Beware This Cult!
An insider exposes Seventh-day Adventism
and their false Prophet, Ellen G. White
by Gregory G. P. Hunt, M.D., B.Sc., F.R.C.P. (C)
Why Bother About Seventh-day Adventism?
Goals of a Seventh Day Adventist
Are You Searching?
The Threat of Seventh-day Adventism
Does Your Religious Affiliation Make You Vulnerable?
The Meat of the Adventist Health Message
Why All This Fuss about a False Prophet? Who Cares?
A Salute to Some Heretics
More on Ellen White and Meat Eating
Ellen White and More Health Reform Counsel
Ellen White and Medicine
Ellen White and Alcohol
Ellen White Contradicts The Bible Some More
Ellen White Contradicts Herself
Ellen White's Teaching on Depression
Ellen White Misrepresents God's Character
Some Very Dangerous Adventist Theology
Ellen White and Miscellaneous Nonsense
Ellen White and Some More Erroneous Adventist Theology
The Question of the Sabbath Day
Some Rotten Adventist Practices
Ellen White and Witchcraft
Ellen White's Defenders
To My Friends
This book is neither a literary work of art nor a deep theological treatise. It is intended for the "average reader" to provide some protection against cults in general and the Seventh Day Adventist cult in particular. Some teachings of other denominations are discussed only to show how these doctrines tend to make one good recruiting material for cults.
Some may notice considerable anger on my part towards the Adventist church. I do not deny these feelings and I have not tried to cover them up to attempt to be somebody that I am not. I believe that it is a healthy feeling to be hostile towards any cult that is responsible for propagating untruths, misrepresenting Christ, and causing misery for so many people. Anger in fact is a normal, healthy emotion which God has given us for a purpose. We can all identify with Jesus' anger when He overturned the moneychangers' tables and cleansed the temple (Mt. 21:2). We also can recognize His feelings when he cured the man with the withered hand, "And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart..." (Mk. 3:5).
Some feel that I have been a little too harsh on some individuals in my book. One must realize that there is a very large amount of extremely personal material which I could not put in the book. I felt that I could not leave all personal material out as it is necessary to make my points. I have tried to make a compromise; I do realize that some people will be offended. However, this tactic has been used on purpose in an attempt to get certain people to read this book. These people desperately need to be reached but they don't know it.
My chapter arrangements tend to produce a rather disorganized pattern. The first few chapters consist of some generalities which may not be particularly interesting to some people but I feel are quite necessary. The sensational material begins in Chapter 6, "The Meat of the Adventist Health Message". For some readers it would be a good idea to read this chapter first and then go back to the beginning of the book to make the first five chapters more meaningful.
For many readers, this book will be educational, entertaining, and possibly even funny. Too many people these days, particularly the young and disillusioned, are being herded into different cults where they and their loved ones particularly, suffer immeasurably. It is my prayer that this book will serve to prevent a great deal of this misery. The fascinating material presented here is mainly for that purpose. If it happens to be entertaining, so much the better.
Why Bother About Seventh-day Adventism? ˝
Why would I want to write a book like this? It simply boils down to the pain-pleasure principle. I would suffer more pain by not writing it. This is the basic motivation for anything we do if we really analyze it. Before I made the decision to write this book I couldn't sleep. That was very painful.
What do I hope to gain from writing such a book? I hope the strongest motive for this writing is that it will prompt people to read the Bible. Being armed with its truth and the guidance of the Holy Spirit they might ward off any deceptions which come their way.
One of my major hopes is to discredit Ellen G. White as a prophet and to encourage some thinking amongst the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. If it be God's will, perhaps it will even lead to a revival or transformation.
Certainly I hope to prevent some pain and give some pleasure and peace to people who might get involved with Seventh Day Adventists. I would not like anyone to go through the pain which my family and I have suffered in our experiences with them. When I see someone being drawn towards their ranks because of some truth they have gleaned from Adventist teaching, it is a source of great sorrow for me. These people who are searching for something greater in life and are reaching out to God, are at great risk for taking on much more than God intended.
No church currently has a monopoly on truth. I will later be pointing out errors in many different churches as they interpret scripture. God has not promised the truth totally to anyone prior to His second coming.
Seventh Day Adventists would have you believe that they are the "true church" in these latter days because they have a 'prophet' in their ranks. They believe they have been set up to deliver a special message from God. This certainly is not a new claim. Catholics have always claimed to be the real church. Their claim to authority is the unscriptural teaching of an unbroken line of popes from the time of Peter who supposedly was the first pope. Pentecostals will indicate they are God's chosen church since they have the gift of tongues to prove the Holy Spirit is in their midst. Jehovah's Witnesses stress God's name and also claim to the the 'true church'. Many other denominations believe they are the chosen few and Adventists certainly are not unique in this false claim.
