Friday, February 23, 2018

Another Cult Exposed: Seventh-Day Adventists!

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Walter Martin vs. William Johnsson - Is Seventh-Day Adventism a Cult?
Sentinel Apologetics
Published on Jan 23, 2017
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Seventh-Day Adventism EXPOSED - Run away from this Cult!
Published on Nov 22, 2017
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9 Things You Should Know About Seventh-day Adventism
Joe Carter
March 8, 2016
On Friday Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson officially ended his campaign and revealed he will be the national chairman of My Faith Votes, a non-partisan group that “exists to inspire and motivate Jesus followers to vote.” Because of the focus on his personal faith, Carson became the most prominent American member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Here are nine things you should know about that denomination:
1. Seventh-day Adventists compose one-half of 1 percent of the U.S. adult population, and 1.2 million people in the North America belong to the denomination. But around the world there are 18.1 million SDAs, making them a larger global presence than the Southern Baptist Convention (15.5 million), the United Methodist Church (12.8 million), or Mormonism (15.3 million).
2. Seventh-day Adventism (hereafter SDA) sprung up in upstate New York in the 1840s, an offshoot of the Millerite movement that arose during the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. At that time a Baptist preacher named William Miller predicted and preached that, based on his reading of Daniel 8:14, Christ would return sometime between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. The failure of this prediction—known as the Great Disappointment—led many Millerites to become disillusioned. But Hiram Edson claimed to have seen a vision of Jesus standing at the altar of heaven and concluded that Miller had been right about the time but wrong about the place. As Matt Slick explains, “In other words, Jesus’s return was not to earth but a move into the heavenly sanctuary as is referenced in Hebrews 8:1-2.” The development of this doctrine, known as “Sanctuary/investigative judgment” (see below), influenced Joseph Bates and James and Ellen White, the founding pioneers of the SDA church.
3. SDAs claim the Bible as their “only creed” and consider the movement to be “the result of the Protestant conviction Sola Scriptura—the Bible as the only standard of faith and practice for Christians.” They hold “certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of Holy Scriptures,” doctrines known as the 28 Fundamental Beliefs, which are organized into six categories—the doctrines of God, man, salvation, the church, the Christian life, and last day events.
4. The 28 Fundamental Beliefs are considered descriptive of the church’s official position, but they are not prescriptive for membership. Baptism by immersion is the criteria for membership, which is predicated on a public examination of candidates either before the entire congregation, a church board, or elders. The minister or elder can give the candidate one of two sets of baptismal vows, one consisting of 13 vows or one consisting of the following three questions:
1. Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, and do you desire to live your life in a saving relationship with him?
2. Do you accept the teachings of the Bible as expressed in the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and do you pledge by God’s grace to live your life in harmony with these teachings?
3. Do you desire to be baptized as a public expression of your belief in Jesus Christ, to be accepted into the fellowship of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and to support the church and its mission as a faithful steward by your personal influence, tithes and offerings, and a life of service?
5. Most of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs are similar to doctrines professed by evangelical Protestant denominations. The three main SDA doctrines considered heterodox by evangelicals are Sabbatarianism (a required observance of the Sabbath, which they believe falls on Saturday), the gift of prophecy as “manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White,” and the Sanctuary Doctrine.
6. The Sanctuary Doctrine is the most distinctive Adventist doctrine. Orthodox Christians commonly hold that Jesus, as our high priest, intercedes for us at God’s right hand (Heb 4:14-16; 6:20; 7:25). But SDAs also believe that Christ entered the “sanctuary in heaven” and after a “prophetic period of 2,300 days” (ending in 1844) he entered the second and last phase of his atoning ministry, a work of “blotting out” sin. As Kenneth R. Samples explains,
From his ascension until 1844, Jesus had been applying the forgiveness he purchased on the cross in the first compartment of the sanctuary, but in 1844, he entered the second compartment and began to investigate the lives of those who had received forgiveness to see if they were worthy of eternal life. Only those who passed this judgment could be assured of being translated at his coming. This doctrine gave rise to what later became known as the sinless perfection teaching (perfect commandment-keeping in order to find acceptance in the judgment). Following the investigative judgment, Christ would come out of the heavenly sanctuary and return to earth bringing to every man his reward, and ushering in the great and terrible day of the Lord. It is 1844, and the events described above, which mark the beginning of SDA.
