Hidden Heresies of Seventh-Day Adventists
by David J. Stewart
Seventh Day Adventism (SDA) is a very deceitful false religion. SDAs, more than any other false religion, APPEAR as born again Christians. An Adventist gentleman sent me the following website, trying to defend the SDA religion…
From looking at the above website, you’d never know they were unsaved heretics. They believe in Christ’s deity, the Virgin Birth, the Godhead, etc. They teach on their webpage that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone, just as the Word of God teaches. But don’t be fooled. This deception has led MANY people, even Christians, to accept SDAs as “Christian.” What they’re NOT telling you about is their HIDDEN heresies which they would never put forth to the public. With the help of the beloved Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980), I would like to EXPOSE the truth about this Satanic cult that falsely claims to be “Christian.”
Here is a lengthy quote from Dr. John R. Rice’s excellent book, FALSE DOCTRINES (pg. 182), available from the Sword of the Lord (which I highly recommend)…
“A friend sent me a card, ‘What Seventh-Day Adventists Believe,’ and said, ‘The enclosed card seems orthodox and supported by Biblical references. I would not call them heresies. Wherein do they err?’
I am glad to give you a brief analysis of the position of Seventh-Day Adventists stated on the card.
Unfortunately, heresy always presents itself in deceitful form. False doctrine has always involved some moral guilt also. So in 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15 God warns us:
‘For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.’
So Satan makes sure that heresy always appears like orthodoxy. Wolves put on sheep’s clothing, as Jesus said about false prophets in Matthew 7:15. And the worst heresies in the world pretend that their doctrine is founded on Scripture and they give Scripture references, though the Scriptures themselves do not always teach what the false doctrines try to teach.
I call your attention to some things in this statement of faith of Seventh-Day Adventists which a good Christian should question.”
Seventh-Day Adventism began in the mid-nineteenth century, when a Baptist preacher, who later repented of his folly, predicted that Jesus Christ would return in 1844. Miller had over 10,000 followers, many of whom sold their homes, gave away all their earthly possessions, quit their jobs, and waited eagerly for the Lord’s return–But the Lord didn’t return in 1844! In came Ellen G. White to save the day, claiming that instead of returning to the earth, Jesus entered into the Holy of Holies in Heaven to finish His work of atonement. She termed this event the “Investigative Judgment,” a doctrine not found anywhere in the Word of God. We will expose this more later.
Adventists Teach Salvation by Works!
Dr. Rice goes on to say on page 183..
“In article 9 (of ‘What Seventh-Day Adventists Believe’), it says, ‘that those who are truly converted and love God will diligently study, and give heed to, His Word.’ And they give eight Scripture references and none of them say anything like that. The simple truth is that people who are converted do not always ‘diligently study’ the Bible and do not always obey it in many matters. This is a part of the doctrine of salvation by works which they teach, and that one may keep saved by keeping on working.”
Thank God for Dr. Rice’s wisdom and uncompromising stand for the truth! The Devil can’t deceive us if we shine the light of God’s Word upon the darkness. As with most false religions, SDAs talk out of both sides of their mouth. They say one thing here, and then another over there. SDAs will swear on their mother’s grave that they believe in salvation by grace through faith in Christ; BUT, then the writings of Ellen G. White, whom they ALL recognize as a prophet inspired by God, contradicts their claims. Here again are the words of Dr. John R. Rice, from his book FALSE DOCTRINES (Pg. 188)…
“Mrs. White, the ‘prophetess’ of Seventh-Day Adventists, is quoted in their book, Answers to Objections, by Francis D. Nichol (published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C.), page 402, as saying:
‘Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation … Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life.”