The Adventist church I feel does teach some truths better than other churches and I continue to hold some of their beliefs. Some of these beliefs may be held by other denominations and at the moment I am not aware of any truth that is unique to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. People from different denominations will be vulnerable on differing points of truth or error. The truth which would not have any effect on a Jehovah's Witness might have very strong appeal to a Catholic asking questions. This would set this individual up for further clarification of questionable points and growing amounts of trust in the teachings. At some point the victim is at risk for believing almost anything that is taught.
I had been a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church for over three years before the error became painful enough for me to resign. A lot of questioning, praying, Bible study, and plain hurting lead to my final decision. My family and I were recruited into the ranks of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at a vulnerable period in my personal development. They did a god job at satisfying my particular needs at that time. Fortunately I was able to spend enough time with my Bible that the errors became very appalling. This lead to my being freed from the Seventh Day Adventist cult. In the Word of God are many precious promises, one of my favorites being a promise from Jesus: "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (Jn 8:23)
In the past as I stumbled along through my Christian experiences with Adventists I would recognize small points of truth seemingly at the appropriate times. As I grew, I expected that others around me should also. Whenever I would try to share my findings with an Adventist I usually ran into a brick wall. Whenever I would ask any disturbing questions. I would either be ignored, attacked, insulted or just simply told to leave my questions on the shelf and they would be answered in due time. When one is growing he tends to be impatient and does not like others to put on a damper. This leads to turmoil and distress and a deep sense of frustration.
When I first joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church I was surrounded by well wishing people who seemed to be very friendly and outgoing. They gave the impression that they were very interested in my welfare. Trusted friends would tell me things which I would believe without hesitation. After all they were my friends or close relatives; why should I be suspicious? Those people were intelligent and had made some changes in their lives. They seemed to be offering happiness to me. Little did I understand the basic motives and I am sure most of them didn't understand them either.
In the beginning many true well-wishers attempted to warn me about Adventism. However nobody ever produced any information or evidence in a concrete fashion. Therefore the warnings served only to propel me along the path I had already chosen, hoping to find happiness. I was of course very angry with these people who warned me about what I might be getting into. How I often wished they had had a bigger influence on me. The pain and sorrow that might have been prevented cannot be measured. On the other hand had I taken another route at that time I certainly would not be nearly as wise as I am today. "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him". (Rom. 8:28)
You have this book in your hand. You will not be able to look back and say people warned you but they did not give you any evidence. In this book is fantastic evidence which I hope will prevent you a lot of pain and misery. The evidence which I shall present is overwhelming in proving, yes proving, that Ellen G. White is a false prophet. Several books have been attempted in the past to prove this. They have succeeded to a certain degree and some of that material will be presented in this book. However the quality and quantity of the specific items will certainly be sufficient for anyone to give thumbs down to Ellen White and Seventh-day Adventism.
Adventists are extremely smug and conceited about their self professed mission as the only true church. Many of them have a fantastic sense of comfort and false security in their delusions. As a physician I recognize a duty to 'comfort the afflicted'. As a Christian I also have a duty to 'afflict the comfortable'. Adventists are just too comfortable in their self-deceit. I intend to disturb their false security and comfort with this book and by any other means that presents itself. This is the major purpose of this book.
There is a Bible commandment which speaks to me quite plainly. I have considerable information which I must pass on. "Let no one deceive you with empty words... Therefore do not associate with them for once you were in darkness but now you are light in the Lord... Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." (Eph. 5:6-11)
Goals of a Seventh Day Adventist ˝
Perhaps you aren't acquainted with any Adventists. Perhaps you have had casual contacts with friends or acquaintances. Maybe you have been approached directly for some donations or have been invited to attend one of their crusades. Perhaps you have a close relative or even a spouse involved in the group and you are bewildered. It makes life more and more intolerable for you. Whatever your case you can be expected to be in contact with a Seventh Day Adventist in the near future. They are a rapidly growing denomination and their influence is becoming stronger daily. You may class them with organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Y.M.C.A. or other such benevolent groups. You may be convinced that they are doing a lot of good. This may in part be true but the amount of harm being done is inestimable.
