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The House of Yahweh

By Philip Arnn


Founder: Buffalo Bill Hawkins.


Founding Date: December 2, 1980.


Official Publications: The Prophetic Word magazine, plus numerous books and booklets.



1950s Buffalo Bill Hawkins was named by his older brother after a famous cowboy star. He was one of nine children born to an Oklahoma family. Hawkins and his brother J.G., later to be called Jacob, entered the religious arena with a radio broadcast in the early 1950’s out of Eastland, Texas. The broadcast was called The Question and Answer Program. The subject matter was Bible Prophecy and Mosaic Law of the Old Testament.


Hawkins purports to have had a recurring dream which has directed the course of his life: “From memory, I think it was about 1951 that I had my FIRST DREAM that my brother Yaaqob and I were the Two Witnesses spoken of in Revelation Chapter 11. My dream went something like this: I knocked on the door of a WHITE HOUSE next to a sanctuary. My brother answered the door, and I asked him, ‘Are you ready to to to Israyl and do what we have been called to do?” (The Prophetic Word, 7 June 1991, p. 766).


1969 J.G. Hawkins accepted the dream as divine direction. He actually did imigrate to Israel with his family and two other couples. It was at this time that he began calling himself Jacob or Yaaqob. While in Israel Yaaqob heard of an archaeological discovery of a door mantel with the Hebrew title, “BAYIT YHWH” (House of Yahweh). Both brothers believed this to be the true name of God’s true work.


1975 Yaaqob Hawkins returned home to the United States. He settled in Odessa, Texas and began what became the House of Yahweh Odessa. The two borthers, however, divided over the issue of the true name of the Creator. Yaaqob chose to use the title Elohim. Bill disagreed, stating that Elohim was the title for pagan deities. On December 2, 1980, he dedicated the House of Yahweh Abilene.


1982 Buffalo Bill Hawkins had his name legally changed to Yisrayl Hawkins (The Prophetic Word, 7 June 1991, p. 76). The name change enable Yisrayl Hawkins to claim the mantle of prophetic authority as the spokesman for the Two Witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11. Upon Yaaqob’s return from Israel in 1975, Yisrayl claimed to have had a third occurrence of his dream. In his third dream, he claimed there was a “TERRIBLE TRAGEDY” involving someone’s death. Yisrayl now states this dream was prophetic of his brother’s deat on March 22, 1991 (Ibid.).



Yisrayl Hawkins, the founder of the House of Yahweh Abilene, Texas, has built his movement on doctrinal themes which are not new to American religion. His theology is an eclectic blend of Sabbatarian, Sacred Name and Anglo-Israel teachings. His internal control over group members is classic authoritarian technique. Critical thinking or dissent is discouraged and controlled by queating rebellion against Hawkins as being rebellion against Yahweh. He represents himself as an end-time prophet who is spoken of in the Bible. He claims his work is the only true work on earth; that all other churches are part of Satan’s last days’ deception, and those seeking God or Yahweh and salvation can only find that salvation through The House of Yahweh. If a member leaves the group, they are leaving Yahweh and his salvation.


THE TWO WITNESSES Yisrayl Hawkins boldly claims that he and his late brother are prophesied in the Bible to be the two Witnesses whose ministry is set forth in Revelation Chapter 11:


“Yahweh Himself has given this inspired Testimony to Isayah 44:5, showing exactly ‘HOW’ His Prophesied TWO WITNESSES would obtain NAMES which were not given to them at birth!…The prophecy has come to pass! One of Yahweh’s Two Witnesses ‘LEGALLY GAVE HIMSELF’ the name of ‘Yisrayl’…this Prophesied ‘WAY’ in which Yahweh’s Two Witnesses would attain their Prophesied Name, is the most outstanding ‘SIGN’ Yahweh gives that these TWO MEN are HIS TWO WITNESSES!” (The Prophetic Word, 7 June 1991, p. 6).


AUTHORITY OF CHRIST Hawkins boasts that his organization was ordained of God. He claims that his credentials and authority are equal with those of Christ:


“Yahshua Messiah KNEW that He was sent, because He FULFILLED all the Scriptures concerning Himself. And The True Work of Yahweh: Established House of Yahweh – The Place of Yahweh has chosen to Establish His Name in These Last Days – has this SAME AUTHORITY, with the SAME CREDENTIAL.”


“Yes The House of Yahweh, Established in Abilene, Texas, is SPOKEN OF and WRITTEN ABOUT by the Prophets of Old! This Established House of Yahweh in These Last Days is doing the work that Yahshua Messiah and His Disciples – who were ‘SENT’ – did; the very same work! It is a Scriptural fact that unless Yahweh gives AUTHORITY to someone, by having SPOKEN ABOUT THEM THROUGH HIS HOLY SCRIPTURES, then that person is NOT SENT!” (What Yahweh’s Feasts Mean to You, pp.82-83).


“Yes, Yahweh now has ONLY ONE WORK under His ONE REMAINING WITNESS Yisrayl – His Prophesied Spokesman who will continue to perform all The Will of Yahweh…Just as Yahshua Messiah came as a ‘covenant to the people’ in These Last Days (Isayah 49:8)” (The Prophetic Word, 7 June 1991, p. 36).


THE ONLY MESSAGE OF SALVATION Hawkins joins other self-proclaimed Apostles and Prophets -i.e., Herbert Armstrong, Jim Jones and David Koresh – who were the sole proprietors of God’s only true salvation. Hawkins initiation ritual which bestows both salvation and admittance into the group, is water baptism. He teaches:


“BAPTISM – The third step one must then take is to be Baptized by the CHOSEN MINISTERS of YAHWEH, so you may receive The Holy Spirit:…Please notice that you can NOT obtain The Holy Spirit of YAHWEH from the preachers of this world!” (Why Aren’t Your Prayers Answered Today?, p. 20).


“The One Body of Messiah IS The House of Yahweh!…The Holy Scriptires say this…We are partakers with Yahshua – IF we are part of the Body of Messiah of the House of Yahweh. In Genesis 28:11-17, the Patriarch Yaaqob saw a vision of The House of Yahweh as the way to Yahweh’s Kingdom. The House of Yahweh IS THE GAT OF HEAVEN!”


“…IF we ‘separate’ form the One Body of Messiah: The House of Yahweh, then we succumb to Satan, then at that very moment we become worshipers of Satan…of if one LEAVES The Body – The only Prophesied, Established Work that Yahweh Himself has chosen, then that one does NOT partake, or is NO LONGER a partaker, with the rest of The body of Messiah – The House of Yahweh” (What Yahweh’s Feasts Mean to You, pp. 78, 87).


EARLY PROPHECY Hawkins has claimed that his authority and credentials are founded on his fulfillment of Bible prophecy: “Yahweh then says, Through Prophecy – ‘Let these TWO WITNESSES FORETELL the things that are coming, and let them PROCLAIM that I am ONE!” (The Prophetic Word, 7 June 1991, p. 4).


“The RAIN WILL SOON BE CUT OFF AGAIN, as it was in the days of Yliyah. This time, it will not rainfor one thousand two hundred sixty days – but this soon-coming Time Period will BEGIN the LAST Seven Years of Satan’s rule upon the earth. This Seven Year Period is known as The Great Tribulation – and for the FIRST 1260 Days of this Period, there will be NO RAIN” (Ibid., p. 15).