“On page 409 (of Answers to Objections) Mr. Nichol says, speaking officially for Seventh-Day Adventists:
‘Thus we escape on the one hand, the false doctrine of Universalism; and on the other, the equally false doctrine of claiming full and final salvation for a man before he has endured ‘unto the end.’ “
Clearly, SDAs teach that a person must “endure” to the end to be guaranteed salvation in Christ. In contrast 1st John 5:13 states, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” We read in Romans 4:3, 5 that Abraham simply BELIEVED God, and was saved WITHOUT any works, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness … But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” There is NO mention of enduring to the end to be saved. “Enduring” would be a work. Eternal life is a “FREE GIFT” (Romans 5:15; 6:23), paid for by the precious blood of Christ (1st Peter 1:18,19). SDAs teach salvation by works when they require a person to “endure unto the end” to be saved for certain.
Francis D. Nichol, in his book, Answers to Objections, states on page 243…
“Here is our position: Only those will be saved who, having been redeemed by the grace of Christ, walk in obedience to all the light that God sheds on their way.”
This is the official Adventist position! The above doctrine means that all SDA members must comply with ALL of the requirements of the SDA church to be saved. So, according to SDA doctrine, if you don’t tithe, you’re not saved. Jesus NEVER asked anyone to FOLLOW Him to be saved; BUT, rather, only to BELIEVE upon Him (John 3:16). Jesus never asked anyone to work for salvation, only believe.
Here’s a website I found that teaches Baptismal Regeneration. The following LIE of Satan is taken from a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church website…
“Through baptism we are truly born again in Jesus.” -SOURCE (2nd paragraph from bottom)
What a lie of Satan! No where in the Word of God are we ever told that baptism saves. Lutherans and other Bible-corrupters like to manipulate 1st Peter 3:21, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Usually, the heretics will just take a few words out of this Scripture, failing to quote the entire Verse. If a person were only to consider the phrase, “…baptism doth also now save us,” then they might get the WRONG impression that baptism is essential to going to Heaven. If we read the rest of the Verse, then the truth is clearly seen, “…not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.” Being baptized cannot forgive our sins. In fact, getting baptized will just get you wet! 1st Peter 3:21 states that baptism is the “like figure.” Romans 6:5,6 plainly teaches that baptism is only the “likeness” of the Gospel, not the Gospel itself. Ironically, SDA’s state this on the the above webpage, which is extremely CONTRADICTORY. How can baptism be “symbolic” if it also has the POWER to save. Romans 1:16 declares that the Gospel is the “power” of God unto salvation. Baptism is not mentioned.
You can argue with me all you want, the SDA quote above, requiring baptism for salvation, speaks for itself.
Investigative Judgment Verses Biblical Redemption
There is some confusion on this matter. First, there is NO such thing as “Investigative Judgment,” it is an exclusive heresy of Seventh-Day Adventism.
Also, many preachers ignorantly teach that Christ’s work of redemption was completed at Calvary; BUT, the blood needed to be applied to the mercyseat in Heaven. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He hadn’t yet died, been buried, or rose again. How could the Gospel by finished if Christ hadn’t even died yet? So what did Jesus mean? In John 19:28-30, we read…
“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished…”
What was finished? All of the prophecies concerning Christ up until that time. Jesus meticulously paid attention to every detail that had been prophesied concerning Him. Notice that Jesus said, “It is finished,” after He received the vinegar. So, Christ’s work of redemption wasn’t finished at the time He spoke those words.
Furthermore, atonement is an Old Testament word. The blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin (Hebrews 10:4); BUT, only cover (atone) for those sins. Look up the Greek word for “atonement” and you will see that it means “to cover.” Interestingly, this is the same Hebrew word used for the “pitch” used to cover Noah’s ark. Thus, the blood of the Old Testament animal sacrifices only temporarily atoned for the sins of the people. In contrast, Jesus’ blood sacrifice didn’t atone for our sins; BUT, rather, TOOK OUR SINS AWAY (Hebrews 9:12). Hebrews 9:24 states, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Notice Jesus’ words in John 20:17, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father…” Jesus needed to take His shed blood to Heaven, to APPLY to the heavenly mercyseat.