7. The other unique belief of SDA is in the “prophetic” ministry of Ellen G. White (1827-1915). During her lifetime White produced more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books totaling some 25 million words. (SDAs claim, probably correctly, that White is the “most translated woman in literature.”) From the time she was 17 years old until she died 70 years later, she claimed to have had approximately 2,000 visions and dreams, ranging from less that a minute to four hours. The 27 Fundamental Beliefs states, “Her writings speak with prophetic authority and provide comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction to the church. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested.” Some Adventist scholars claim that as much as 90 percent of White’s writings were plagiarized, though the White estate claims it is only about 2 percent.
8. For about a hundred years—1840s to 1950s—many evangelical denominations considered SDA to be a non-Christian cult (like the Jehovah’s Witnesses). But dialogue with SDA scholars and apologists in the 1950s led to a reconsideration of that position by some evangelicals. As Kenneth R. Samples says, the dialogue convinced many that “SDA was not an anti-Christian cult, but rather a somewhat heterodox (i.e., departing from accepted doctrine) Christian denomination.” The Christian Research Institute provides a key example of the rationale for this view:
Since SDA does accept the foundational doctrines of historic Christianity (the Trinity, Christ’s true deity, his bodily resurrection, etc.) we do not believe that it should be classified as a non-Christian cult. It is our conviction that one cannot be a true Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Christian Scientist, etc., and be a practicing Christian in the biblical sense of the word; but it is possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and a true follower of Jesus, despite certain distinctive Adventist doctrines which we consider to be unbiblical.
Although few evangelicals today consider SDA a non-Christian cult, many still caution against embracing the denomination as an acceptable branch of Protestantism. As Nathan Busenitz says, “In spite of the ecumenical spirit that has pervaded evangelicalism over the last few decades, there are still major deficiencies within official SDA theology that ought to give evangelical Christians serious pause.”
9. The question and answer sessions between evangelical and SDA scholars in the 1950s led to the release of the Adventist publication Questions on Doctrine, a document considered to be the origin of “Evangelical Adventism.” However, not everyone in the SDA church agreed with this book or its positions. Some considered it a watering down of “traditional” Adventists teachings to appease evangelicals. Those who endorse this view are sometimes referred to as subscribing to “Traditional Adventism.” Kenneth R. Samples identifies five positions commonly held by Traditional Adventists:
1. Righteousness by faith: Righteousness by faith included both justification and sanctification. Our standing before God rests both in the imputed and imparted righteousness of Christ (God's work for me and in me). Justification is for sins committed in the past only.
2. The human nature of Christ: Jesus Christ possessed a human nature that not only was 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.
3. The events of 1844: Jesus entered into the second compartment of the heavenly sanctuary for the first time on October 22, 1844, and began an investigative judgment. This judgment is the fulfillment of the second phase of Christ’s atoning work.
4. Assurance of salvation: Our standing before God rests in both the imputed and imparted righteousness of Christ; assurance of salvation before the judgment is presumptuous. As Jesus, our example, showed us, perfect commandment keeping is possible.
5. The authority of Ellen G. White: The spirit of prophecy was manifest in the ministry of Ellen White as a sign of the remnant church. Her writings are inspired counsel from the Lord and authoritative in doctrinal matters.
Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition, the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible, and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. He serves as an elder at Grace Hill Church in Herndon, Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter.