“In the middle of this Seven Years – in the Midst of This Week, or 3 1/2 Years after this week begins, Satan Is Cast TO THE EARTH, The Last Witness is KILLED by Satan, The seed of The Two Witnesses – The Sealed remnant are delivered to Mount Zion in Yerusalem. When Satan is Cast Out of heaven, his first act is to PERSECUTE The Woman which Brings Forth The Man! Through this PERSECUTION – Satan stops the Prophesying of THE ONE WITNESS who is still alive at this time – BY KILLING HIM! It will be at this time that ‘his testimony’ will be perfectly accomplished (Revelation 11:7). However, in spite of this same persecution, ‘THIS WOMAN’ is taken to The Place of Safety!” (Ibid., p. 48).


LATER PROPHECY By late 1994 Hawkins had altered his theology and was teaching that The House of Yahweh was already in “the midst” of Tribulation: He explained: “In order to understand what time period Yahweh is referring to when He says, ‘the midst,’ we will refer to Yahshua’s Message of the End Time – the Time Period known as: The Seven Years of Tribulation…Yahshua Messiah spoke of the FIRST PART of the Seven Year Period…(Matthew 24:7). Since the time of my brother Yaaqob’s death, March 22, 1991, wars have been raging not only in Israyl, but throughout the eastern world.”…”These things: WARS, FAMINES, PESTILENCES, and EARTHQUAKES are Prophesied to take place through the FIRST HALF of the Great Tribulation. But, the end is not yet! When the first three and one half years are complete, the LAST HALF of the Great Tribulation begins. Since the Feast of Tabernacles, September 22, 1994, my brother Yaaqob, the first witness to be killed by the Beastly System, will have been dead THREE AND ONE HALF YEARS” (The Prophetic Word, November 1994, pp. 14, 16).


“The hatred taking place at this time, just as we are APPROACHING THE MIDDLE of the Seven Year Time Period known as The Great Tribulation, is strong and is being openly displayed to the point that I am being betrayed to Unrighteous Lawyers and Judges…Those who rise up against me…have turned to judges of the Gods in order to try to destroy Yahweh’s work, just as they did to Yahshua”(Ibid., p. 18).


Hawkins now claims the world is in the middle of the Great Tribulation. He has not caused the rain to stop, neither has he been slain by a beast power, nor have his followers been taken to Israel. By his own criteria he is a false prophet.


Other Doctrines

Nature of God. Hawkins denies the Triune nature of the Godhead and the pre-existence of Christ: “Those who are False Prophets and Lying teachers ‘teach’ the false doctrine tha there is a ‘trinity’ or a ‘duality’ in the (and I quote) ‘GODHEAD’. Therefore, it is also The Truth of Yahweh that Yahshua Messiah did not ‘pre-exist’!” (The Prophetic Word, 7 June 1991, p. 7).


Yahweh and Jesus. He teaches that Yahweh and Yahshua are two different “beings.” “Some of those trying to support the deception of a ‘pre-existent savior, aruge that Yahshua and Yahweh are THE ‘SAME’ BEING…The Holy Scriptures plainly show that Yahshua and Yahweh are TWO DIFFERENT BEINGS!” (Did Yahshua Messiah Pre-exist?, p. 40).


Biblical Response

Yahshua is Yahweh. In Zechariah 12:10 the Hebrew text is explicit in showing that the one speaking is Yahweh, “they shall look upon me,” and that the one speaking is the one who is the object of the action; “whom they have pierced” (See also John 19:37 and Revelation 1:7).


Compare the attributes of Yahweh with the same attributes ascribed to Yahshua in these verses: Acts 4:12; Isaiah 43:11; Hebrews 1:8; Isaiah 43:10; Revelation 1:17; 22:13; Isaiah 44:6; John 8:58; Exodus 3:14; John 1:3; Isaiah 40:28; John 1:9 and 8:12; Psalms 27:1; Joel 3:12. Yahshua is Yahweh.


The Church is Christ’s Body. The Church is a spiritual body, not a man-made organization (1 Peter 2:5). No city or organization is the mandated place of worship (John 4:20-24).


The Gospel. The gospel is not a “warning message” (Acts 2:22-24, 32-38; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 2:1-2).


Only One Mediator. Functionally, Hawkins makes himself a mediator between his followers and God (1 Timothy 2:5).



Sabbath in Crisis. Dale Ratzlaff. This book deals with the Sabbath question in exhaustive detail. Vital reading for anyone interested in this issue as it pertains to New Testament believers. 345 pages. $15.


Churches That Abuse Ronald Enroth. Although not dealing with the House of Yahweh specifically, Enroth’s study of the misuse of spiritual authority, fear, guilt and intimidation by religious leaders is a helpful resource for members of the House of Yahweh and their families. Personal accounts by numerous victims of religious abuse are included. 253 pages. $6.


Here is two post WITH ARTICLES AND VIDEOS on the SACRED NAME MOVEMENT that will help you understand the House of Yahweh.

Origin And History Of The Sacred Name Movement

Deception of the Sacred Name Cults





Origin And History Of The Sacred Name Movement

The recent history of the Sacred Name Movement is closely related to the history of the Church of God (Seventh Day). It appears that many who have joined the Sacred Name Movement originally were members of one or more of the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God.

Dodd and the Faith Magazine

Clarence O. Dodd states that he began to keep the Passover in 1928, and immediately began keeping the other Feast Days of the year. “After being thwarted in a determined effort to teach the importance of keeping these Holy Days in the group in which he was then affiliated,” Elder Dodd “broke away and inaugurated a magazine to proclaim the importance of this great Truth.”

Dodd had been instrumental along with A.N. Dugger during the 1933 Church of God, Seventh Day split, helping to form the Salem, West Virginia faction. He served as Secretary-Treasurer through the spring of 1939. When the church reacted strongly in opposition to his Feast Day teaching and asked him to resign, Elder Dodd began a new magazine in March, 1937, in order to continue to teach the keeping of the Feast Days.

It is interesting to note that Dodd co-author the book, A History of the True Church with A.N. Dugger, which was published in 1936. Many in the Salem group did keep the Feast Days during these years. Elders John Kiesz and Frank Walker continued to keep them, with Herbert Armstrong, until at least 1945. But in 1937 at a campmeeting in Eugene, Armstrong was forced out of the Church of God, Seventh Day, because he would not cease preaching about the Feast Days and Anglo-Israelism. It is indeed significant that Dodd should break away and start The Faith magazine in the same year, March of 1937.

Dodd “began to publish the [Sacred] Names [idea] in 1939,” says Jacob O. Meyer, but according to L.D. Snow it was October of 1938.

At first he used the name, “Jehovah,” but through continuous study, he began to see that the tetragrammaton should be transliterated as “YAHWEH,” pronounced “Yahway,” Dodd was baptized into the name of Yahshua in 1941 by Elder Earl Bigford of Michigan.

Further, “quite a number of ministers [in the Salem Church of God] . . . accepted the Feasts ultimately and some of them eventually accepted the Sacred Name . . . .” Among these were Elders William Bishop and William Bodine.