In the time of Moses, God required the people to apply the blood of a slain lamb to the lintel (top of the door) and door posts of each home, or else the firstborn would surely die. We read in Exodus 12:13, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you…” If the family killed the lamb, but didn’t APPLY the blood, then the firstborn died! The blood had to be applied! Likewise, Jesus’ blood had to be applied to the mercyseat in Heaven. This is why I so zealously EXPOSE heretics like John MacArthur who claim that Jesus’ blood is only representative of Christ’s death, and that the blood by itself has no significance. The Word of God proclaims the blood of Jesus, from the blood sacrifice which Abel offered (Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 12:24), to the blood of the Lamb in Revelation (Revelation 7:14). We read these wonderful Words in 1st Peter 1:18,19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ…”
I only mentioned these Bible doctrines because some of the Christians exposing Seventh-Day Adventism claim that Jesus atoned for our sins at Calvary. As we have seen from the Bible, Jesus didn’t atone for our sins, He TOOK OUR SINS AWAY forever. The only mention of the Word “atonement” in the New Testament is in Romans 5:11, and is a mistranslation. It should be the word “reconciliation.” Also, Jesus didn’t finish His work at the cross, He still needed to ascend into Heaven with the blood that He had shed, to apply it to the mercyseat on our behalf. When Jesus returned from Heaven, He allowed Thomas to TOUCH His scars; whereas, He had told Mary not to touch Him at all. Once the blood had been applied to the mercyseat in Heaven, Christ’s work was FINISHED! What a Wonderful Savior!!!
The Lie of Investigative Judgment
Now, having laid the foundation, let’s look at the Seventh-Day Adventist teaching of “Investigative Judgment.” The following quote by Ellen G. White is from The Great Controversy…
“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.”
It is heresy for anyone to claim that Christ’s work of redemption wasn’t completed at the mercyseat. There is NOTHING in the Scriptures teaching otherwise. There is nothing even remotely indicative of an “investigative judgment” (as they term it), where Christ completes His work of redemption. Such a doctrine is damnable heresy! SDAs cannot KNOW they are saved, because of their faulty understanding of Christ’s work of redemption. SDAs believe that Jesus is still in the process of redeeming them. On the contrary, Hebrews 9:26 teaches, “…but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Jesus didn’t need to go into the Holy of Holies repeatedly as did the Old Testament high priests; BUT, only once (Hebrews 9:25)! The very concept of an “Investigative Judgment” would require Jesus to enter into the Holy of Holies AT LEAST TWICE, the second time being in 1844. Clearly this is extremely unbiblical. The heresy of “Investigative Judgment” denies Christ’s COMPLETED work of redemption.
Disturbing Questions for Seventh-Day Adventists
Furthermore … and this is PROOF that Seventh-Day Adventism is a big scam … why was there NO Seventh-Day Adventist religion before 1844? Why was there NO teaching of the “investigative judgment” before 1844? Why isn’t this doctrine found in the Word of God? Why do SDAs only recognize Ellen G. White as a prophetess? Do you mean to tell me that no other prophets have appeared in nearly 2,000 years? According to the Bible, in Hebrews 1:1 and 2, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…” According to God’s Word, there are NO prophets today, nor have there been since John completed the Book of revelation in A.D. 96; thus, completing the Bible. The Word of God is our Final and Only Authority! Jesus NEVER told us to look for another messenger or prophet. If what SDAs teach is true concerning Ellen G. White, then surely the Word of God would have foretold of the coming of such a great prophetess, who would reveal new doctrines. To the contrary, the Bible says nothing of the such. I find it utterly disturbing that the entire SDA religion was formed out of a major embarrassment, when a foolish Baptist preacher twisted the Bible around, set a date for Christ to return, and then Christ DIDN’T return. Not even a lightning bolt. And another thing, why did all those Baptists descent, suddenly starting a whole different religion? The entire matter is disturbing to say the least.
