thesis I wrote about the importance of the Sabbath to believers today.

      The Message of Hebrews 3&4:is this

      “The Sabbath Day without the Christian Rest is nothing.
      The Christian Rest, with or without the Sabbath Day, is everything.”

      It is amazing how one set of verses seem to prove opposite sides of an argument. In my discussions with Sabbath Day keepers I find the text of Hebrews chapters 3 &4 to be such a passage. I once viewed these verses as “proofs” of a 7th Day observance in the New Testament Church. Now I view them otherwise. Here is why.

      Hebrews 3&4 are written, not with the purpose of proving a day, but with the divine purpose of propounding the saving virtue of faith. Why don’t you read chapters 3&4 before we begin….

      Have you read them?… Okay, here are some points that jump out at me.

      The beginning of Chapter 3 is the declaration of the supremacy of Christ vs. Moses. The WCG in times past limited that supremacy to say Christ had the right to do away with the sacrificial and ceremonial laws. Well, I hope we can agree that Christ also had the right to do away with the 10 commandments, because II Cor 3 clearly states that is what He did.

      Some will “panic” and say “but if He did away with the 10 commandments, you’re saying He did away with the law and so you’re saying we can commit adultery and murder now too.” Those attributing this reasoning to those who “do away with the Sabbath” are as incorrect in their conclusions as are those, lets say, who insist a Sabbath keeper is denying faith in Christ.

      But allow me to get back to the point for a moment. Hebrews 3&4 are addressing the item of saving faith, not the 7th day Sabbath. One would do well to read through them in entirety as they read this so they can see the consistency of what I’m saying here.

      3:19 states clearly “So we see that they could not enter in BECAUSE OF UN-belief.” Lack of faith prevented them from receiving the gracious promise of God.

      The statement in 4:1 which says, “Therefore, since a promise of rest (Katapausis) remains…” shows us that the Katapausis spoken here is not the Holy Land — since later Israel did receive that promise. As a matter of fact, at the time of the authorship of Hebrews they were still there.

      4:2 Points us back to Faith as the issue of discourse. “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as them; but the word which they heard DID NOT PROFIT them, NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH in those who heard it.” This is the point of contrast being made with OT types and the NT reality — One era had faith granted to it, the other did not.

      4:4 Reads “God did Katapauo on the seventh day…”. This indicates the actual act of God as katapauo. The writer is discerning that the importance of the act of God is to be found in Katapuo, not in the act of “sabbatismos”or “sabbaton”. In times past we attributed the sabbath to the creation rest as though they are equals. Yet is it not plausible to consider that the
      katapauo is greater than the “sabbaton”? Here, the writer is fixed on expounding the katapausis, not giving serious concern to the “sabbaton”.

      We now come to the scriptures in question in Sabbath debates, Hebrews 4:8 says “For if Joshua had given them rest (Katapauo), then he would not have afterward spoken of another day.”

      Here is a thought I find interesting: “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua…”(Josh 24:31). This tells us that the “Sabbaton” was kept under Joshua, but yet Hebrews tells us the Israelites still had not entered into that Rest (Katapausis) which God is desirous that we enter into. It becomes apparent that the creation rest was not fulfilled in the Sabbath Day.

      So we must note:

      The Sabbath Day did not fulfill the Katapausis Rest ordained from creation, and, The entrance into the Holy Land did not fulfill the Katapausis of creation.

      4:9 “There remains therefore a REST for the people of God.” (Strong’s – 4520 – Sabbatismos — “the repose of Christianity, rest.” NOTE: “SABBATH DAY” is “Sabbaton” in Greek. Yet this term was NOT used. No where does the Writer place a plug here for the 7th DAY. If he wanted to say “there remains a sabbath DAY” he would have used “Sabbaton”) Also, in light of his assertion that the sabbaton did not fulfill the katapuasis, it seems unlikely that the writer is saying we are to keep the sabbath to gain entrance into the katapausis. They are not synonymous ideals and nowhere is there reference to indicate one is dependent on the other. After all, God was able to katapauo without a Sabbath Day.

      The Sabbatismos is the Christian’s rest in Christ, not his rest in a day. It takes diligence to kill the old man, daily mortifying the deeds of the flesh. Hence verse 11, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest”. Only through faith in Christ do we have the mastery over the flesh. This is totally substantiated in Romans 5-8.

      The Sabbath Day DID NOT fulfill the requirement of FAITH needed to enter into the Katapausis. God wants us to enter into His Katapausis, the Sabbath DAY was to facilitate that, not to replace it.