A Seventh Day Adventist's purported goal is to warn the world of Jesus' second coming and convert everyone to Christianity. This goal is held by many Christians and certainly is a noble cause of which I would like to be a part. However, higher on the priority list is the desire to get you into the Seventh Day Adventist Church. After all, the more members coming into the church, the more an Adventist becomes convinced that he is teaching the truth and serving the purpose for which God has called him. It becomes much easier to live with delusions the more other people there are to share them with. There is great emotional gratification in converting someone to your way of thinking and feeling that you have saved their soul. It gives a feeling of being intoxicated with power.
Of course converting the whole world is going to take a lot of money and resources. If you have joined the Adventist church you will be contributing to the coffers and obviously the more money available the more power can be wielded.
Most converts to Adventism will have suffered a considerable amount of persecution and shunning from other people. Although this is purported to be painful, it is never the less quite welcome. It reinforces the delusion that he is in fact following the correct path. After all, aren't Christians supposed to be persecuted? As one sees more people joining their ranks this sense of persecution becomes more tolerable and there is a sense of bliss at having suffered such atrocities in the name of God. All this tends to reinforce and bolster the basic delusions which at this point have complete control over the individual. This produces a drastic change in behavior and lifestyle. Emotions of course run rampant as one ardent follower embraces another relative or dear friends who has decided to join him in his deluded state.
Some Adventists are serious about their theology and nothing short of a miracle will change their delusions. Many others however are just in the church for social reasons or to keep someone else happy. These lesser crusaders of course would be quite happy for you to join their church family. It relieves their sense of guilt somewhat in going against their own conscience and going along with things they know to be a mockery and an affront to God. If you are an esteemed member of the community you are even more welcome. You have more money to add to the coffers and your personal influence will add to the prestige of their church.
A few, and I would stress mighty few, Adventists are deeply concerned about your well being and your destiny. They are truly hopeful that you will obtain eternal life and the peace and happiness that can be obtained only through Jesus Christ. I commend this rare species of person within the Seventh Day Adventist Church as they are honest people. I do expect that my evidence will have a profound effect on their future.
Are You Searching? ˝
Something has prompted you to take a peek into this book. Maybe you are an Adventist and want to see what is being said about you so that you can build up a defense for the future. Perhaps you are heartbroken that someone else is trapped and you want to offer him some help. Perhaps you have recently become interested in the Seventh Day Adventist Church as you search for something better in life. You want some happiness, some way out of your turmoil and fretful station in life.
Seventh-day Adventism will offer you a lot of comfort... at least in the beginning. It is possible you will find happiness there. But I do not know any truly happy or peaceful Adventist. I suspect your chances for happiness are small if you plan on staying with them.
Only the gospel of Christ in its purest form available to you can offer you hope, health and happiness. Only in God is there a reason to carry on despite the drudgery and pain of this world. Only through Christ is there any hope for the future - - the Blessed Hope.
The truth of course is available to you in the Bible. It is not a hard book but is certainly not an easy book either. With all the deceptions and falsehoods around you can use all the help you can get. The best Christian book I have read to date is by Billy Graham; "How to Be Born Again". I would highly recommend this to you and feel it is a must for any Christian. The understanding of the gospel presented in this book and its encouragement are well worth the time.
I can inform you that your search for happiness will be a difficult one. However take heart, we have God's promise that He will be with us till the end of the world. Having started your relationship with Jesus Christ, recall Paul's words frequently. "And I am sure that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ". (Phil. 1:6)
God is not out to get you or punish you. His wish is that none of us be lost. Unfortunately, even God can't have all He desires. Each of us must want it too. It is the risk He runs in allowing us to have a free will.
The Threat of Seventh-day Adventism ˝
As already stated the Adventist's main goal is to get you into his church. Great preparations and plans are laid to accomplish this and are carried out with remarkable success. They tend to take a little too literally the statement from Jesus to two fishermen, Peter and Andrew, whom He had chosen to follow Him. To these two brothers He said "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt 4:19). Adventists take this as a license to do almost anything to hook people and trap them into their ranks.
Somehow you will come into contact with Seventh-day Adventism if you haven't already. You may attend a service out of curiosity or necessity. You may be invited to take part in some Bible studies which I must admit are very impressive. You may be solicited by mail to attend a crusade or you may be asked to donate to their cause. You may have attended one of their Five Day Plans to Quit Smoking which by the way is quite successful or you may have been involved with Meals on Wheels. Classes are offered in vegetarian cooking and in this age of stress, they now offer a course on how to better handle stress. These may well be noble works, but the basic motive is to make a contact with you, get your name, address, and whatever other information that might be available so they can follow you up later and get you interested in one of their crusades. You may have watched one of their television programs such as It Is Written by George Vandeman of Search For the Truth with Laverne Tucker. These productions may have had considerable effect on you and you may be drawn to attend a Seventh Day Adventist function to see what is going on.