Logic with me here. If what SDAs teach is true, then what about all those Christian people who died between the cross of Christ, and the beginning of the investigative judgment of 1844? If Christ needed to complete His work of redemption, then why would He wait until 1844? And here’s something to really consider, the year 1844 wasn’t set by Ellen G. White–it was set by a Baptist preacher, Miller!!! If Ellen G. White was such an inspired prophetess, why didn’t God give her the revelation of the year 1844? Why would God give it to a Baptist preacher? The Seventh-Day Adventist religion was formed by a group of SINFULLY PROUD people, who couldn’t accept the FACT that they had been hoodwinked by a misguided Baptist preacher. Thankfully, most Baptist preachers would never be so foolish as to set a date for Christ’s return. The Bible plainly teaches in Mark 13:33, “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” The foolish people in 1844, who followed a man, instead of God’s Word, were greatly embarrassed when Miller’s prophecy failed to come true. Think about it … these people had sold their homes, quit there jobs, and given away all earthly possessions! Can you imagine how idiotic and desperate they felt? The embarrassment was so overwhelming that they couldn’t live with themselves, so they fabricated a new religion which would heal the wounds. Unfortunately, it was to their own destruction, “…in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2nd Peter 3:16).
Seventh-Day Adventism is a False Religion!
Here again is Dr. John R. Rice from his excellent book, FALSE DOCTRINES (pg. 181)…
“Try Seventh-Day Adventist teaching by the Bible. Do they teach salvation by works, or by grace alone? By works, of course, by Sabbath-keeping, by tithing, by law and commandments. But this is not the plan of John 3:16 or of Ephesians 2:8. It is the heresy Paul condemned so strongly in the Galatians, when he said they had fallen from grace in doctrine, and now taught salvation by the law. He said in Galatians 4:9,10:
“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.”
That is the sin of Seventh-Day Adventism.
The following information from http://www.wayoflife.org by David W. Cloud is very well explained…
“Seventh-day Adventism plays the same game in salvation as every other false movement of Christendom. They profess to teach salvation by grace through faith, but they redefine this in a way that is contrary to New Testament doctrine.
Though they often deny this, the Adventist denomination teaches that salvation is by grace plus law, faith plus works. Grace, according to Adventist theology, is the power and forgiveness God gives to enable a sinner to keep the law and to thereby build a holy character fit for Heaven. He who fails to build the right character by God’s grace will never see Heaven. Faith and works are the two oars by which the believer is propelled to glory.
The Adventist doctrine of salvation is a subtle mixture of grace and law that can never provide Bible security. Simply stated, this doctrine is as follows: The sinner is powerless to live up to God’s holy standards, the law. He does not and cannot possess in himself the character demanded of God. Thus God has come to his aid through the sacrifice of Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. God now offers, because of the atonement of His Son, enablement to the sinner by which he is empowered to keep the law. Christ’s blood covers all shortcomings, (only) as long as these are properly confessed and forsaken. God offers the grace and power; the sinner must take these and develop within himself the character demanded by the law, or at least, to put it as the cults would, to allow Jesus to do this work. The believing sinner who fails to properly walk with the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit shall ultimately be lost, in spite of his faith in Christ.
This doctrine of salvation cannot and does not offer any security for the adherent. There can never be assurance of eternal life for the cultist, because he does not, in practice, believe that eternal salvation is TOTALLY a gift of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ. The cultist, rather, is convinced that he, too, has a part in gaining eternal life. He must properly endure to the end in the law of God and the works of his church. If he fails to develop the proper character, he will never inherit eternal life. Thus, he can have no assurance of salvation until after the examinations of judgment day. The misled cultist cannot “stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). Since works play a role in his salvation, he can never testify with joy, saying, “I am NOW justified by his blood … I SHALL BE saved from wrath through him” (Rom. 5:9). -SOURCE
Seventh-Day Adventists Condemn Themselves by Their Own Words!