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Seventh Day Adventists
Founder: William Miller
Overview
In 1782 William Miller was born on the east coast of the United States.  As a young man he was a farmer and during the war of 1812, he served as a captain in the American armed forces.  In 1833 he was licensed to preach by a Baptist church but was never ordained.  After having studied the Bible for two years, in 1818 Miller announced to the world that in 25 years (March 1844) Jesus Christ would return to the earth.  At the height of his ministry, Miller had gathered some 50,000 followers, who had also become known as "Adventists." When March 1844 came and went with no sign of Jesus Christ having returned, Miller recalculated the new date to October 22, 1844.  When Jesus did not return on October 22, 1844, the entire Millerite movement collapsed as his followers' Christian faith were destroyed.  Miller revamped his doctrine to say that Christ had indeed returned, but that Miller had not understood that Christ first had to come to the "Heavenly Sanctuary," which He is now busy cleaning.  Once Jesus has cleansed things up in heaven, He would be coming back to the earth.
The remnant that bought into this lie formed the Advent Church and in 1845 William Miller became its first president.  The name was later changed to Seventh Day Adventists and after the death of Miller in 1849 a new false prophet came on the scene, this time a woman, Ellen G. White. At the age of 13, Ellen was taken to a meeting where William Miller spoke and was converted to the Adventist faith. During the month of December, 1844, Ellen was holding a prayer meeting in which she had a vision and felt that she was transported to heaven and shown that Christ could not come back to the earth until the Great Commission has been fulfilled.  This revelation was later going to be mixed in with the teaching that Christ had come back in 1844, but that He stopped in the heaven sanctuary to first clean that up.  Thus, like with so many other false movements, the leaders in the Advents movement had to cover up for the false prophecy of William Miller.
On August 30, 1846 Ellen married James White, who had been ordained into the Adventist church in 1843.  Her ascension as a "prophetess" in the Seventh Day Adventist Church had now begun.  During her  years as the "seer" for the SDA church, she prophesied a number of predictions, which did not come true.  One of the most blatant false prophecies she made was when she predicted before the American Civil war, that the Union would not be preserved but that the United States would be divided, slavery would not be abolished but England would intervene and declare war on the United States.  Any student of history knows differently.  But, like so many other false movements, these failed prophecies are swept under the rug and most Seventh Day Adventists today do not even know about them.
Like so many other cults, the doctrine of the SDA church evolved with time.  The doctrine of Saturday as the Sabbath was not preached by William Miller, but came in later.  Neither did Miller preach and believe in vegetarianism.
With the collapse of Miller's prediction that Christ would return in 1844, the movement needed a cause in order to survive.  After the damage control had been completed and the SDA spin doctors had cured the disease, it was time for the SDA leadership to hammer out some kind of "theology" that could be used to attract new converts to their fold.
The teaching of vegetarianism came from the Whites.  In 1864, Ellen's husband became ill and Ellen nursed him back to health.  After his recovery James and Ellen began to think about food and eating habits.  Since just a practical experience would not do the job of changing the theology of the SDA church, Ellen had a "convenient" vision from the Lord, and vegetarianism was not introduced to the church as a "THUS SAYS THE LORD."  In 1866 the Western Health Reform Institute was founded at Battle Creek, Michigan.  Despite the new vegetarian diet, James White died in1881.
Ellen was always writing for the SDA denominational publications, and wrote a string of books.  One well known book and still pushed hard by the SDA members is, "The Great Controversy." It is important to note that Ellen was a proven plagiarist. The explanation of the SDA Church for her plagiarism, that there were no copyright laws back then does not excuse her "borrowing".
SDA's often make every effort to appear "evangelical", joining in with inter-ministry groups and trying to "blend in" with the Christian community. However, make no mistake about it, they believe they are exclusively correct because they recognize and follow Ellen G. White. Among themselves, they mock the Christian's beliefs, calling our concept of salvation, "cheap grace". They privately consider themselves to be spiritually superior to the rest of us.