Evangelistic crusades are presented with professionalism and power. They generally last for a period of four weeks almost nightly. The Bible is used so forcefully and the material is so well presented that their powers of conviction are overwhelming. Climbing into the baptismal tank means many more commitments and promises than just coming to Christ. Baptismal vows are much more demanding than Bible prerequisites for baptism.
What does the Bible have to say about the necessary conditions for baptism? In Acts 16 we find the story of the jailer who witnessed some of God's miracles and found all of the jail doors wide open. He was so worried about this for his own sake that he was about to commit suicide. Paul prevented him by indicating that no prisoners had left. The jailer responded by asking the question, "What must I do to be saved?" and they said "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds and he was baptized at once, with all his family". (Acts 16:30-33)
Apparently this jailer was a Roman and knew very little about the Christian background. Within one hour of making his decision for Christ he was baptized. There was no big long list of things for this jailer to agree to before he was allowed to be baptized.
Looking at the list of prerequisites for baptism in the Seventh Day Adventist Church we note the following. Number 8 indicates that the baptismal candidate believes that "the Spirit of Prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church". The term used here as Spirit of Prophecy actually means the personage of Ellen G. White, the prophet of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Here you are asked to give your destiny into the hands of a prophet about whom you to this time have heard very little. What you may have heard at this point seems very impressive. Not until you climb out of the tank are you to be indoctrinated with her teachings. In the case of the jailer, we didn't find Paul asking him to swear that he believed Moses to be a true prophet before he was allowed to be baptized. This baptismal condition is absurd in that it makes one render a judgement and make a promise which can't possibly be responsible.
Number 7 reads in part "I am to honor God by caring for my body in abstaining from such things as alcoholic beverages,... and from unclean foods." I will have much more to say later about these particular subjects but it seems that Seventh Day Adventists are asking a baptismal candidate to follow some rules that cannot be substantiated in the Bible or follow some rules of the old Jewish covenant. No matter what they are asking in this statement, they are going far beyond the simple prerequisite of "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved".
Number 6 specifically insists on your keeping the Sabbath day holy, that is the seventh day of the week. Again much will be said about this later. Does it seem fair, that should you refuse to follow this belief, that you be prevented from publicly expressing your belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ by baptism?
Many of the other baptismal vows are superfluous and there are many specifications present in this document which in fact makes it very difficult for people to come to Jesus Christ. Biblically it is intended to be a very simple step of faith. At first glance it seems that Seventh Day Adventists are asking you to promise to never, ever, sin again in the future before you are accepted into the house of God. This is certainly asking people for promises that just cannot be kept. It sets one up for a lot of misery and suffering in the near future.
The Adventists seem to have this all backwards. My impression from the Bible is that, first one accepts Jesus and comes under His care. Them he begins to experience victories and be cleansed of his sins and bad habits. Adventists would like you to be totally clean and then approach Jesus to join his family. This untruth is one of the greatest errors that keeps people from coming to Christ. The feeling that I am not clean enough or not worthy to talk to God is prominent among many people. It is the devil's way of keeping them from approaching God. It seems the Seventh Day Adventist Church uses much the same tactic as the devil.
Generally Seventh Day Adventists insist that they are the right church for these last days. They expect that that in itself will impress you. They hope to project a lifestyle or an image of peaceful existence to you so that you will want to have what they have. This is particularly evident in their health message in that they feel they have great revelations to offer the world in this department. Of course most of the health revelations are based on the writings of Ellen White, their prophet. You will shortly see that the advice of Ellen White is undependable and in fact quite ridiculous.
Adventists have an advertisement stating the Mormons have a life span seven years longer than that of the general population. They go on to indicate that Seventh Day Adventists have a slightly longer life expectancy than Mormons; so they are one up on the Mormons. These facts have been well proven in controlled studies in California and no one can deny these findings. However the reasons for living longer are quite self evident. Neither group will touch alcohol. That cuts one of the top killers in our society, cirrhosis of the liver. It also protects them from at least self inflicted car accidents involving drinking and driving. As nonsmokers they are protected against cancer of the lung, another significant cause of death. However they would like you to get the idea that meat eating has a lot to do with their longevity.
