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Seventh Day Adventists
artist rendering - teenage Ellen White
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than ye have received, let him be accursed."
The "cult" can normally be spotted rather easily, because it goes about building up its "empire" of followers, built on half truths and outright lies. It will always get caught in their lies when they directly contradict Jesus, as Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Christian Science do. A cult will also have some other "revelation" outside holy Scripture that they rely on, which creates their dogmas. Mormons do (John Smith), Christian Scientists do (Mary Baker Eddy), Jehovah Witnesses do (their own made up Bible), Scientology does (L. Ron Hubbard) Islam does (Muhammad); and so do Seventh Day Adventists. SDA's rely on writings of Ellen White.
Cults members will nearly always hide their affiliation, in order to get a foothold into meetings, etc.
In his book Answers to Objections, F. D. Nichol demonstrated how the psycho-logical defense that Adventists erected in their early days (due to falsely picking dates for Christ's return, etc.) has carried over into modern times. He wrote:
"When Seventh-day Adventist ministers go into a community to hold a series of lectures. they conceal, at first, their denominational connection. They thus hope to draw into the audience people who would never have come if they knew that Seventh-day Adventists were conducting the meetings. This is a form of deception. There is something the matter with a religious body that is afraid to identify itself as soon as it begins to carry on any activity in a community."
So, what can we make of Seventh Day Adventists? Although the SDA includes a number of doctrines (e.g. Sabbatarianism, conditional immorality or soul sleep, annihilation of the wicked, Investigative Judgment) that are outside the mainstream of historic Christian theology, Seventh Day Adventists (also simply known by the acronym: SDA) do accept the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Yet, on the other hand, they do preach a different Gospel. To an orthodox Christian, any different Gospel than Jesus preached is a lie. An example of false SDA teaching is Ellen White's contention that the observance of the Sabbath is the "greatest" of all the Ten Commandments. Below you will see how this is an outright lie which contradicts what Jesus told us Himself (which is love God & your neighbor).
The Seventh-day Adventist church does not believe in the immortality of souls. They insist on the mortality of souls. Since they believe that upon death one’s soul will be destroyed, they deny hell as the Jehovah’s Witnesses do. They deny that the story of a rich man and Lazarus is an actual event, and they believe that it is one of the “Egyptian folk tales,” which Jesus quoted. SDA's really have to explain why it is Jesus Himself who mentions an awful lot about Hell in Scripture.
Many years ago, Dr. Maurice Rawlings wrote several books on the topic of death. He had been a personal physician to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and he is currently a specialist in cardiovascular disease and an international expert on CPR. He became the author of the best-seller Beyond Death’s Door and is a wealthy owner of a personal jet and a lakefront house. Maurice Rawlings has been a lifelong doctor who witnessed death almost every day. He never seriously thought about death, though. He believed that afterlife was either a dream or a fantasy. One day, a forty-eight-year-old postman named Charles McKaine was admitted to the hospital. While Dr. Pam Charlesward was conducting an ECG test on Charles, he suddenly experienced heart failure. To the two doctors’surprise, he did not realize that his heart had stopped, and he kept on talking. After four or five seconds, he looked confused—as though he wanted to ask a question—when his eyes rolled backward and he fell into unconsciousness. A nurse ran to conduct mouth-to-mouth CPR, called “a kiss of life,” while another nurse prepared an intravenous injection. Dr. Rawlings used a heart controller to make Charles’s heart beat regularly again. Suddenly Charles screamed, “Don’t stop! I’m in hell! I’m in hell!” Dr. Rawlings thought Charles was seeing an illusion, so he replied, “You wrestle with hell. I am busy trying to save your life!”
