Reply to a Seventh-day Adventist forum post
If the gospel of justification by faith alone had been embraced whole-heartedly in the 1970's, the truth about Ellen G. White's borrowings and doctrinal changes and the truth about the erroneousness of the 1844 dating schema would have had no real damaging impact upon the viability of the SDA movement. The good news about the imputed righteousness of Christ would have carried the day even unto the Last Day.
As it is today, the church members are shocked as they are beginning to understand that the following "Adventist Distinctives" are not actually taught in the Bible:
- False: Literal foot washing before observing the Lord's Supper. True : Christ our Lord was speaking metaphorically when He told His apostles to "wash each others feet".
- False : Mandatory tithe paying as a test of fellowship and salvation, True : Offerings are voluntary in the Christian era. There is now no scriptural demand for Christians to donate any specific amount or percentage of 10%.
- False: The bible teaches that there are "unfallen" worlds inhabited by "unfallen" beings. True: There is not even a hint of this teaching in the bible. The "sons of God" mentioned in Job are the angels surrounding the throne of God, not unfallen beings in other worlds. See: Job 38:7 "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." This is an example of "parallelism" in scripture and the terms "morning stars" and "sons of God" in Job refer to the angels of God, not people or strange looking beings on unfallen planets.
- False : The investigative judgment began in AD.1844, True : Christ our Lord began judging the world by the proclamation of the gospel since Pentecost. Repentant believers are "sealed" in the Book of Life the moment they repent and believe. The verdict of the final judgment is rendered now for the believer in Christ through justification by faith in the sinless life and atoning death of Jesus Christ.
- False: Christ entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in AD.1844, True : Christ entered the most holy place of heaven at His ascension, not in AD 1844. The "2300 evening and mornings" of Daniel 8:14 are to be interpreted as apocalyptic figurative language not to be taken as a literal 2300 years. The true "restoration" of the temple took place at the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and will again find a fulfillment at the second coming of Christ when all things will be "restored".
- False : All Christian-era date-setting like 1844 and 538-1798. True : Apocalyptic numbers are to interpreted symbolically as eras not literal dates or literal years. The "1260 days" etc. of Revelation represent the Christian era from Pentecost to the second coming of Christ not 1260 years from AD 538 to AD 1798. Satan and his kingdom makes war with the church from Pentecost until the second advent.
- False : The "three angles of Revelation 14" began to sound in AD.1844. True : The "Three Angels" proclamation of the "everlasting gospel" and the "hour of His judgment", the call to come out of Babylon, and the warning not to receive the "mark of the beast" began to sound in the apostolic era by the Apostles and the early Christian church. The "sealing of the 144,000" began at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out and "sealed" the believers in Christ. The term "144,000" (see: Rev.7 and 14) is a symbolic apocalyptic term for spiritual Israel—the Christian church. "Babylon" represents the apostate religions of the world, including the pantheon of the Roman Empire and later on in time, the Papacy which supplanted the throne of the caesars in Rome.
- False : The United States of America as being the "image to the beast" of Revelation 13 True : The first "beast" of Revelation 13 represents the Roman Empire of John's day. This first beast receives a "deadly wound" (the fall of the Roman Empire) but the wound is "healed" when the Papacy supplants the "throne" of Rome. This is the great apostasy and "falling away" that Paul warned the early church would come after that which restrained it would be "taken out of the way". The false doctrines of papal Rome are an "image" of the doctrines of Mithraism and the mystic Gnosticism of the Roman empire.
- False : Spiritual gifts such as the visions and dreams of Ellen White are not inerrant, not equally authoritative with the Bible, not to be used to determine doctrine, and not of equal inspiration with the Bible. True : Non-apostolic spiritual gifts are non-canonical and must be measured by the bible only.
- False : Christian should practice 1-0/1A0 pacifism which forbids the use of deadly force to defend ourselves, our families, or our country in a just war. True : The word of God does not forbid the use of force to defend ones self, family, or nation against aggression. Christians who practice pacifism are misinterpreting the meaning of Christ's sermon on the mount (Matt. 5).
- False : The clean/unclean Levitical food laws are mandatorially binding upon Christians. True : The apostles never urged these food laws upon the Christian community. The vision of Peter and the unclean foods was to let him know that no one is considered unclean in God's sights because of what he eats. The Jews considered any uncircumcised Gentile who ate unclean food as being an unclean person outside of God's covenant.
- False : Wine in the New Testament is grape juice only and the apostle forbad any believer to drink fermented wine. True : The new testament only forbids drunkenness and admonishes believers not to "tarry long" when drinking wine.
- False : No jewelry wearing for Christians. True : Modern translators of Peter's and Paul's epistles recognize that these verses should be translated with the addition of the word "merely". That is, women should not merely beautify their outward appearance but also their inner spiritual person with the attributes of a Christian character.