      4:10 “For he (the person) who has entered into God’s Rest (Katapausis — the very word used at creation, that KATAPAUSIS was sanctified in the 7th day, now it is sanctified in Christ) has himself also ceased from his works (of the flesh) as God did from His work (of creation). This verse shows the creation rest is to be viewed as a type, not as a commandment. We rest not
      “because” God rested, but “AS” God rested.

      4:11 “Let us be diligent to enter THAT Rest (Katapausis, not Sabbatismos), lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience” Note: The Sabbath Day was kept in the wilderness, and in Joshua’s time. Remember they killed Sabbath breakers under Moses? Israel was obedient under Joshua. They inhabited the promised land.

      The only thing they lacked which prevented them from entering the KATAPAUSIS ordained at creation was FAITH!

      Practical Results of Seventh Day Theology

      Sabbatarians seem to place a higher emphasis on the Sabbaton than God displays in His NT writings. It is NOT the defining issue of true Christianity in the NT, yet most sabbatarians indeed have it in their minds that a “True” Christian will stand out by virtue of Sabbath DAY Keeping. Whereas Jesus said “BY THIS they shall know you are my disciples, if you have love one for
      another”.

      I found myself evaluating who is a “TRUE CHRISTIAN” by “who keeps the Sabbaths, tithes, meats, etc”. It was a small thing to see someone pour out their life in love and service and then say “Jesus, love isn’t a good enough criteria for me to tell who is TRUE, he/she doesn’t keep the Sabbath, so they cannot fully be your disciple.” In this we TRANSGRESS OUR LORD. Where is our FAITH??

      I no longer view the Sabbath DAY as holy because to do so contradicts the word of our Lord. “By THIS shall all men know you are my disciples if you have love one for another…” Do you find yourself saying Jesus’ criteria is NOT enough? Are you lacking the FAITH in His Word to enter into His Rest??

      The Sabbath Day without the Katapausis Rest is nothing. The Katapausis Rest, with or without the Sabbath Day, is everything. Faith leads us to fulfill the Katapausis Rest, This is the message of Hebrews 3&4 as I see it.

      Marc, I write these things to address the arguments out there, not to attack you personally. I have much respect for you brother. I am sharing my thoughts on this sticky topic.

      Just as Israel had to enter the Promised Land by evicting giants, we must enter into that rest with the power of the Holy Spirit in casting out devils and healing the sick. Without that we too will not enter into God’s rest for us as the church today. The Pentecost giftings are alive and well and by believing in God and using those giftings, we enter into the spiritual rest where we can now overcome the fears, bitterness, envyings, strivings and all manner of sin the church now condones as being “just who we are.” If you have not cast out a devil, I do not think you know how to enter into the true rest and if we carry all that baggage in our hearts, even on the 7th day, are we truly resting? No, we are deceiving ourselves and judging others if we demand they keep the day or they are not Christian.

      Blessings and Peace,
      Timothy

      • Marc Rasell says:

        Hebrews 4 neither affirms or denies the weekly Sabbath, it is about faith, trusting in Christ for salvation. I think you would agree with that.

        At Creation Adam had both a literal and spiritual rest, through sin both the literal and spiritual rest were lost.
        God wants to give us back the spiritual rest which was offered in David and Joshua’s day.
        We can enter that rest.
        Once we have done that we keep the commandments not to earn salvation but because we are saved.
        we can have a literal and spirtual rest.
        We need the weekly Sabbath, because even before sin entered the world Adam needed the Sabbath, to take time to consider the blessings of the week.

        Legalism does not mean once we find grace we should abandon the 10 commandments. We try not to steal, commit adultery, murder etc. because we love God. We don’t say because I have grace its OK to commit adultery.

        The ceremonial Sabbaths came after sin entered the world, and involved animal sacrifices. So they are obsolete.

        Marriage was given in Eden along with the Sabbath, we don’t say marriage is obsolete, it was given as a blessing as was the Sabbath.

        It comes down to simple obedience, God sanctified the seventh day, and that was never abolished or changed.

      • Marc Rasell says:

        The Prebyterians believe the Sabbath was transferred to Sunday, (I don’t see any biblical evidence for such a change), and they rest on Sunday which they regard as the Sabbath, but no one says they are a cult or legalistic for observing Sunday.