This was a very rare case. Most patients would complain to the doctor, “Stop jabbing my ribs! You are going to break my ribs!” The chest compressions cause very severe pain, even breaking the ribs of some patients, but the man wanted to come back desperately. Thinking that his response was unusual, Dr. Rawlings knocked on Charles’s chest and asked, “Why don’t you want me to stop?” Charles cried out, “I am in hell!” Dr. Rawlings replied, “You mean, you are afraid to go to hell.” Upon hearing the doctor’s words, Charles yelled, “No, I am in hell. Don’t let me go. Please, don’t let me go. Don’t you understand? I’m in hell. Whenever you stop the CPR, I am in hell again. Please, don’t let me go to hell again!”
Until then, Dr. Rawlings had disregarded the complaints of patients, but this patient was very serious. First of all, he was surprised at the look on his patient’s face. He had not seen such a terrified look on anyone’s face in the past twenty-five years. Charles’s face was livid with fear, and it was clear that he was in the most frightening time of his life. Dr. Rawlings continued to try to save his patient’s life. Suddenly, Charles yelled with a panicked voice, “How can I escape from hell?” Dr. Rawlings replied, “How about praying to God?” Charles asked him to pray for him. Startled, Dr. Rawlings grumbled, “I am not a pastor,” but the sharp looks from the nurses prompted him to reluctantly come up with a prayer: “Follow after me, Jesus Son of God!
Save me from hell. If I live again, I will live for you.”
The patient repeated his prayer desperately, then a miracle took place. He became peaceful and soon returned to a normal state. The next day, when Dr. Rawlings went to Charles’s room, he was reading the Bible.
In 1747, the famous protestant evangelist, John Wesley wrote the following words: “I desire to have both heaven and hell ever in my eye, while I stand on this isthmus of life, between these two boundless oceans; and I verily think the daily consideration of both highly becomes all men of reason and religion.
Thomas á Kempis says this about hell: “One hour in this hellhole will produce more pain than a hundred years of penitential practice.”8 The following two points help us to realize how painful the suffering of hell is. Hell is the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
"Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire."
. . "where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.”
"He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night" . . . .
The following shocking testimony shows how frightening the fire of hell is. In 1948, George Godkin of Alberta, Canada, died after a prolonged illness. At that time, he experienced hell for a moment. He introduced his experience as follows: I was guided to the place in the spirit world called hell. This was a place of punishment for all those who rejected Jesus Christ. I not only witnessed hell, but felt the torment of those who will go there. The darkness of hell was so intense that it seemed to have a pressure per square inch. Truly it was extremely black, dismal, desolate, heavy, and thick. It gave individuals a crushing, despondent feeling of loneliness.
There was heat of the most drying, dehydrating type. The eyeballs felt so dry that it seemed red, hot coals were in their sockets. The tongue and lips were parched and cracked with intense heat. The breath from the nostrils felt like the blast from a furnace. The exterior of the body felt as though it were encased within a white-hot stove. The interior of the body felt the tormenting sensation of scorching, hot air being forced through it. The agony and loneliness of hell which the human souls feel cannot be clearly expressed; it has to be experienced!”9
The fire of hell, described above, is a place of torturous suffering. The worst place in the universe is hell. We must avoid going to hell at all cost.
Richard Baxter, the famous Puritan preacher, wrote about the suffering of hell. But the greatest aggravation of these torments will be their eternity. When a thousand millions of ages are past, they are as fresh to begin as the first day. If there were any hope of an end, it would ease the damned to foresee it; but For ever is an intolerable thought! They were never weary of sinning, nor will God be weary of punishing. They never heartily repented of sin, nor will God repent of their suffering. They broke the laws of the eternal God, and therefore shall suffer eternal punishment. . . . As the joys of heaven are beyond our conception, so are the pains of hell. Everlasting torment is inconceivable torment.
Cults always deviate from what the apostles of Jesus taught.