About 50% of Adventists are, more or less, vegetarians. This is strictly on the counsel of Ellen White. Often people are coaxed into the church through vegetarian classes as they have many reasons for vegetarianism. However Adventists make it a matter of doctrine and according to Ellen White's writings you cannot be saved unless you give up your meat eating. There is much more to come on this later.
Many Adventists like to play the game, 'Mine is better than yours'. This game, first learned in childhood, is exemplified by the conversation between two small children; 'My daddy can lick your daddy'. This game is carried on through life by most people. It is responsible for the attitude of 'keeping up with the Jones's'. If you know any Seventh Day Adventists you will quickly recognize what I am talking about. These people can radiate an air of self righteousness that would wilt any monk. They are the best church, have the best schools, have the best hospitals, etc. Just ask a Seventh Day Adventist, he will tell you!
What kind of people are at high risk for falling into the trap of the Seventh Day Adventists? Obviously anyone who is searching for further Biblical truth will no doubt run into Adventists and will be very impressed by explanations of some of their theology. One impressive truth leads to another and soon your confidence has been won. You are then set up to believe almost anything they will tell you.
If you are a young person having trouble with your parents, involvement with a cult such as Seventh-day Adventism is one way of getting back at your parents, showing your rebellion and expressing your independence. Anyone going through a painful or stressful period in life will search around for something better. In this state one is at extremely high risk for taking the bait. You may be interested in one of their vegetarian cooking classes, you may be a smoker and want to kick the habit at one of the Five Day Plans. These shows of interest will give Adventists considerable license over you. You may be under great pressure from one parent, spouse or other relatives of friends to join the church. You may just go along to keep the peace without realizing what might lie ahead.
An Adventist crusade is something very powerful indeed. In tables 2 and 3, note the types of topics which are liable to be covered. (Click here to see what topics were covered in 1999. Same information - different titles!) This will give you a complete indoctrination of the church's beliefs. Anyone who spends the four weeks going to this crusade will become quite convinced that all they are saying is true. Questions which may arise will be easily put to rest by indicating to you that you are questioning the Holy Spirit. Once you have learned what the Bible really has to say about such subjects as baptism, the state of the dead, the truth about hell and Jesus' second coming you are very impressed. You will be quite vulnerable for the other topics which will be even more compelling.
If you are at all searching, you must admit that many of these topics are very conscripting. You may not be able to deny your curiosity. You need to overcome only a few inhibitions and you will then find yourself in the auditorium with the other crusaders. You may now be well on your way to becoming a Seventh Day Adventist.
The crusade which brought me to the Adventist church was very powerful indeed. We knew very little about Ellen White when we were baptized. In fact, my wife was informed about Ellen White the day before her baptism and told that she would have to profess Ellen White a true prophet. Knowing nothing about the woman, there was really no decision to make at that point except to go ahead with baptism. It is much like signing any contract without reading the fine print. There is always something there that the seller has for his benefit and your loss.
Ellen White certainly is a personality not to be taken lightly. Her influence on the people of the Adventist church down through the years and her indirect influence on non Adventists cannot be totally appreciated. Consider the startling fact that she is the most prolific female author of all time. She has more books in circulation than any other female writer. One of her books currently is handed to each new recruit in the armed forces of the United States. This book, called "Steps to Christ", is boasted to be the third most widely distributed book in the world. It is topped only by number one, the Bible, and number two, the propaganda book of the Jehovah's Witnesses, called "The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life", often referred to as the 'blue bombshell'.
Notice that I did not claim that she is the biggest seller of all times. This would be misleading as many of her books are given away as gifts in an attempt to influence people and draw them into the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
As a consequence of the teaching of Ellen White the Seventh Day Adventist Church boasts the world's largest Protestant education system totaling 442,000 students in 1976. Adventist missionaries have penetrated 193 countries. Adventist material is printed by 46 publishing companies and is issued in 266 different tongues. Adventists have two large universities and 460 colleges which encircle the globe. There are 4100 elementary schools and you can bet that a great deal of their studies involve the teachings of Ellen White.
The Adventists church operates at least 138 fully equipped hospitals, many clinics and dispensaries around the world. Loma Linda University in Southern California has respected medical and dental schools.
Ellen White was born in 1827 and died in 1915. She experienced over 2000 'religious visions' during her lifetime. She claimed; "As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of His Word and the scenes of the past and future, I have been bidden to make known to others that which has been revealed". (Ellen G. White, Letter III, 1847)
Ellen White had 37 books published before her death and another 32 books were published later. There are more to come, her estate is making a fortune. Her books total 24,375 pages. She also wrote 4,500 articles appearing in various denominational journals consisting of about 20,000 pages in addition. There were also many thousands of pages of manuscript which were not published because of personal character. Her multiple visions and prophetic dreams have resulted in a vast array of pages and publications which have kept many publishing houses in business for decades.
