An eight part in-depth teaching series that looks at what the Seventh-day Adventists believe and teach and how as Christian's we are to respond Please click on the PDF links to read each article in full.
Part 1 - An Introduction to the Seventh-day Adventists
The Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) was officially established in 1863 in the U.S.A. In 1961 they had a worldwide membership of about a million. Today they have over 70, 000 churches globally with a worldwide church membership of more than 17.2 million people, spanning some 200 plus countries worldwide. In the UK, they have a membership of approximately 34,000. The SDA are one of the fastest growing organisations in the world with approximately 1 million new members joining each year, largely from the developing nations.
This teaching takes a look at their core doctrines and beliefs and seeks to give a brief rebuttal to these teachings which separates Adventists from mainstream Christianity and brings them into the category of a cult.
Part 2 - The History of the Seventh-day Adventists
This teaching explores the history and begins of the Seventh-day Adventists. The nineteenth century saw a literal explosion in the number of cults and religious groups springing up in the United States. Out of this spawning ground came the Seventh-day Adventists. In the 1830’s, a Baptist minister from New York by the name of William Miller began publicly sharing his new found belief, that Jesus Christ was going to return October 22, 1844. When October 22 1844 came and passed without the Lord’s coming, William Miller’s followers were left absolutely devastated, their hopes dashed into pieces!! It was against this backdrop that Ellen G. White emerged as a prophetess of a movement known as the Seventh-day Adventists.
In this teaching we explore the nature and the substance of Mrs Whites visions and ask the question, are such visions compatible with a true Biblical experience.
Part 3 - Examining the Visions, Prophesies & Writings of Ellen G. White
Ellen G. White had over 2000 visions during her lifetime and the content of those visions resulted in over 100,000 pages of writings which the SDA’s today consider to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and “…a continuing and authoritative source of truth…” (Fundamental Beliefs, Point 18). Ellen White herself claimed that her visions and writings were not merely expressions of her own ideas, but rather had their source as coming from God.
In this teaching, we examine under a spotlight, the prophecies of Mrs White to see if she passes the test of a true Biblical prophet. We will also examine the claim that Mrs White plagiarised a great amount of her written material that she claimed to have received directly from God!
Part 4 - Adventists and the Ten Commandments (Pt. 1)
SDA‘s readily identify themselves as the remnant church who have been called out to keep the commandments of God. By commandments, they mean the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments. One cannot overemphasise the place that the SDA church places upon the Ten Commandments. They are at the very heart and centre of the organisation!! It has well been said that SDA’s are New Testament believers in profession but Old Testament in practise.
In this teaching we begin to explore and answer the question, 'as New Testament believers are we required to keep the Ten Commandments?'
Part 5 - Adventists and the Ten Commandments (Pt. 2)
The SDA proposition that the Law of Moses as represented by the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) is still binding and in force upon those professing faith in Jesus and is a necessary requisite for salvation is not new to our era. The Church in the first century was faced with exactly the same proposition! Historically, the very first converts to Christianity were all Jewish; the very first church as recorded in the book of Acts consisted purely of Jewish believers who had come to faith in the Messiah Yeshua. However in accordance with the plan of God and the Old Testament prophecies, the door of salvation was opened to the Gentile nations. When Gentiles began being converted in vast numbers and began coming into the Church, there were those Jews, the Judaizers, zealous for the Law of Moses who sought to place them under the law as a requisite for salvation.
Are Seventh-day Adventists the modern day Judaizers? Does salvation come by grace through faith or by the keeping of the law? Can a professing Christian hold to both and be saved? We explore these questions and more in this teaching!
Part 6 - The Sabbath and Dietary Laws
Are Christians required to keep the Sabbath, are Christians free to eat what they please? Does what we eat affect our spirituality? In this teaching we shall be focusing our attention on the emphasis that the Adventist church places on the observance of the Sabbath along with its heavy emphasis on the dietary laws which SDA’s links to sanctification.
Part 7 - The Heavenly Sanctuary & The Investigative Judgment
It has well been said that the only really distinctive and unique doctrine of the SDA church is the doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary out of which proceeds the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment. This teaching is the very pillar and foundation of the SDA church. What is this peculiar doctrine that many with Adventism today want to distance themselves from? Is such a doctrine compatible with Biblical Christianity? We shall seek to address this head on in this teaching.
Part 8 - Is Seventh-day Adventism a Cult?
There were a number of groups that sprang out of the Millerite movement in the mid 1800's including the SDA’s, the Christadelphians and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Since all three share a common root they also share common doctrines. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists and the Christadelphians all have in common the heretical doctrine of mortalism (the mortality of the soul) out of which flows the false doctrines of Soul Sleep and Annihilation. In this final teaching on Seventh-day Adventists we examine these doctrines including the doctrine of baptismal regeneration.
We ask the question; is Adventism a cult or has it now reformed so as to place itself under the umbrella of orthodox and historic Christianity?
(Photo "Seventh-day Adventist World Headquarters Signs-front" by GC Communication http://www.flickr.com/photos/gccommunication/, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/)