They will always defend their lies and deviations by claiming something like what they disagree with "are only traditions of men" anyways. Always some half truth or lie from a cultish group/church will attract and "tickle the ears" of millions of Christians who have little or no groundings or education about their Christian Faith. BibleProbe.com thinks that if Christian Churches had done a better job of teaching their congregations gospel truths from their pulpits, there would be no un-Orthodox "splinter group" such as Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, or Seventh Day Adventists. Were Seventh Day Adventists to reevaluate their teachings against scripture & apostolic tradition, and drop their several false Miller and White teachings, and insistence that Christians be re-shackled to the Jewish Saturday Sabbath, then SDA's could be good, fervent, mainline Christians.
SDA's would do well to remember the traditions of the Church contain a wealth of knowledge. To snuggly brush these off as mere "traditions of men" is doing a disservice to every innocent soul being deceived by the Seventh Day Adventists. We were warned to hold fast to our traditions. Call these Catholic traditions, Apostolic traditions or early Church traditions. It's all the same. These came to us from early church Bishops and Church Fathers who were taught by the apostles, or by those who were taught by the apostles. Scripture itself speaks to us about these traditions:
The "Body of Christ" consists of saved Protestants, Catholics, and Messianic Jews. The 144,000 does not refer to the number of saved Jehovah Witnesses or SDA elders. It refers to end time Jews. 144,000 are sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel, the twelve tribes (Revelation 7, 14:1).
A cult can also be made known because they always have a
contradictory book or literature (like the Book of Mormons and
the Jehovah Witness re-write of the Bible) which they claim has
equal or greater "weight" than the holy Bible. Seventh Day
Adventists usually place Ellen White's contradictory writings in this
league. Also, a cult will always claim that only they are the true
Church. Early in Ellen White's writings, she called the rest of
Christendom "Babylon". She said only the Seventh Day Adventists are
the saved "Remnant" Church. Can you see how this works on the mind
of the gullible? Jehovah Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists and
Mormons and Christian Scientists can't all be right --that only they
will be saved. Who wouldn't want to belong to the only true church?
Millions and millions of people flood out of mainline Christian
churches to be counted among these "Saints", who share one
thing in common. They all contradict Jesus, holy scripture and
the teachings of the apostles of Jesus. A cult must make its
followers believe that they alone are a special "remnant" people.
Regarding salvation by
Faith and not by Works we know from Ephesians 2:8-10, "For by grace are
ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift
of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath
before ordained that we should walk in them." And regards to
Christians not being under the Old Testament Law we have
Romans 8:1-2, which explains to us:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ
Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the
law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the
law of sin and death." Paul says; "Wherefore
the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might
be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no
longer under a schoolmaster." (Galatians 3:24-25)
When one sees the holy
name of "Jesus" they should immediately also see the words "freedom"
and "love". For Jesus, the loving Lord of the Sabbath
those who trust and believe in Him free! This includes from
the "legalities" of the Old Testament Law which was given to
meant for Jews. This also includes any requirement for tithing
or Sabbath keeping. If we tithe or honor Jesus on any special
day, be it Saturday or Sunday, we should do it for the love of
Jesus. Never, because we think it is any requirement of any
"Law". Paul says; "Wherefore the law was our
schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by
faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a
schoolmaster." (Galatians 3:24-25)
Those who preach the
false Sabbatarianism (Saturday worship) theology don't want to hear
this. But, tradition and History tell us that early Christians met
in homes, usually on a Sunday and celebrated the Body and Blood of
Christ with bread and wine. Also to the disdain of these modern day
"jailers" who want to return Christians to the chains of the Old
Testament Laws which were meant for and given only to the Jews:
The Didache (teachings of the Apostles) records in 90 AD:
We know Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses changed the Lord's Gospel, but what of the Seventh Day Adventists who have built their large following partly on demanding their congregation adhere to the Saturday Sabbath simply because it appears as one of the 10 Commandments. Are the Seventh Day Adventist's simply a non-cultic denomination with some unique beliefs that differ from mainline Christianity, such as Sabbath keeping? Is there more to the Adventists?