Armstrong’s Relations With Dodd

Jacob O. Meyer, current leader of the Sacred Names Movement, writes: “Among some of my interesting research material is a 1939 copy of The Faith magazine in which Elder C.O. Dodd advertised the Feast of Tabernacles which was held in Oregon under the direction of Elder Herbert W. Armstrong. A similar advertisement appears in 1941, in which Elder Dodd calls Mr. Armstrong ‘a pioneer in this great truth.’ The notice even hints strongly that some of that Oregon group [Armstrong’s] were using the Sacred Names!”

The Conns and Mrs. Bobbie Fisher, early converts through Armstrong’s preaching, strongly feel that Armstrong came to understand the Feast Days through self-study, and not through Dodd. But Mrs. Vera Henion, who with her husband Dave Henion moved to Oregon in October of 1934 (they were Church of God members previously in Nebraska), notes that there might have been some tie between Armstrong and Dodd. She herself learned much of her beliefs concerning the Holydays from Dodd’s tracts and articles. She took the Salem Bible Advocate, and might have learned something about the Feast Days from that source. She wrote questions to Dodd, and recalls that Armstrong’s knowledge of the Holydays was increased through her, as she gave him Dodd’s material and they studied them together. She recalls that a woman in Eugene (a big, fleshy woman, now deceased) started Armstrong on the Holydays. Mrs. Henion, who went to the Scravel Hill church, believes it was the latter part of 1935 that she started keeping the Holy Days, along with 40-60 others, including the Helms, McGills, Davis and Armstrongs.

Work of Dodd — The Faith Continues

Meyer notes that Dodd “was not blessed with an advertising flair as some men are, and as a consequence the Sacred Name message reached a rather limited audience. Dodd died in December, 1955, and his magazine passed to different individuals. Yet his work continued in The Faith magazine and the Assemblies of Yahweh.

From March 1937 to August 1955, The Faith was published at Salem, West Virginia, by Dodd’s Faith Bible and Tract Society. After his death, headquarters passed on to Robert C. Darnell at Kansas City (February 1956 — February 1957). Dodd’s wife Martha continues to operate The Faith Bible and Tract Society at Salem. B.C. Wright continued the editorship from March 1957 to August 1961, during which The Faith headquarters moved in August 1958 to Tulsa and later back to Grandview, Missouri. In September 1961 it moved to Washington, D.C. where Elder D.G. Werner served as editor until January 1966. In January 1964, the paper moved to Morton (near Philadelphia), Pennsylvania. From 1966 — 1969, several members of the Morton Assembly of Yahweh, “The Faith Staff” served as editor.

In February, 1969, the paper again moved, this time to its seventh home, Holt, Michigan, where the “Holt Assembly” served as Co-Editors. In 1969 these were Samuel Graham, President; Lloyd Parry, Vice President; Richard Francis, Treasurer; Ruth Parry, Secretary; and Donald Trowbridge, Earl Bigford and George Kinney, Directors. Ruth Fink of Morton provided Quarterly Lessons.

The assembly of Yahweh which puts out The Faith does not consider itself to be any denomination, but is made up of small groups and individuals around the nation, each completely autonomous.

Sacred Name Leaders

According to a letter from a Sacred Names believer, Ruth Fink of Philadelphia, Alexander McWhorter wrote a book or tract, “The Memorial Name, or Yahweh-Christ,” in 1857. He may have been one of the earliest Sacred Name believers.

She also notes that Dodd, a member in the Church of God (Seventh Day), along with A.B. Traina, John Briggs, Bro. Cessna of Detroit, Marvin Gay of Richmond, Michigan, Bro. Owsen of Livenia, Michigan and other became interested in the Sacred Name. Others were Mr. and Mrs. William Bodine of Van Buren, Arkansas (Bodine was chosen # 5 of the 70 elders at the November 4, 1933 meeting in Salem, West Virginia. William Bishop was also a Church of God (Seventh Day) Associate who became a Sacred Name leader.).

Fink notes that there was a Camp Yah in Eaton Rapids, and Sister Pearl Smith of Lansing had quite a group for a number of years. Mr. and Mrs. Parry, Sister Bertha O. Saxman and Richard Francis are of the Holt group.

Dr. John Briggs and Yahweh Beth Israel

About 1933 to 1936, Angelo B. Traina, now deceased, pastured a church called the Gospel Kingdom Assembly in Irvington, New Jersey. It believed in baptizing in hyssop and rejected Pauline writings. One of his members, a Czech named August Sheffick, may have introduced Traina to the Sacred Name concept, as he claimed that he hated the word Christ, as it was a profane Greek name, meaning “smeared with excrement.” Traina studied the subject further, especially nothing the word Jehovah in Psalms 83:18. “Dr.” John Briggs, from Michigan, was living in New York City and considered himself a disciple of Traina, learning of the Sabbath, the “tribes” message and clean foods from Traina. Briggs came to Irvington on weekends and became convinced of the Sacred Name through Sheffick. Briggs prayed for a sick girl in “the Sacred Name of Yahshua” and she was healed; after that Briggs always used this name in prayer, although not all the church in Irvington believed it. Traina told Briggs to “soft peddle” the idea, so Briggs and Paul Penn, a Jewish member of the church, moved to Detroit, resuming a study at Briggs’ house on February 13, 1937. They attended a Church of God (Seventh Day) assembly, at 1400 Orleans Street, “the first place evangelized” in the Sacred Name. When the elders of the church were away attending a convention in Flint, Briggs was asked to speak. His Sacred Names sermon in December, 1936, convinced William Bishop, after Briggs explained why Christ is reported to have said “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabacthani,” Bishop was of the “fighting type,” and this apparently caused a stir over the issue in the Church of God. He rented a church for three months so he and Briggs could preach the name doctrine. Bishop was the first to evangelize in the name of Yahshua. Briggs came to believe in triune immersion, first in the name of the Father,YAHVEH, second in the name of His Son YAHSHUA, and third in the name KADESH, group name for the Heaven’s angels.

Brigg’s group of followers was chartered in Michigan on July 11, 1939 as The Assembly of YHVH with Charted members Joseph Owsinski, John Bigelow Briggs, Squire La Rue Cessna, Harlan Van Camp, George Reiss, Daniel Morris, William L. Bodine, John M. Cardona, Edmond P. Roche and Marvin Gay. Supposed to be a “general organization,” the group permitted transliterations as Yahovah, Yahveh, Yah and Yahavah. The Assembly of YHVH may be the oldest chartered name group in America.

L.D. Snow reports that Briggs and Penn were the first to pronounce and use the name Yahshua. Later William Bishop and S.L. Cessna used it.

At one time in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, there was such a large group of names believers around Detroit that they sponsored a radio program with Elder Ralph Kinney as spokesman, beginning in 1939. Elder Joseph Owsinski led the group in Dearborn, and Elder Cessna pastured the Detroit church.

Brigg’s group later became known as YAHVEH BETH ISRAEL. Briggs served as its executive secretary until his death on October 12, 1961, previously ordaining ministers to continue his work. By 1965, Paul Penn was the President, Norbert Bown the Treasurer, and William E. Bishop the Executive Secretary.