The SDA Church made this statement in their "Ministry" magazine of October 1981 and has never retracted it:
"We believe the revelation and inspiration of both the Bible and Ellen White’s writings to be of equal quality. The superintendence of the Holy Spirit was just as careful and thorough in one case as in the other."
Cult Beliefs
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.  Ultimately, according to SDA theology, your salvation in the last days boils down to the day you worship on. Simply put, there is no salvation outside the SDA church. The Bible says we are saved by grace through faith and nothing more. Ephesians 2:8-9
Ellen G. White taught that all other churches except the SDA church were teaching lies from the Devil.  Only SDA members are true and obedient believers; prayers spoken in other churches are only answered by the Devil. This is a man-made doctrine not found in the Bible.
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. This is a man-made doctrine not found in the Bible. The mark of the beast will be a literal mark, either in your forehead or in your hand. Revelation 14:9
They firmly believe that Jesus is Michael the Archangel and this is the name used for him (Jesus) in the Old Testament; yet also believe that Jesus is God. Jesus is God, he is the Creator; (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-6) whereas, Michael is just an angel, a created being.
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. The Bible says that the atoning work of Jesus is finished, never again to be repeated. John 19:30; Hebrews 9:24-28
They believe in the "sanctuary teaching" that Jesus is now cleaning the sanctuary in the heavens before he can return to the earth. This is a man-made doctrine not found in the Bible.
They believe you will have to stand in the presence of the living God for judgment without a mediator. The Bible says that there is one mediator between God and men, and that is Jesus himself. I Timothy 2:5
The believe you can be sinless, also known as "sinless perfection". Meaning that a person can become sinless while they are still living on this earth in their physical body. The Bible says that all are born with sin. All throughout the New Testament, the various authors write about fleeing and resisting sin, they themselves struggled with sin. This is a man-made doctrine not found in the Bible.
They won’t tell you that early Adventists expected the literal second coming of Christ in 1843 and 1844 only to be disappointed. They won’t tell you that their 1844 "investigative judgment" teaching was born out of an attempt to cover over this false prophecy. Instead of repenting over this false date, they believe that Christ really came, but INVISIBLY in heaven. As an SDA you now enter a period of "investigative judgment" where every deed you do or don’t do is recorded for judgment day. You will even be judged for "idle moments" where you could have been more obedient. When Christ comes, every eye shall see it (Revelation 1:7). At the Judgment Seat of Christ, we will be judged.
I Corinthians 3:11-15; II Corinthians 5:10
They believe the doctrine of soul sleeping, which states that the souls of believers in Christ are not in heaven, but are sleeping in the graves. The Bible says those who were saved on earth by receiving Jesus Christ as their Saviour and died are now living a full and joyous life in heaven. Revelation 7:9-17
They believe in the final and total annihilation of the wicked, where they will simply cease to exist after the final judgment.  This doctrine is in harmony with the Jehovah's Witnesses. The Bible says they will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:12-15
They do not believe in the eternal punishment of Satan and his fallen angels.  They believe that the penalty for sinning against a Holy God is merely annihilation. Satan is the scapegoat; the sins of the believers are laid upon him, and he and these sins are finally burned up. The Bible says that Satan and his fallen angels will be cast in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:10-15
They believe in and demand vegetarianism.  There is no place in the Bible where God demands this. There is nothing wrong if a person chooses to be vegetarian for personal or health reasons, but it should never be tied in with our salvation.
They believe you should revere their founding prophetess, Ellen G. White, viewing her as having the "spirit of prophecy" referred to in the book of Revelation. Ellen G. White's writing are considered as inspired as the Bible and are used as a authoritative source of truth. In spite of revering her, they won’t ordain women as ministers. Ellen was a proven plagiarist and therefore a liar. God's attributes are truth and light (I John 1:5-6), whereas, Satan's attributes are darkness and lying (John 8:44).

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Also See:

Who is Billy Graham?

02 July 2010
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