Does Ellen White and William Miller have anything in common with the Christian Science cult leader Mary Baker Eddy? What about Joseph Smith (Mormons), Charles Taze Russell (Jehovah Witnesses), Muhammad (Islam), and L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology)? All preached a different gospel than the apostles preached. All, with the possible exception of William Miller, were uneducated people, especially in theology. Muhammad could not even read. Joseph Smith died in a gun fight, and killed two people before he was shot. Joseph acted as a Mason at the time of his death. And Charles Taze Russell was a proven liar, who claimed in a New York Court that he was an ordained pastor, well versed in Greek and Latin. But when pressed on the stand in Court, he could not read anything from the Greek alphabet. He also could show no proof of any ordination from any mainline church. Muhammad of course raped and murdered, he married a 6 year old girl when he was in his 50's, he had 12 wives, he cringed from the sight of any cross, and he insisted on 20 percent of all booty captured from attacks on innocent caravans and settlements. William Miller was also a Mason. So, Let's look at the Adventist history.
Like Muhammad Islam, was Ellen White prone to self-serving "visions"?
Most Seventh-day Adventists have heard stories of how the Whites
started their ministry "penniless," and how Mrs. White died
"in debt." Mrs. White's writings are filled with lessons of
self-denial and sacrifice. What few SDAs realize is that her early
years of poverty were quickly erased as she and James amassed an
enormous fortune in money, assets and real estate.
Ellen White would not tolerate the suggestion of lowering the
royalties on her books. At one time in her career, some brethren
urged her to lower her royalties so the work could move forward.
They presented to her the self-sacrificing example of Uriah Smith,
who agreed to lower royalties on his book so the work could go
forward. She responds with a well-timed "vision".
Read more about this wealth: here
The origin of the Seventh-day Adventists can be traced to the Millerite Movement of the 19th Century. This movement was largely responsible for what has been called the Great second advent awakening. William Miller was born on February 15, 1782 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. At age 4 his family moved to rural Low Hampton, New York.
William Miller was an American Baptist preacher, Miller is credited as the founder of Adventism (heir to the Jehovah’s Witnesses).
In 1803, Miller married Lucy Smith and moved to her home town, nearby Poultney Vermont, where he took up farming. While in Poultney, Miller was elected to a number of civil offices, beginning with the office of Constable. In 1809 he was elected to the office of Deputy Sheriff and at an unknown date was elected Justice of the Peace. Miller served in the Vermont militia and was commissioned a lieutenant on July 21, 1810. By this time he had become a relatively wealthy man, owning a house, land and at least two horses.
William Miller was originally a Deist (a person who believes that God created the universe but has not been actively involved since) and a freemason. A freemason believes that good works will get one on the good side of the "Great Architect of the Universe". They think all Religions are equal, including Islam which lies that Jesus didn't even die on a cross. Also, Masons normally will even not allow the holy name of Jesus to be even uttered in their temples.
After two years of private Bible study,
Miller converted to Christianity and became a Baptist lay leader.
"It was here (Poultney, Vermont) that Mr Miller became a member of
the Masonic fraternity, in which his perseverance, if nothing else,
was manifested; for he advanced to the highest degree which the
lodges then in the country, or in that region, could confer." (Memoirs
of William Miller, Sylvester Bliss, p. 21-22). Little is
known of Miller's Masonic ties other than this statement by his
biographer Sylvester Bliss. He
was convinced that the Bible contained coded information about the
end of the world and the Second Coming of Jesus. He also realized
that he had an obligation to teach his findings to others. In 1831,
he started to preach; the next year, he wrote articles about his
findings. In 1833, he published a pamphlet on end-time prophecy. In
1836, his book Evidences from Scripture and History of the Second
Coming of Christ about the Year 1843 was published.
Miller wrote: "I believe the time can be known by all who desire to understand and to be ready for his coming. And I am fully convinced that some time between March 21st, 1843 and March 21st, 1844, according to the Jewish method of computation of time, Christ will come and bring all his saints with him; and that then he will reward every man as his work shall be."