WHAT ADVENTISM TEACHES: The SDA doctrine of salvation documented. Consider carefully the following Seventh-day Adventist statements relative to salvation. While professing to uphold salvation by grace alone through faith alone, they actually redefine this contrary to Apostolic revelation. The result is a false gospel that subtly mixes grace and law.
From a SDA tract -Deceptively titled Saved By Grace: “Christ says to every man in this world what He said to the rich young ruler: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, Matthew 19:17. In other words, THE STANDARD FOR ADMISSION INTO HEAVEN IS A CHARACTER BUILT ACCORDING TO THE TEN SPECIFICATIONS, OR COMMANDMENTS, OF GOD’S LAW. … He can lift you up to the place where the requirements of the law are met in you. … THE MASTER BUILDER WILL STAND RIGHT WITH YOU AND IN YOU, AND SEE TO IT PERSONALLY THAT YOUR LIFE COMES UP TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF GOD’S LAW” (Charles T. Everson, Saved By Grace, pp. 45-46).
From SDA correspondence courses. “It is not the work of the gospel to weaken the claims of God’s holy law, but to bring men up to where they can keep its precepts” (Prophetic Guidance Correspondence Course, Lesson 10, p. 36).
“Do you want to be a Christian? … The steps to Christ are few and plain and easy to understand, and we will turn to God’s Guidebook now for information. … Believe; that’s the first step toward becoming a Christian. … the second step is repentance … repentance is simply being sorry for our sins and putting them away … the next step in becoming a Christian is confession … real repentance and confession mean not only to stop sinning, but to do everything possible to make past wrongs right … The next step is baptism, and the proof for that is found in Acts 2:38-39 … Fifth, obedience through Christ in us … So we have clearly outlined the steps that we need to take in order to become a Christian: to believe in God, to repent of and to confess our sins, to be baptized, AND TO OBEY ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. … He may stumble and fall, but he gets up and presses forward again, determined to overcome by God’s enabling power. Such a fall is not counted against him when he repents and asks forgiveness and divine help to live the right life” (New Life Voice of Prophecy Guide, #12).
“Before Christ comes a second time to take us to His Father’s house in heaven above, we must allow Him to conquer sin in our lives. … Because in this life we have chosen to accept these lovely graces of Christ as our own, the sudden transformation at Jesus’ appearing will seal our characters. … ONLY THOSE WHO LIVE THE JESUS-LIFE CAN BE FREED FROM SIN. … Jesus counseled the rich man who was seeking eternal life, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. … It is Jesus who delivers us from sin but not in sin. WE MUST ACCEPT HIM AND THROUGH HIS POWER IN US BE SEPARATED FROM THE IMPURE, THE UNHOLY, THE DEFILING ALL DISOBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDMENTS” (New Life Guides, #10).
From a SDA catechism. ” … We were slaves to sin. Jesus came down and suffered with us, and for us, and delivered us. As we behold Him in His word, and in prayer and meditation, and serve Him in the person of others, WE MAY BE CHANGED MORE AND MORE INTO THE GLORY OF HIS LIKENESS; THEN, IF FAITHFUL, WE SHALL SOMEDAY SEE HIM FACE TO FACE” (Bible Footlights, 1960, p. 17).
From a SDA doctrinal study. “To whom will God impart immortality? To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality (Rom. 2:7). What shall be their reward? Eternal life (Rom. 2:7). Upon what conditions may men obtain this blessing? Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life (1 Tim. 6:12). … Will a man’s final destiny be in accordance with the life he has lived? Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7)” (C.B. Haynes, When A Man Dies, pp. 46-47).
From one of Ellen White’s major works. While discussing the doctrine of Investigative Judgment, Mrs. White presents the following teaching about salvation: “The righteous dead will not be raised until after the judgment at which they are counted worthy of the resurrection of life. … As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. … every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. … all who would have their names retained in the book of life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance … the work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another” (Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 425, 431).
I plead with you to forsake the Seventh-Day Adventist false religion if you are a victim. Acts 16:31 is the only invitation which God ever gave for men to be saved … “Believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
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