- False : There is a "close of probation" for the believer in Christ before Christ comes. True : Christ's mediation of His imputed righteousness for the believe continues until He comes again in the clouds of heaven. The Christian is justified by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ alone until He comes again. He ever lives to make intercession for His saints and they are always accounted righteous by faith alone until He comes.
- False : There is a period of time, called the "time of Jacob's trouble" just before Christ comes again, when the intercession of Christ's imputed merit will no longer be necessary for the remnant "perfected" believers. True: There is no scriptural basis for this teaching.
- False : The "blotting out of sin" is a special or "final atonement" for the people of God which is different than the forgiveness of sins. True : There is no difference between forgiveness and blotting out in the word of God.
- False : The "latter rain" is a second blessing of the Holy Spirit which restores the character of God's people to the original innocence of Adam before the fall. True: There is no scriptural basis for this teaching of sinless perfection before Christ comes. This teaching was popular among the Methodists of Wesley's era and the early Adventists incorporated it into the Adventist eschatology.
- False : There will be sinless perfection for the "final generation" before Christ comes. True : There is no difference between any of the generations of Christians past, present, or future. All are justified by faith alone before God and His Law.
- False : The "Last Days"—the "time of the end"—began in AD.1798. True : The apostles called the Christian era the "last days" when the full "mystery of God" had been revealed. There was to be no further new truth or "new light" revealed to the Christian church. The apostles had the entire gospel message and we can only "restore" that message to its apostolic purity, but we can never add to it in any way.
Adventists feel betrayed by the leaders in which they had been placing their confidence. Members are leaving in droves since 1980. The very truths that Adventism was raised up to restore are now spoken evil of because of the sins of the SDA leadership, especially the Ellen G. White Estate, which has resisted and hedged up the way for the truth to be taught to the Seventh-day Adventist members.
These reforms in Adventist teaching are absolutely necessary in order for a true revival of primitive godliness to take place among the advent people. Then and only then will the people of God in other folds begin to take the Seventh-day Adventist denomination seriously and join this God-ordained movement to restore the bible and only the bible as the rule of faith.
Seventh-day Adventism is not a cult. There are cultic Seventh-day Adventists, but the essence of the Adventist movement is true historic Protestant Christianity.
The Adventist movement in its truest evangelical expression as God intends this movement to be will be a "restoration" movement rather than an "innovation" movement. Just look at the true essence of Adventism:
- Adventism uplifts the "Third Use of the Law" which is so important in this lawless diabolical age in which we live.
- Adventism uplifts the "Second Use of the Law" which is so important as a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ to continually be justified by faith in His sinless life and atoning death on Calvary.
- Adventism re-establishes the glorious truth of the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of Christ as the hope of the believer rather than the Grecian view of the "immortal soul" which lives on after death.
- Adventism affirms the virgin birth of Christ and His unique incarnation as fully God and fully man.
- Adventism is a necessary bulwark against the prevailing error of antinomian Dispensationalism which is sweeping the evangelical Christian world today and foolishly focuses on the Zionist events in the middle east, a rebuilding of the Levitical temple, and a "secrete rapture" of the church.
- Adventism uplifts and restores the Sabbath commandment as a memorial to Christ's having created the universe in six literal days. The Sabbath is God's emphatic rebuke to the abomination of Darwinian evolutionism.
- Adventism affirms the Biblical truth of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden as the origin of sin and suffering and death. This truth is denied by all forms of Darwinism.
- Adventism affirms the existence of a real fallen angel named Lucifer who became Satan along with one third of the angelic host.
- Adventism affirms a literal world-wide flood which destroyed the lawless unbelieving antediluvian world and the saving of Noah and his family by God's unmerited grace.
- Adventism affirms the vicarious atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ in that He is the Seed of the woman who has fulfilled all the righteous demands of the Law for us so that in Him we are accounted sinless and righteous in His sight even unto the coming of the Lord.
- Adventism is a warning and a witness that God is about to destroy all the world and all who refuse to repent, believe the gospel of Christ, and allow God to write His law upon their hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
- Adventism affirms that God will totally annihilate sin, Satan, and all unrepentant sinners at the final judgment rather than an eternally burning fire in unending pain and suffering.
- Adventism as a true child of the Reformation is an ongoing rebuke to the abominable errors of Roman Catholicism.
- Adventism is a rebuke to modern day Spiritualism which seeks to contact and communicate with the dead.
In essence then, Adventism as God intends it to be, is God's final warning to all the world to repent and be justified by His unmerited "grace alone" through "faith alone" in the sinless life and atoning death of "Christ alone" as revealed in the "Bible alone".
This is the essence of true Adventism which Ellen G. White intended for the movement to be. Her vision was for Adventism to be the foremost voice in all the world to uplift the sinless, crucified, and risen Savior to all the world. She never intended her writings to become so prominent in the Advent Movement as they are today as the "twenty eight fundamentals" and the recent Sabbath School Quarterly portray her writings to be. It is time for the Seventh-day Adventist movement to take off the "training wheels" of Ellen G. White and become all that the Lord intended this movement to be. Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Solo Christo, Sola Fide .