In his conferences on the Advent, Miller wrote: "I was thus brought to the solemn conclusion, that in about 25 years from that time 1818 all the affairs of our present state would be wound up.” His final prediction settled on 1844.
In common with all other predictions of the Second Coming, the end didn't happen on cue. Thousands of followers had given away their possessions in anticipation of the big day. But then one of Miller's followers realized that his calculations had been off by one year, because he neglected to count the BC to AD rollover. So he revised the date to October 22 and tried again.
Date picking is a contradiction in extreme -against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36; also 24:42 and 44;25:13). Jesus rebuked his apostles about date picking when He said; "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power (Acts 1:7). Yet this did not deter William Miller and his Adventist associates. Sadly, William Miller was just one of many to jump on this "band wagon" heralding Christ's return during the 1843-44 period because of their interpretation of the 2300 day period (Daniel 8:14) back to the year 457 B.C. Many "scholar's" in both Europe and America were during this same period espousing Miller's belief before him.
Samuel Snow, a follower of Miller, then interpreted the "tarrying time" referred to in Habakkuk 2:3 as equal to 7 months and 10 days, delaying the end time to October 22, 1844. That prophecy also did not come to pass. Upwards of 100,000 Millerites had expected to finally meet Jesus. Many of them dressed in white robes and climbed up on roofs and hilltops. But the chosen night came and went. The milestone would come to be known as the Great Disappointment of 1844. Many believers left the movement in what has become known as "The Great Disappointment".
Miller himself gradually withdrew from the leadership of the group and died in 1849. His followers called themselves Adventists; the group was often referred to as Millerites by others. The disillusioned remnants of his church splintered over doctrinal differences. This fragmentation ultimately gave rise to a variety of denominations, including the Jehovah Witnesses and the Seventh-Day Adventists.
New hope: On October 25, 1844, following the "Great Disappointment," Hiram Edson a devout Adventist and follower of William Miller, cut through a cornfield on his way home, with his friend O.R.L. Crosier. In deep meditation, suddenly Hiram Edson stopped. He suddenly received a great spiritual revelation.
Doctor Froom tells us that Hiram suddenly realized that there were two phases to Christ's ministry in the heaven of heavens. Hiram believed "that instead of our high priest coming out of the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary to come to this earth on the tenth day of the seventh month at the end of the 2,300 days, he for the first time entered on that day the second apartment of that sanctuary, and that he had a work to perform in the Most Holy before coming to this earth." Reference: The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers
So miraculously, down and out Hiram Edson solved the riddle of why the Millerites were so disappointed after Christ did not return in 1844.
William Miller denied the Seventh-day Sabbath. This all seems to have been a concoction of Ellen White.
The theology of William Miller differed from the Seventh-day Adventist theology on three distinct points: He denied the Seventh-day Sabbath; the doctrine of the sleep of the soul; and the final utter destruction of the wicked--all doctrines held by the Seventh-day Adventist denominations. Also, Miller never embraced the "sanctuary" and "investigative judgment" theories which the Seventh-day Adventists developed. After the date-picking for Christ's return failed, William Miller died shortly after a broken and disillusioned man. Regardless of his false prophesizing, William Miller an honest and forthright man.
Millerites unite with their own peculiar dogmas:
Following the failed
prophecy which resulted in the "Great Disappointment" of 1844, three
segments of Millerites eventually united to form the Seventh-day
Adventists. These were a group headed by Hiram Edson from
western New York. These brought Hiram's doctrine of the
"sanctuary". The second group was headed by Joseph Bates, a
retired sea captain from Fairhaven, Massachusetts; who had a
following located mostly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
It was his group that injected observance of the Seventh-day Sabbath
into Seventh-day Adventism. The third group came from Maine.
They injected the idea that Seventh-day Adventists were specially
selected as the "remnant". This group of Millerites from Maine
emphasized "the Spirit of prophecy". They accepted the
interpretations and "visions" of Ellen G. Harmon (later Ellen White)
of Portland, Maine.