  6. Arctic_guy says:

    “So, I was able to conclude that since they were so wrong on the simple one’s why should I trust their judgment on the more complex?” — David J. Conklin

    Exactly!!

    Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, David.

    You seem to have forgotten that Miller & White have failed the Biblical tests a prophet is subject to.

    In the words of Deuteronomy 18:22, “when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him”. Or her.

    Turning away from Miller & White is a direct commandment of God and is still binding on you.

    Once you ignore Gods warning about false prophets, you soon find yourself in a spiritual wasteland.

    How do you plan to plead ignorance that you’re unaware of God’s commandments regarding false prophets?

    The contrivances you proffer are not going to help you one bit.

  7. David J. Conklin says:

    Years ago I was dealing with critics of the Bible. They claimed that the Bible was “filled” with “errors and contradictions.” And they had some very long lists detailing all of these errors and contradictions. I took one look at the lists and decided that if I dealt with each and every single one then I’d be at it forever. So, rather than do that I took the easiest and simplest one’s I could find and tried to see how well they handled those. In less than half a day’s work I proved that four of them were false–they publically ate one of them. From this I learned several things; one the critics erred because they didn’t even do the most basic of research. Secondly, they erred because their thinking skills matched their reading skills: wooden, simplistic and literalistic. So, I was able to conclude that since they were so wrong on the simple one’s why should I trust their judgment on the more complex?

    It turns out that the same thing happens when dealing with the critics of Ellen White and the Adventist church.

    Here’s a collection of assorted whoppers that are told about Ellen G. White and the SDA church:

    1) EGW died a millionaire (actually her estate was in the hole by about $20k; not counting the value of certain rights that were given to her sons and they sold them).

    2) That while EGW was counseling others to divest themselves of real estate and property she secretly owned a dozen homes (what the critics did is they assumed that she never sold any of her previous homes when she moved. This claim falls to the ground when we note what real estate she owned at the time of her death). A variant of this is a claim that the house at Elmshaven was built by a railroad magnate and was “substantial”–at the time of her death it was valued at $14k see http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/indebtedness.html

    3) That when she went to Australia she brought along about a dozen servants.

    4) That EGW said “only sabbatarians will be saved.”

    5) That EGW made repeated claims that Jesus was coming in specific years (the critic who made this claim “merged” Millerites with Russellites–as if they were both the same).

    6) That the SDA church makes a “mint” from the sale of EGW books.

    7) That EGW said only vegetarians will be saved.

    8) “Because of plagiarism The Great Controversy isn’t listed in the Library of Congress for that very reason.

    Response: Whoever told you that lied through their teeth. You can go to http://catalog.loc.gov and enter “great controversy” (no quotes) see that her book is 3rd, 4th, 6th through 16th on the list–13 copies in all, took a grand total of 5 minutes of work to debunk–and they have never apologized for it.

    9) That she engaged in “wholesale plagiarism” from Conybeare and Howson when writing her book on the life of Paul. The actual amount of literary similarity is about 3.04%.

    10) That because of the alleged “wholesale plagiarism” from Conybeare and Howson they had threatened to sue. 1) We now have a letter from them that pointed out that they wouldn’t have a legal leg to stand on if they had threatened to sue–a British claim would not have been recognized in an American court. 2) They had no record of such a threat. 3) This claim is based on hearsay from unnamed people.

    11-63) EGW contradicts the Bible. 53 cases have been examined and every single one of them is false. Usually these alleged contradictions are created in the same way that Bible critics created the claim that the Bible contradicts itself: from a simplistic, wooden and literalistic reading of the text. One poster on another forum claimed (very early this year) she contradicted the Bible 75 times. I asked for the missing 22–he still hasn’t produced even one. And then he later upped it to “much more than 75 times.” Still no proof.

    64) That Fannie Bolton wrote Steps to Christ and a letter of reproof to A. R. Henry. Both have been shown to be false. Portions that were subsequently used in Steps to Christ were written by Ellen G. White before Fannie Bolton was even born–-this claim was made known after F.B. had died and is solely based on hear-say.

    65) “Furthermore Dr. Veltman in his research concluded that her writings showed “no significant line of thinking that is original.” ‘The Desire of Ages Project: The conclusions,” Ministry 1990, p. 11. No such quote exists on that page as far as I can tell–having read it several times.

    66) That she plagiarized 80-90%. At best (i.e., on the high side) we can get about 31% according to Dr. Veltman’s study. And the kicker is that he starts with the assumption that EGW was literary dependent on other sources. A close examination of the evidence starts to drop the percentage very rapidly.