Briggs’ “Kadesh Name Society,” or “Names Evangelization Program” has also been referred to as “The Hallowed be Thy Name Movement.”

It continues, with congregations in Dearborn Heights, Michigan (Yahveh Beth Israel). Taylor, Michigan (B’Nai B’Rith Yah); and Detroit (B’Na Yah).

A.B. Traina and the Holy Name Bible

In 1938 Traina had received a copy of The Faith magazine from Dodd. He apparently went to Dodd in Salem, West Virginia, convincing Dodd of the “Israel message.” Dodd had Traina write this down, so he could put it into The Faith.

Traina seems to recall that this same year, 1936 as he remembers, but 1938 in fact, Dodd asked him this same year, 1936 as he remembers, but 1938 in fact, Dodd asked him to accompany him to a campmeeting in Warrior, Alabama. Traina was the first one called on to speak. When he got to the platform, he announced that he was anti-Christ, and that before he got through, there would be many other anti-Christs with him. After a two-hour sermon, he had an altar call, answered first by the Dodds, and then almost half the congregation. At this time they believed the proper name was Yahovah, but later learned that Yahweh was more proper.

Traina was an important figure in the Sacred Names Movement. He translated the New Testament into the sacred Name in 1950, and published the Holy Name Bible in 1963. Traina continued to work with The Faith but formed his one Scripture Research Association, Inc. of 1125 Stuyvesant Avenue, Irvington, New Jersey. Traina said he began to keep the Sabbath in 1916, through reading the Scofield Bible. He says he never a member of the Church of God (Seventh Day). Exactly what his Israel beliefs are is not known;he apparently identified them with the Caucasian race. He maintains that he did not “hear of the tribes from Destiny Magazine NOR from Armstrong. [But] when I was in Los Angeles, in 1947, I tried to get Armstrong right o the question of the tribes and the Name, BUT he refused to discuss the subjects so he is just as ignorant as Jere. 8:8 and 9 says about false prophets.”

Interestingly, the Scripture Research Association’s headquarters at one time was Box 47, Cessia Florida. Traina may have ben the “minister from Florida” that wrote Herbert Armstrong in 1927 or 1928, saying that he was ignorant unless he knew the identity of the United States and Britain as the Birthright people of Israel.

This started Armstrong on his researches on the Anglo-Israel question.

Traina reported he kept three Feast, Passover, First Fruits and Feast of Tabernacles. He died in 1971 or 1972.

L.D. Snow and The Elijah Messenger and Assembly of Yahvah

L.D. Snow was first converted in 1929 under preaching of a Free Will Baptist minister in 1929 under the preaching of a Free Will Baptist minister, in Fort Smith, pastured by Elder R.A. Barnes. Soon after his marriage on October 17, 1933, Snow was given an American Standard Version of the Bible, and came to respect the name “Jerovah.”

Barnes church went into Salem Church of God of God faction, and Sniw became a minister. A.N. Dugger, General Overseer, called a ministers’ meeting during the Campmeeting at Galena, Kansas in 1936, requesting several months in advance that the ministers prepare to make a decision as to the exact words for the ceremony of water baptism. Snow privately felt that “Jehovah” was the proper name, and later believed that this conference, and the resultant discussion, was important in starting the name movement.

Elder C.O. Dodd, one of the “mainsprings” in founding the Salem Group, served as Secretary-Treasurer through 1936. But because he differed on the subject of the Feast Days, he was asked to resign, and in March of 1937 he started The Faith Magazine. Someone from Michigan sent Dodd a clipping about the Savior’s name, which Dodd published as “filler.” But great interest was sparked by the article, and Dodd began to use the Jah-oshuah and Jahoshua in the October 1938 Faith. This same issue contains an article A.B. Traina, “What is His Son’s Name?” in which he used Jehovah for the Father and Jah-oshuah for the Son. Also there was an article by William Bishop and John Briggs of the Kadesh Name Society of Detroit on “The King James’ Version Regarding Sacred Names.”

The first “name” campmeeting was the Feast of Tabernacles of the Church of God at Warrior, Alabama, held in the home of Church of God minister J.D. Bagwell. Dodd and Traina attended, as well as elders C.J. Ayers, J.A. McClain, Arthur Barnes, and L.D. Snow. Traina, through not a Church of God minister, was the main speaker, given 4-6 hours a day to lecture on the name subject. Names then used were Jehovah, and Jah-oshuah.

Snow considers October 1938 campmeeting as “the real beginning of the Name Movement.” It was also the year that Dodd founded The Faith Bible and Tract Society.

Snow and his wife were convinced the Name in 1943. He was credentialed with The Assembly of YHVH in Michigan in the early 1940s. At this time, Dodd was using the form Yahweh and Snow went along with this spelling but prounced it Yah-WAH for a short time, later YAHVAH. In 1950 Snow changed his spelling of the Name to Yahcah. Others who supported Snow on this usage were Elder Squire La Rue Cessna (a former Church of God, Seventh Day, minister) and Elder Israel Kalr. Cessna in the Late 1920s called his group “The Assembly of Jehovah,” and in the early 1930’s, “The Assemblies of Yahvah.”

Snow maintains that during the early years of Dodd’s work, Dodd used the four letter YHVH and the form Yahavah, pronounced Yahvah. But later Dodd changed to “Yahweh,” pronounced “YahWAY.” As early as 1938, the issue of just how to pronounce and spell the Hebrew name has been a hotly disputed issue among Name Believers.

In 1945, Snow began publishing The Yahwist Field Reporter, which was later changed to Kingdom Messenger and Field Reporter, and still later to The Eliyah Messenger and Field Reporter. He formed the Sacred Name Publishing Association at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Associate ministers were C.A. Davis of Tulsa, L.F. Wilds who moved to Fort Smith in 1945, C.J. Ayers and W.L. Bodine.

In 1949, Snow moved to Emory, Texas, where that summer he orangized The Assembly of Yahvah with himself as Overseer and E.B. Adair Assistant Overseer. In 1956 the Group was incorporated in Texas, and Snow began to teach “apostolic organization.”

Snow’s literature resulted in the organization of Sacred Name work in India as early as 1948, as the Phippines and Jamaica.

Differing greatly over the pronunciation of the Name with Elder A.B. Traina, SNow nevertheless notes the Traina did much to spread the name message.

Snow moved to Junction City, Oregon in 1957, where he was assisted in 1966 by Wilburn Stricklin of Harrisburg. Another associate that year was James Pridmore of Moline, Illinois.

The Eliyah Messenger uses both Yahvahshua and Yahshua for the Messiah name. The group is rather against Anglo-Israelism, although admitting that “many of us are israelites.” Passover is kept, but Feast Day observance is allowed to individual members or local churches, but not promoted by the Messenger.

“Yah” and “The Word”

Another Sacred names groups is The Assemblies of Yah, headquarters at Albany, Oregon. Formerly associated with the Assemblies of Yahweh, this group publishes the paper, The Word (since 1961) and in 1969 was led by Hans H. Schallig. The annual feasts are kept by the “Yah” group.