One of Miller's printed pamphlets greatly influenced a young teenage Methodist girl from Maine named Ellen Harmon (later known by her married name Ellen White). During the early 1840s, the Harmon family attended Adventist meetings. The Adventist church was a Christian denomination that believed that the coming of Christ, or advent, was imminent. The Harmons were especially taken with the views of William Miller who predicted Christ's return on October 22, 1844. The conflict between the Methodist and Millerite beliefs resulted in the Harmon family's removal from the Methodist Church in 1843.
Ellen joined with other Adventists, including
Joseph Bates, and her husband James White to form a small group of
Baptist, Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian believers in
Washington, NH. The church was formally organized as the Seventh-day
Adventist Church. In December 1844, two months after this "Great
Disappointment" the 17 year old Ellen White said she had a vision
which showed Adventist believers ushered into heaven. In 1863 Ellen
said she believed that the 1844 prediction was correct, but that it
referred to the start of an Investigative Judgment. This is a time
when Christ will judge the dead and the living on earth for
righteousness. She predicted that this would soon be followed by the
second coming of Jesus. Late in her career, the church voted her the
credentials of an ordained minister. However, she was never actually
ordained. Ellen White has always been acknowledged as the spiritual
leader of the Seventh Day Adventists.
Victor Houteff joined the
Seventh Day Adventist church in 1919. His beliefs deviated
from main-line SDA church doctrine. This became obvious when he wrote
his book The Shepherd's Rod in which he outlined errors that he
found within the Seventh Day Adventist church. He left the church and formed a new sect in
1929 called the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. This group split
further and eventually led to the organization of the the Students
of the Seven Seals, popularly known as the Branch Davidians. In
1993, after a long standoff with the FBI, the Branch Davidian's
compound burned down with major loss of life.
Dr. John Kellog, founder of "Kellogg's" and a major supplier of breakfast cereals was a well known member of the Seventh Day Adventist church.
The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church has always taken a special
interest in health concerns. They promote plans to help people quit
smoking and consuming alcohol. They have played a major role in
health research into the dangers of smoking and of diets rich in
cholesterol and fats. They sponsor cooking classes, heart disease teams, narcotics
education outreaches and disaster teams. There are 155 SDA hospitals
and 276 clinics, dispensaries, etc. in the world. Many congregations
have a Dorcas Society which provide food and supplies to the needy.
They currently operate 92 post-secondary institutions, almost 1000
secondary schools and over 4000 elementary schools and
By the middle of 2004, the total world church membership reached
13,663,497. The Adventist News Network reports that: "Six of the
church's 13 world regions -- Inter-America, South America,
East-Central Africa, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean, Southern Asia
Pacific and North America -- have memberships of more than 1 million
each. The church regions with the largest membership are:
Inter-America, with 2.5 million; South America, with 2.3 million;
and East-Central Africa with, 2.1 million." Part of the amazing
growth of the Seventh Day Adventist church is due to the fact that
they have always been on the "cutting edge" of evangelism. They
began a radio program known as "The Voice of Prophecy" in 1929. "It
is Written" was their 1956 color television program. And in 1965,
the radio program "Amazing Facts" was launched. It went to
television in 1987. In 1993, the gifted speaker Doug Batchelor took
over "Amazing Facts". Probably 100 million homes are exposed to this
Our calling as Christians
is much higher than that of the Old Testament saints. We are living
under the New Covenant which is a better one.
Quietly, Seventh Day Adventists share the Jehovah Witness lie that
Jesus is Michael the Archangel.
The operative word
from Jesus regarding baptism is "MUST". Jesus told us we must
be baptized by both Water and the Holy Spirit.
SDA parents, take your infants and solemnly baptize them in a sink, in case your child should perish before reaching any "age of accountability". Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Should your child reach an age of accountability, they can then decide for their selves to receive a second SDA baptism.
The heretical Seventh Day Adventist ideas about infant baptism are not new. Read about the Anabaptist movement in Europe during the early 1500's, here.