    67) That EGW “predicted” the great San Francisco earthquake after it happened.

    SF earthquake: April 18, 1906.

    “Well equipped tent meetings should be held in the large cities, such as San Francisco; for not long hence these cities will suffer under the judgments of God. San Francisco and Oakland are becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord will visit them in wrath.” Life Sketches, p. 412 (September 1, 1902).

    “While at Loma Linda, Cal., April 16, 1906, there passed before me a most wonderful representation. During a vision of the night, I stood on an eminence, from which I could see houses shaken like a reed in the wind. Buildings, great and small, were falling to the ground. Pleasure resorts, theaters, hotels, and the homes of the wealthy were shaken and shattered. Many lives were blotted out of existence, and the air was filled with the shrieks of the injured and the terrified.” Life Sketches, p. 407 — note that she doesn’t say which city she saw. The critics simply assume that it was San Francisco.

    68) That EGW claimed she saw tall people walking on Jupiter. In fact, she never named the planet, others did and the critics bought it and falsely attribute it to EGW. This is called the stellar vision.

    If the critics are so right and true, then why are they wrong so often?

    • Marc Rasell says:

      I think there is a lot of misleading information about Ellen White, and the SDA doctrines.
      Its best to compare what the official Ellen White Estate says about these things before making conclusions.
      Ellen White was a good Christian mother, who worked tirelessly for the gospel beginning with a lot of poverty.
      She lost two sons and her husband.
      She often gave to the poor and was in debt when she died because she was constantly giving away what she received.
      In her will she left three quarters to the church.
      The claims against her character are simply false.
      She openly ackowledge drawing on other writings to help her express things. In the preface to the Great Controversy she openly says she has drawn on other writings when they helped to express things.
      In those days it was common practice for authors to draw upon other writers.
      You may not accept she was a prophet but she as a good person and even her enemies ackowledge as much.

  8. warrior daughter says:

    I have family members who were raised SDA…Their grandparents/great grandparents were missionaries to the
    Bahamas….This is what they have stated about the SDA….It all depended on the pastor at the time…Some of them used White over the Bible and others used KJ….The pastors who used White, did not stay long in the churches pulpit….I have also sent my grandchildren to SDA schools…They were not taught any of the SDA doctrine but it was private school and the KJ was used…As in any denominations there are cult type churches that add to the denominations doctrines… Let me also state my family members are no longer SDA,…Some of the family are backslidden others are charismatics….

  9. Firstly, the title of this blog is rather misleading as it, in now way, states any justification for the SDA church to be a cult. Instead it pokes holes in both the doctrine and the popular belief of the members.
    As a proclaimed and baptized Seventh Day Adventist myself, I agree wholeheartedly that Ellen G. White not at all what some members claim her to be. No arguments here. However, as a note, using quotes from other theologians to discredit here undermines the argument. If she contradicts the Bible, which is your argument, then use the Bible to prove so.
    However, your arguments against keeping the Seventh Day as the Sabbath seem off to me. I would be the last person to say that anyone would become “not saved” because of the day they worship on but the Ten Commandments are somewhat of a package deal. Cain could not have sinned (sin being defined as a transgression of the law) if there was no law that predated the whole “Jew” and “Gentile” issue. Neither could have any others been found to have iniquity before the Ten Commandments were passed down to Moses, if no such law existed until his time.
    The other nine is not contested but for some reason the Fourth receives opposition. No one would say that stealing is no longer wrong because the law has been abolished, but the day on which God himself honored is debated.
    No one is saved by works, only through grace. There will be people in Heaven and in the New Jerusalem from all churches and religions, this I believe. We all must study the Scripture and come to our own conclusions, this I believe as well. And as an expression of my love for him, I do not believe in arbitrarily choosing a day to keep holy, but will Remember the Sabbath Day.

    • You’ve responded to a post by Tropical_Guy who came on this site with an agenda to slam law-keeping of any kind. If what he points out about Ellen G. White’s teaching is true though, well, to me it shows major problems in SDA teaching.

      To me the issue is not whether there exists a Sabbath or not, but WHAT it really means in the New Covenant. I believe that Hebrews 4 if correctly understood points to the real meaning of the Sabbath. It is fulfilled in Christ when we get to the place of abiding in Christ at all times. We have to make every enter to enter that rest because ironically, it is not easy to come to a place where everything we do we do in God.

      For more on this issue see my teaching on the law, on this site.

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