Boyds and Sacred Name Herald

Still another group has been Earl and Mrs. Boyd, who since 1958 have published the Sacred Name Herald, from Wilder, Idaho. In 1969, it was moved to Claremore, Oklahoma. The “Feasts of Weeks” is figured by the Boyds from the annual Sabbath.

Jacob O. Meyer and the Sacred Name Broadcast

Born in Bethel, Pennsylvania German-accented Jacob O. Meyer’s ancestors arrived in America from Germany in 1732. They were among the founding fathers of the old German Baptist Brethren (which later took the name, Church of the Brethren). Meyer notes that one of the strange customs of this church was the annual spring deacon’s visits to each member, to see if they still held fast to the teachings of the church. The tradition stemmed from a split in the church in colonial times, when Conrad Beissel preached the keeping of the Scriptural Sabbath, and founded the monastic community at Ephrata, Pennsylvania. There is a strong possibility, Meyer notes, that some of his forefathers were in the Ephrata community, which observed the memorial supper four times a year, one of these at the Passover season.

Meyer learned the Sacred Names doctrine from a Bible course he took in conjunction with Albright College, sponsored by the Berks County Sabbath School association. He first associated with a small groups all over the world. He noticed the “most of the Sacred Name believers were firmly committed to Feast Day keeping” as a result of “the able teaching of Elder Dodd.”

The was during the early 1960’s and Meyer was “terribly disillusioned” when he found out that the sacred Names people were “terribly fragmented on doctrine. [And] There was really no determined effort to work toward unity or preach this magnificent Bible Truth to the world.” Meyer was re-baptized into the Sacred Name, and volunteered his services to assist Elder Boyd, who was publishing a Sacred Name periodical the Sacred Name Herald, in Wilder, Idaho. His first Feast of Tabernacles was in 1964, when his family went to Oregon and assembled with some 30-50 brethren at a campground in Turner. The Feast was arranged by the Lebanon Assembly of Yahweh.

Meyer apparently stayed in Oregon for a time and worked with them, supporting them financially and journalistically in their effort to establish a magazine. But “Satan entered the flock and caused this group to disintegrate,” and Meyer returned to his birthplace in Bethel, Pennsylvania.

In 1965, Meyer kept the Feast of Tabernacles at Nevada, Missouri with 30-40 people. Mrs. Pearl Smith of Michigan was there also. Meyer was ordained to the ministry there. A few months later in February of 1966, he initialed the Sacred Name Broadcast radio program, over radio program, over radio WBMD, Baltimore. In 1968, Meyer began Sacred Name Broadcaster magazine.

In 1969, Meyer launched the Assemblies of Yahweh, Inc. as a vehicle to unify all the Sacred Name elements.

During the previous years, Meyer had observed the Feasts with small groups in Alabama and Michigan. The 1969 Feast of the Assemblies of Yahweh was held in Bethel, with 60 people. In 1970, there were 100 people. The people outgrew this place, so in 1971 and 1972, the Feast was observed in St. Louis in a state park.

Meyer began a magazine for members only, called The Narrow Way. In 1972 his administrative assistant, and managing editor

of The Narrow Way, was Henry D. McFarland, formerly of the Worldwide Church of God. In 1971, Meyer was the only fulltime member of the staff, but by 1972 there were eight. A “School of the Prophets,” that is, a college, was planned for the fall of 1972. Private tutelage would be given young men, who enrolled in local college Bible courses.

A Pasadena, California assembly of Yahweh was expected to begin in August of 1972 under the guidance of Donald Capra.

The Spanish work began on June 29, 1972 with the decision to publish a “Curse De Correspondencia.”

The Sacred Name Broadcast of Meyer is heard across the nation and is becoming widely known. Both the Bethel and Holt groups works together. All the Holy Days are kept by the Assembly of Yahweh (Pentecost Sunday), which makes them differ from the Assembly of Yahvah, which keeps Passover only, and the Assembly of Yah, which keeps Pentecost as the Jews do.


“A Brief History of the Name Movement in America,” by L.D. Snow in May 1966 Eliyah Messenger.

The Faith, February 1969 and February 1970

Good News, August 1969.

Interviews with Mrs. Vera Henion, Bill and Jean Conn and Mrs. Bobbie Fischer.

Letter of Ruth Fink.

Letter of Paul Penn, dated December 22, 1970.

Letter of A. B. Traina, January 28, 1971.

“North American Names Movement Start,” from March 1969 Word, and tracts “Primitive Baptism” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name.”

Sacred Name Broadcaster, September-October 1972, November-December 1972, January-February 1973.

A RELATED POST Deception of the Sacred Name Cults





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After reading this article detailing some errors in the Sacred name Cults, I would suggest reading this related blog about the Origin And History Of The Sacred Name Movement




No Other Name Given  The AntiMessiah Deception of the Sacred Name Cults


Sacred Namers are a group largely professing to be Torah Observant Gentiles, who believe that the only source of power and righteousness in creation is the use (and frequent use at that) of the Holy Name which the Creator gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. This group routinely pronounces anyone who does not use their terminology and their “correct” pronunciation of the name of G-d as Pagan. There is a deeply troubling quasi-psychotic hatred which can be easily found in these groups. Any word of term which is English or Greek is considered to be Pagan in origin. Even common words such as “Sacred”, “Holy”, or “G-d” will instantly brand you as a pagan idolater who has no hope of redemption.

The history of the Sacred Name Cults shows them to be derived of the Millerite sects, the Adventists and the Church of God, and thus from the false prophet William Miller who prophesied the return of Jesus in 1843 and made a subsequent false prophecy concerning 1845. Though his group self destructed by the mid 19th century the followers became the Adventists and later Church of God sects, preserving the strict legalism and false prophetic bents of the original group.

These groups are founded on hatred and bitterness and a private interpretation of the scriptures which does not bear up to close scrutiny by the Word of G-d. Though claiming to be Torah Observant Messianics they like the Pharisees use their personal interpretation of Torah as a weapon to condemn all others and so miss the heart of Torah completely choosing to judge and condemn instead of loving their neighbor as themselves.

Common Errors of the Sacred Name Movement
Jesus comes from Zeus

Using the fact that the English name of the Messiah, Jesus, ends in a US they insist that this name is actually derived from the name of the leader of the greek Pantheon. They have no etymology or historical references to support this supposition, only the similarity of the English name to a Greek name. The entimology of the name Jesus is well in history and linguistic studies. The hebrew name Y’shua, a variant of Yoshua, becane Iesous in the Greek of the Brit Chadashah (New Testament). This name in the Romance languages of Europe became Hesus or Iesus depending on where you were in Europe. In the Germanic tongues (from which English is derived) the I became hardened into a J and the proper English name for the Messiah became JESUS. There is no evidence whatsoever that the English translators of the bible were followers of the Greco-Roman Pantheon or that they would have used the Greek god Zeus to obtain the name of the Messiah.

The Brit Chadashah (New Testament) was written in Aramaic not in Greek.