In Mark 16:16 Jesus says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Read more about Baptism
and some false things some denominations say about it:
Ellen White's writings do not "parallel any of the Bible Texts which
are often used to condemn homosexuals."
SDA False claims against Catholics:
Catholic Priest, Reverend M. James Divis, S.T.L., writes: "Recently we received an 80-page booklet entitled 'What's Behind The New World Order?' It can be traced back to the writings of Ellen G. White, foundress of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. According to this booklet, the Catholic Church is behind the New World Order. The booklet claims that this is true, since the Church is the beast of Revelation (Rev. 17). It attempts to prove this claim by exposing the 'marks of the beast.' Due to limited space, only one charge will be considered. This is a common charge used against the Catholic Church."
BibleProbe.com comment: This is a "bum rap" that seems to be perpetrated against Catholics by the Seventh Day Adventists. Many Christians, especially Catholics, do use statues as "visual aids" when praying. But, even Catholics do not pray to the plaster or wood as Seventh Day Adventists claim. They are are thinking beyond this statue to God, Mary and the Saints. Also, if the SDA do not believe in intercessory prayer, perhaps they can explain, the Apostle Paul asking for the churches to pray for him.
Reverend Divis writes: "No one is allowed by the Catholic Church to pray to images since they have no ears to hear or power to help us. The Catholic Church allows for the veneration (respect) of images as long as the honor is directed towards Christ and His saints."
Catholic Reverend M. James Divis writes:
And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. ... Numbers 21:8-9
Read more on this by Reverend Divis (approved by his Bishop), here
SDA CLAIM THE POPE IS THE ANTICHRIST of 1260 days (years):
The Seventh Day Adventists claim that the Papacy is the antichrist of revelation is also very suspect and unproven. The SDA claim that the Catholic Church, from 538 AD to 1798 AD (when Napoleon ended it) was in fact the antichrist that Daniel prophesized about. They falsely claim that before 538 A.D. the papacy was not relevant. Yet, "The development of the 'supremacy of the papacy' began long before 538. In his book on The History of the Christian Church--which has served for many years as the standard text book for church history classes--Williston Walker devotes chapter 6 to the 'Growth of the Papacy' during the fourth and fifth centuries. He points out that during this period there were influential popes like Damasus (366-384), Innocent I (402-417), and Leo I, called 'the Great' (440-461), who greatly advanced both the spiritual and temporal power of the papacy.
"For example, the last Pope mentioned, Leo I, known as 'Leo the Great,' greatly increased the political prestige of the papacy by threatening with hell fire Attila the Hun, when he was approaching Rome in 451 with his terrifying soldiers. Attila obeyed the Pope and withdrew beyond the Danube. Later Pope Leo secured concessions from the Vandals when they took Rome in 452. He is called 'Leo the Great' for advancing and consolidating the power of the papacy.
In his newsletter Seventh Day Adventist Dr. Bacchiochi points out that the supremacy of the papacy was actually established centuries prior to 538 A.D.:
Dr. Bacchoicchi goes on to point out that the papacy did not achieve temporal sovereignty until 756 when the pope acquired the territories of Central Italy. The papacy controlled these territories until 1870 when the king of Sardinia took over the papal territories.
Dr. Bacchoichi has shown that the 538 date corresponds to no significant event in history and that the supremacy of the Papacy actually began centuries earlier. Now, what about the ending date of the 1260-day prophecy? Was the papacy abolished in 1798? On page 579 of the 1888 Great Controversy Ellen White writes:
"The infliction of the deadly wound points to the abolition of the papacy in 1798."And in the 1911 edition:
"The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798."
While 1798 is a day of some significance for the papacy, it certainly does not indicate the "abolition" or even the "downfall" of the papacy. When Pope Pius VI was taken prisoner by the French General Berthier, the papacy suffered humiliation, but it would be a gross exaggeration to describe this event as the "downfall" of the papacy.