The testimony of the AnteNicean Fathers (written well before the foundations of the Roman Catholic Church) was that the majority of the New Testament was wrotten in Greek. Matthews Gospel as well as James and Hebrews may very probably have been written in Aramaic, but there is no reliable manuscript evidence that points to a preserved Aramaic text older than the forth century Peshitta (the Syriac version of the Bible). Furthermore, many of the concepts expressed in the New Testament could not have been presented in a concide language of commerce such as Hebrew or Aramaic and needed a philosophical language such as Greek to express the entirety of their thought. For instance: The passage at the end of John where the risen Messiah and Peter (Kefa) enter into a discussion where he is asked if he loves the Messiah.

John 21 15-17 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

The first two time Y’shua asked Kefa if he Agapao him and Kefa replied that he Phileo him. The last time the Messiah asked if Kefa could Phileo him and he wept. Agapao implies unconditional love whereas Phileo is a love that is conditional. In the Semitic tongues there is only one word for LOVE,,, Ahav. Not only would the meaning be lost to us, but if Kefa and Y’shua were speaking Hebrew or Aramaic the meaning would have been lost to Kefa and there would have been no reason for Kefa to be grieved.

The simple fact is that Koine Greek was the Lingua Franca of the Hellenized world much as English is today. People routinely spoke to one another in Koine (which means Common) Greek. To reach the world with the message of the Gospel it would have been necessary to use the common language of the world WHICH WAS GREEK.

Any Term not in Hebrew is Pagan in Origin

This includes words like God, Holy, Sacred… anything in any language which is not Hebrew in origin.

Bereshit (Genesis) 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

The author of the languages of man was the Most High G-d, who confused the languages at Babel. The assumption that languages in themselves are pagan in origin implies that G-d is the author of the pagan religions of man.

The Real Heart of the Matter

Sacred Namers want to stick the name Yahveh into every thing they write and everything they read. They have published their own versions of the bible with the sacred name pronounced into every name. Without a thorough understanding of Hebraic culture or idiom, these gentiles want to change the name of the Messiah from Y’shua (The Salvation of G-d) to Yahshua (phonetically the same as Yoshua – G-d is Salvation) simply to get the sacred name of YAH into the name of the Messiah. Y’shua is a Hebraic name, Yoshua is a different Hebraic name, but YAHshua is an invention of Gentiles looking for a magic formula and the not the name of the Redeemer.

This is worse than another gospel… this is the gospel of incantation. A form of salvation by reciting the appropriate magic formula. In other words, WITCHCRAFT. And to compund the error and make it into SIN which leads to DEATH… they pass judgment on all who will not repeat their magic name.

When Y’shua/Jesus came to judge between the sheep and the goats, not one sheep was found worthy from knowing the magic name of G-d. Not one goat was condemned for calling the Messiah Zeus. The sheep were welcomed into the sheep pan because they loved, which is righteous judgement, the goats rejected for not judging righteously and in love.

How to Respond to the Sacred Namer
Turn their own doctrine back at them

1. “There is no other name given under heaven amongst men by which we must be saved”

2. Jesus is the name of the Messiah in English, this we know for certain. Y’shua is a Hebrew equivalent as is Yoshua… but YAHShua? Never heard if him… it is neither English nor Greek nor even Hebrew, it is an invention of Americans who came out of sect of the Christian Church… a sect that rejects the very religion it came from as being pagan.

3. Paul preached the unknown G-d and never once during that sermon mentioned the name of G-d, how was anyone saved?

4. You do not know the name of the redeemer so by your own doctrine you are condemned

5. You do not know the person of the redeemer because you practice unrighteous judgment based on your own false understanding of the name of G-d therefore according to the Living Torah as given by Y’shua himself, you are a stone white sepulcher full of dead men’s bones. Repent of your sins and come to Messiah… learn of the person through his Word (Davar) and his Ruach (Spirit) and you shall receive the FREE GIFT of Salvation.

Do not bow to their insults, do not be led astray by their foolishness. Proclaim the Word and then if rejected shake the dust off your feet.

Other Resources for Understanding and Defending against the Sacred Name Cult
House of Yahweh Profile




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Seventh-Day Adventism (SDA) arose from the aftermath of the Adventist movement of the mid-1800s. “Seventh-day” refers to the focus on sabbath, or Saturday worship. “Adventist” refers to the SDA belief that they are the fulfillment of prophecies pertaining to the latter days remnant and the coming of Christ. The world was predicted to end in 1844 with the Second Coming of Christ, by William Miller, a New England Baptist itinerant preacher. Miller’s followers condemned all the churches of the day as apostate and “Babylon,” and warned Christians to come out of them. A great many did, and the “adventist” movement was born and grew rapidly (Melton, J. Gordon, Encyclopedia of American Religions, Vol. 2, pp. 21–22). 

Christ did not appear in 1844. After this “Great Disappointment,” one “little flock” still insisted the date of their original predictions had been correct. They decided the event marked by 1844 was not the Second Coming, but the entrance of Christ into the Holy of Holies in the Heavenly Sanctuary. There, they said, He began the “Investigative Judgment.” (See #6 below.) This doctrine was received and endorsed by Ellen G. White (Ibid., p. 680).

From 1844 to 1851, the group taught the “shut door” doctrine, based on Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins. Anyone who had not accepted the Adventist message by the time Jesus entered the Holy of Holies was to be shut out permanently, as were the five foolish virgins. Cut off from the Bridegroom, they could not join the Adventists or have any hope of eternal life. Ellen White not only approved and taught this doctrine, but her first vision experience (she claimed over 2,000 visions) was largely responsible for its being received by the Adventist group (Brinsmead, Robert, D., Judged by the Gospel: A Review of Adventism, pp. 130–133).

By 1846, the group had adopted the Seventh-Day Baptists’ view that the Saturday Sabbath must be observed by Christians. A highly elevated form of this doctrine, together with the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment, became the hallmarks of Seventh-Day Adventism. In 1850, James and Ellen White began publishing a magazine, The Review & Herald, to disseminate Adventist and Sabbatarian doctrines. This helped many of the remaining “Millerites” to coalesce into a distinctive body, which adopted the name of Seventh-Day Adventist Church in 1860, and formally incorporated in 1863, with approximately 3,500 members in 125 congregations (Encyclopedia of American Religion, Vol. 2, p. 681).

Ellen G. White (1827-1915) never held official title as the head of the SDA church, but was one of its founders and acknowledged spiritual leader. She rather disingenuously declined to claim the title of “prophet,” calling herself a “messenger” instead (P.G. Damsteegt, et al., Seventh-day Adventists Believe … A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines, 1988, p. 224). But she claimed to have the “spirit of prophecy,” and that her messages were direct from God for the guidance and instruction of the church. With her knowledge and consent, others called her a prophet and an inspired commentator of Scripture1, and even “the Spirit of Prophecy” (Maurice Barnett, Ellen G. White & Inspiration, pp. 5–17). Having only a third grade education, Ellen White said for years she was unable to read, bolstering the claim that her beautiful prose was inspired by God. However, it has been discovered that she not only read, but plagiarized other Christian authors throughout virtually all her writings. The sad facts of this matter have been thoroughly and indisputably established in several books. (e.g., see Walter Rea, The White Lie; and Judged by the Gospel, pp. 361–383). 

As of year-end 1999, the SDA church claimed more than 10.9 million members worldwide in 46,700 churches; there are more than 900,000 Adventists in the U.S. and Canada (making the SDA one of the fastest growing “churches” in the world — membership up over 10% in 1999). While headquartered in Washington, D.C., SDA employment worldwide totals nearly 166,000, not including 13,815 ordained ministers. (Contributions in 1999 totaled $1.6 billion.) SDAs claim to be working in 725 languages and over 1,000 dialects. They have a large investment in publishing and education — they operate 56 publishing houses and support 549 medical units (696 including 117 nursing homes and retirement centers and 30 orphanages); and 5,846 primary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities (with total enrollment of over a million students). They also broadcast over Adventist World Radio more than 1,000 hours per week of programming in more than 40 languages from 18 transmitters in seven international locations, and have almost 13  million students enrolled in its more than 110,000 “Sabbath Schools” (11/2001, SDA Internet web site). (The SDA church also publishes two of their own Bible “translations”: The Study Bible and The Clear Word Bible.)

SDA is organized as a representative democracy. Lower echelons elect representatives to higher units; determination and administration of policy and enforcement of doctrinal orthodoxy is imposed from the top down. President and Executive Committee of General Conference are standing chief administrative offices. Lower administrative units are the General Conference, Divisions (over continents), Union Conferences, local Conferences, and congregations.

In the late 1950s, cult expert Walter Martin, founder of the Christian Research Institute, in collaboration with neo-evangelical Donald Barnhouse, made an extensive investigation of the teachings (doctrines) of Seventh-Day Adventism. Their purpose was to determine whether to classify SDA as part of the evangelical community, or to go along with the majority of evangelicals and treat SDAs as cult members (thereby requiring evangelicals to exercise Biblical separation). (In the 1955 edition of The Kingdom of the Cults, Martin originally did classify SDA as cultic.) Martin and Barnhouse concluded that SDA was within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy. Walter Martin, in his article in the 12/19/60 Christianity Today, said: “That Adventists should be recognized as Christians and that fellowship should be extended to them we do not deny” (p. 15).

Among those adamantly opposing that conclusion was Biblical scholar Dr. John Whitcomb, Jr., then of Grace Theological Seminary. Detailed below is Whitcomb’s reasoning* for his classification of SDA as a [anti-assurance, Sabbath-keeping, Law-enslaving] cult:2

1. Source of Authority. Ellen G. White claimed to be, “a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.” The official SDA Questions on Doctrine (Q.D.) states that, “the Holy Spirit opened to her mind important events and called her to give certain instructions for these last days, and inasmuch as these instructions, in our understanding, are in harmony with the Word of God, which Word alone is able to make us wise unto salvation, we as a denomination accept them as inspired counsels from the Lord” (Q.D., p. 93). (Emphasis added.) Mrs. White claimed to have received more than 3,000 “inspired counsels from the Lord” (i.e., visions) between 1844 and 1868. (From these “visions,” she produced over 100,000 handwritten manuscript pages from which were published 54 books!) Therefore, SDAs have a new source of authority in their lives — according to SDA’s dogma, if an SDA does not accept Mrs. White as infallible, they have no salvation! 

2. Mankind. Seventh-Day Adventists do not believe that the whole man or any part of him is inherently “immortal” (Q.D., p. 518). SDAs believe in “soul sleep” for the saved (i.e., no conscious existence from the time of death until the resurrection), and annihilation for the wicked (i.e., the body and soul are destroyed at death rather than experiencing everlasting torment). How, then, can one get to heaven?: SDAs believe that one can have immortality only on the condition that he comes to Christ through Ellen G. White; i.e., a works program, following salvation by grace with light of revelation through Ellen G. White as the infallible guide to Holy Scripture, apart from which one cannot have immortality.3 Then, at resurrection day, the body will be re-created (necessary because of soul sleep) for all those who believe in White’s guidance and teachings (while non-SDAs will remain in “soul sleep” forever; i.e., will cease to exist [annihilated] and will not suffer everlasting torment).

3. Christ.
Mrs. White: “Christ took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature … Christ took human nature and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He took our nature and its deteriorating condition” (Q.D., pp. 654-656) (cf. Jn. 14:30). According to SDA, then, Christ acquired a sinful nature! Of course, if this could have been so, there could have been no sinless sacrifice, no hope for sinners, and no Savior.

4. Atonement. “Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ” (E.G. White, The Great Controversy [TGC], 1911, p. 623; TGC has since been retitled and published as America in Prophecy, 1988). SDA teaches that, though saved by grace, we are kept by the Law (i.e., “partial atonement”). Therefore, one must keep Old Testament dietary and ceremonial laws, paying particular attention to keep the Saturday Sabbath and the Ten Commandments, and most importantly, making sure to faithfully pay the tithe. 

Even when speaking of being saved by the righteousness of Christ, Adventist writers refer to imparted righteousness, seldom to the Biblical concept of imputed righteousness. Calling it “Christ’s righteousness,” while insisting on the believer’s perfection of character as a prerequisite to salvation, is at worst a thinly veiled works salvation, or at best an attempt to mix grace and works, something the Bible says is impossible to do (Rom. 11:6). Mrs. White’s words are crystal clear — one will not be forgiven until all sins are eradicated from one’s life and one’s character is perfected. Precisely the same heresy is found (besides many others) in Mormonism. It is not the salvation by grace alone through faith alone offered in the Bible.

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

6. The Investigative Judgment. According to SDA theology, beginning on October 22, 1844, Christ entered upon the “judgment phase” of His ministry, whereby He blots out sin: [The SDA doctrine of the “Investigative Judgment” rests on Ellen G. White’s claimed revelation that Christ entered the heavenly Holy of Holies, not at His ascension, but in 1844, wherein He then began to investigate the records of human works (TGC, pp. 362-373) (cf. Heb. 9).] “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” (TGC, p. 422). Satan, thereby, becomes the scapegoat of Leviticus 16. This lack of clear distinction between the forgiveness of sins and the blotting out of sins, makes it impossible for anyone to know, even in the hour of his death, whether he is saved or not. (SDAs are not “allowed” to experience assurance of salvation, because then there would be no pressure on them to keep the Old Testament law, as interpreted by Ellen G. White, and especially no pressure to pay the tithe.) Moreover, the concept that the sins of all men are to be laid on Satan, assigns to Satan an indispensable role in the blotting out of sin, thus nullifying the all-sufficiency of the finished work of Christ. [When Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished,” i.e. completed, paid in full, it cannot be that there is yet another salvation event more than 1,800 years later, just as essential to salvation as Christ’s death on the cross, in which one must believe in order to be saved. This is clearly “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6–9).]4

The “Investigative Judgment” and the “Scapegoat Theory of the Atonement” are, by themselves, so non-Biblical as to contradict Galatians 1:8-9. It is “another gospel,” about which the Apostle Paul wrote, “let such be anathema” (i.e., cursed/condemned). Yet according to Ellen White, one must believe this doctrine to be saved:

 “Those who would share the benefits of the Savior’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God … The subject of the sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position [in the Holy of Holies] and work [Investigative Judgment] of their great High Priest. Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs for them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God … All who have received the light on these subjects are to bear testimony of the great truths which God has committed to them. The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men … It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects … The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon a cross. By His death He began that work which after his resurrection He ascended to complete in Heaven” (TGC, pp. 488–89; emphasis added).