In his newsletter Dr. Bacchiocchi explains what happened after the pope was captured in 1798:
"The imprisonment of Pope Paul VI was condemned by Russia and Austria. Both nations decided to join forces to restore the Pope to his Pontifical throne in Rome. When the French government was confronted with this new coalition and with popular uprisings, it decided to transfer the Pope to Valence, in France, where he died 40 days later, on August 29, 1799.
ANOTHER SDA ERROR - The Origin of Sunday Worship
On pages 52-53 of The Great Controversy Mrs. Ellen White wrote:
"In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts."Notice here that the word "centuries" is plural. This indicates that for a minimum of two centuries the Sabbath was observed by "all Christians." Mrs. White seems to have believed that all Christians observed the Sabbath until "the early part of the fourth century [when] the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire." (p. 53)
Dr. Bacchiocchi writes in his newsletter:
"What is problematic is the impression many people get from EGW's statements that the Sabbath was observed 'by all Christians . . . in the first centuries' until 'the early part of the fourth century [when] the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public holiday.' (pp. 52-53) ...Bacchoichi's book, From Sabbath to Sunday, provides substantial evidence that Sunday worship started much earlier than Mrs. White claimed.
SDA ERROR - The Change of Sabbath to Sunday
Yet another inaccuracy is found in chapter 25 of The Great Controversy. Ellen White claims that the change of the Sabbath to Sunday was accomplished by the Pope with the "power of the state":
"It was on behalf of Sunday that popery first asserted its arrogant claims; and its first resort to the power of the state was to compel the observance of Sunday as 'the Lord's Day.'" (page 447)She makes another similar statement later in the book:
"Royal edicts, general councils, and church ordinances sustained by secular power were the steps by which the pagan festival [day of the Sun] attained its position of honor in the Christian world." (page 574)Before we read Dr. Bacchoicchi's assessment of these quotes, let me remind the reader that Dr. Bacchiocchi is widely regarded as the SDA theologian who is certainly the most knowledgeable person in the entire church on church history pertaining to Sabbath-Sunday issues. There is simply no one in the church more qualified to assess Ellen White's statements than Dr. Bacchiocchi. Here is his assessment:
"Both statements just cited are inaccurate, because the secular power of the state did not influence or compel Christians to adopt Sunday during the second and third centuries. At that time the Roman emperors were rather hostile toward Christianity. They were more interested to suppress Christianity than to support church leaders in their promotion of Sunday worship. The bishop of Rome could not have resorted to 'the power of the state to compel the observance of Sunday as the Lord's Day.' Eventually, beginning with the fourth century, some Roman emperors actively supported the agenda of the church, but this was long after the establishment of Sunday observance.It is clear from Dr. Bacchiochi's assessment that the pope did not resort to the power of the state, as Mrs. White wrote. Rather, the Roman Bishop instituted Sunday worship without any assistance from the state.
SDA ERROR - Sabbath Condemned by Ecumenical Councils
Mrs. White wrote in The Great Controversy of "vast councils" that supposedly attempted to "press down" the Sabbath in order to exalt Sunday in its place. She writes:
"Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondently exalted." (page 53)There were seven church councils held (Nicaea I in 325, Constantinople I in 381, Ephesus in 431, Chalcedon in 451, Constantinople II in 553, Constantinople III in 680, and Nicaea II in 787). However, Mrs. White seems to have been ignorant of their content. Dr. Bacchiocchi writes:
"The problem is with the second part of the statement which speaks of the Sabbath as being 'pressed down a little lower' in almost every general council. In all my reading of the seven ecumenical councils, I have not found a reference to the Sabbath/Sunday question being debated in such councils. Presumably the reason is that Sunday observance was no longer a debated question--it had become widely accepted by Christians."How could the Sabbath have been "pressed down" a little lower in these councils when it was not even discussed? This is simply another case of Mrs. White inventing history in her writings, and then claiming it was inspiration from God!
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