7. The Sabbath. “In the last days, the Sabbath test will be made plain. When this time comes, anyone who does not keep the Sabbath will receive the mark of the beast and will be kept from heaven” (TGC, p. 449); “… [T]he divine institution of the Sabbath is to be restored … The delivering of this message will precipitate a conflict that will involve the whole world. The central issue will be obedience to God’s law and the observance of the Sabbath. … Those who reject it will eventually receive the mark of the beast” (TGC, pp. 262–63). In one of her most revered works, Ellen White wrote that Sabbath observance would be the “line of distinction” in the “final test” that will separate God’s end-time people who “receive the seal of God” and are saved, from those who “receive the mark of the beast” (The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, p. 605). Describing a supposed vision direct from God, Ellen White wrote, “I saw that the Holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers” (Early Writings, p. 33; emphasis added). She also wrote of some Adventists failing to understand that “Sabbath … observance was of sufficient importance to draw a line between the people of God and unbelievers” (Ibid., p. 85).

SDAs have, thereby, made Sabbath-keeping a criterion for a personal relationship with the Lord — even to the extent of one’s salvation! Why? Because, according to SDAs, we are all to be under strict adherence to Old Testament Law, including the Ten Commandments, of which the fourth one says, “keep the Sabbath.” (This Sabbath-keeping requirement was supposedly confirmed in a vision received by Ellen G. White, rather than by study of the Bible.) SDAs believe that “Sunday-keeping” will be the mark of the beast in the future.

8. Ellen G. White, the Prophet. Many rank-and-file SDA members deny that their organization any longer decrees Ellen G. White a God-inspired prophet. Yet in SDA official publications, the SDA church continues to defend Ellen White legends, and maintain there was no difference in the degree of inspiration she received from that received by Bible writers (Review & Herald, 4 October 1928, p. 11; “Source of Final Appeal,” Adventist Review, 3 June 1971, pp. 4–6; G. A. Irwin, Mark of the Beast, p. 1; “The Inspiration and Authority of the Ellen G. White Writings,” Adventist Review, 15 July 1982, p. 3; Ministry, October 1981, p. 8 (5); see also, Judged by the Gospel, pp. 125–130). And in the SDA June 2000, General Conference, the church voted to more aggressively affirm and support the “Spirit of Prophecy through the ministry of Ellen White” (Adventist Today, [online: July 2000]).

* Besides relying heavily on the work of Dr. Whitcomb (1988  Syllabus notes), some of the material in this report has also been excerpted and or adapted from: “Seventh-day Adventist Church Profile,” Timothy Oliver (Watchman Fellowship Profile, 1996).


1 The Bible lists six identifying marks of false prophets, any one of which is sufficient for identification: (1) through signs and wonders they lead astray after false gods (Dt. 13:1-4); (2) their prophecies don’t come to pass (Dt. 18:20-22); (3) they contradict God’s Word (Isa. 8:20); (4) they bear bad fruit (Mt. 7:18-20); (5) men speak well of them (Lk. 6:26); and (6) they deny that Jesus, the one and only Christ, has come once and for all in the flesh (1 Jn. 4:3), thereby denying His sufficiency in all matters of life and godliness (2 Pe. 1:3). Most cults are founded upon false prophecies, which, if pointed out, offer an effective way to open blind eyes and rescue cultists. SDA originated with similar false prophesies about Christ’s coming. It began with William Miller’s prediction that Christ would return in 1843 (revised to October 22, 1844). Miller admitted his error. However, SDA prophetess Ellen G. White (EGW), who had repeatedly endorsed Miller’s prophecy, insisted that Christ had indeed come, but not to earth. Instead, He had entered “the holy of holies” in heaven “to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits” (The Great Controversy, p. 480).

Number 17 of the “Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-Day Adventists” states: “The Gift of Prophecy: One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction.” Yet EGW made numerous false prophecies: that “Old Jerusalem never would be built up” (Early Writings, p. 75), that she would be alive at the Rapture (Early Writings, pp. 15-16), that Christ would return before slavery was abolished (Early Writings, pp. 35, 276), that Adventists living in 1856 would be alive at the Rapture (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, pp. 131-132), and many more. Nevertheless, SDAs revere this false prophet’s writings as if they were Scripture.

2 Nevertheless, SDAs are continuing their efforts to be identified as “evangelical Christians.” As an illustration of this effort, SDAs were very prominent at the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) held in San Francisco, November 19-21, 1992. They presented themselves in the printed program as the Adventist Theological Society (ATS). During the meetings, they conducted at least eight workshops/seminars open to all the members of the ETS, as well as a general meeting of their own ATS on Saturday morning, November 21st. Likewise, at the 1/97 National Religious Broadcasters Convention, the SDA’s “Voice of Prophecy” booth provided books and tapes of their programs, but there was no indication that this was an SDA organization. Christians need to be aware that cult groups like SDA often use the same Christian-sounding terminology, but the meanings of the words have been redefined.

3 Many quotes could be given to prove that EGW taught salvation by works. Here are a few:

(a) “Our acts, our words, even our most secret motives, all have their weight in deciding our destiny … though … forgotten by us, they [our works] will bear their testimony to justify or condemn” (TGC, pp. 486-490).

(b) “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 …” (TGC, p. 483).

(c) “Each one of you needs to … [be] working with your might to redeem the failures of your past life. God has placed you in a world of suffering to prove you, to see if you will be found worthy of the gift of eternal life” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, p. 530).

4 This teaching of the “Investigative Judgment” is the foundational doctrine and major heresy of Seventh-Day Adventism: that the atonement was not complete on the cross, but was begun in heaven in 1844 and depends upon our works. According to Ellen G. White (EGW), the blood of Christ, instead of making “an atonement for the soul” (Lv. 17:11) and “cleans[ing] us from all sin” (l Jn. 1:7), brought sin into heaven: “[O]ur sins are, in fact, transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Christ” (Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 266). Thus, Christ had to begin the work of cleansing the heavenly sanctuary (of sins His blood had brought there!) through the “Investigative Judgment.” EGW declared that “Ministers who would not accept this saving message” were hindering God’s work and “The blood of souls is upon them” (Early Writings, p. 234). Millerites who adopted this delusion became Seventh-Day Adventists. The whole concept of the Investigative Judgment is antithetical to the Gospel. Jesus did not wait until 1844 to enter the Holy of Holies in heaven (Heb. 1:3; 6:19–20; 8:1; 9:6–12, 24; 12:2). Neither is He still making an atonement in heaven (Heb. 9:25–26; 10:11–14). The Investigative Judgment proposes to “vindicate the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus,” by showing they were “loyal,” “penitent,” and “faithful” commandment keepers. This is an outrage. God’s justice in saving sinners is vindicated by Christ’s death on the cross, period (Rom. 3:24–26).

5 The SDA Church made this statement in their Ministry magazine of October 1981, and have 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” (June 1997, The Baptist Challenge). (Bold added.) This sounds like SDAs also believe that Mrs. White is inerrant.




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