These voluminous writings are really quite remarkable when one realizes that Ellen White never got past the third grade. She had to quit school because of poor health. This resulted from a head injury suffered when she was struck in the face by a rock hurled by an angry school mate. She apparently was knocked unconscious by this blow, recovered long enough to be helped home by her twin sister, and reportedly wavered between life and death for a period of three weeks. The after effects of this serious head injury and a terribly disfigured face resulted in a broken, nervous little girl, who could no longer carry on at school. She remained sickly for sometime but found meaning in life within a few years when her religious visions began to fit in with high flying emotionalism of her day. Suddenly there was now a reason for living and not only that, but a chance for fame and power. It is little wonder she experienced over 2000 'visions'.
It is notable that three important cults arose during the 1800's under the guidance of female prophets. Modern Spiritualism was sparked by two sisters Maggie and Kate Fox. Christian Science arose from the babblings of Mary Baker Eddy. Seventh-day Adventism flourished under the charismatic visions of Ellen White. The influence of these cults on our current day philosophy and lifestyle should not be underestimated.
Consider the professions open to women in mid 1800's. Mrs. White could not teach school as she didn't make it through grade three. She was not the type to become involved in prostitution, and the only other popular profession for a woman of her day was that of a prophet. This was to be the answer to all her problems.
Seventh-day Adventism is one more divisive element threatening Christianity. By faith we know that Christianity will survive, but the devil will wreak havoc and many should will be drawn into his camp. Seventh-day Adventism like the others, misrepresents the word of God, the person of Jesus Christ, and throws up stumbling blocks for those who are honestly seeking the truth.
There is no joy or peace in Adventism or any of these other cults. There is however the emotional 'high' which accompanies the deluded state and the all consuming self-righteousness.
Do Adventists pose much of a threat? I believe their threat is generally underestimated by the rest of Christianity. How many of you know former church members who have been proselytized by the Adventists? If you know some, you will recognize how different and distant they have become and how they seem to be completely different people. I am not suggesting that they seem to be better people; it is that they exude an attitude indicating that they are better than you are. All Christian churches are at risk for losing members to the Seventh Day Adventist cult.
Perhaps the threat of Adventism has been closer to home for you. Maybe someone from your family has been whisked off into their ranks and you have felt the heartache that produces. Seventh Day Adventist theology is probably closer to that of traditional Christian churches than any other cult.
In essence Adventist theology is even more protesting than that of Protestants. In fact they believe they are furthering the Protestant Reformation.
Their doctrines are extremely deceptive and their members are very serious about making converts. This is really their goal in life and the thing that keeps them going. Adventists call this witnessing and their hope is to 'win souls'. However, most of their energies are directed towards people who are already in another Christian Church. Unfortunately people who are going through sever troubles usually end up being their victims. This is extremely frustrating as these poor folks really don't need anymore troubles. Certainly there will be many other troubles if they join the Adventist cult.
Let me give you an example. The Adventist Church in my community was recently involved with sponsoring four 'boatpeople'. They were young Vietnamese Catholics. As I have mentioned elsewhere Adventist love to have Catholics as their target. Unlike other church sponsoring groups, the Adventists made sure that these Vietnamese refugees stayed with an Adventist family. This kept them out of contact with other Christians and the poor refugees felt they had to attend Saturday church with their Adventist hosts so as not to hurt their feelings. After a year of hearing the same old Adventist theology over and over, it is impossible not to become brainwashed. Somewhat to my horror, a couple of these young Vietnamese refugees recently climbed into the baptismal tank of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
It came out in a meeting one time that some of these young Vietnamese needed transportation. One member spoke up and indicated that they were Catholics and some Catholic neighbors could just pitch in and do their part. This was unthinkable to the lady housing these young chaps. Catholic neighbors had previously dropped around to give them a ride to Mass a few times and this obviously had been quite a blow to her pride. She insisted that no one was going to ask the Catholic neighbors for help in providing transportation as this might damage the overwhelming influence to join the Seventh Day Adventist Church. This is how these people operate.
Let us theorize for a moment what might happen if North America became predominantly Seventh Day Adventist. If they had an important law to put through the legislature, what do you think it would be? In a very short time you would see a Saturday law passed which is exactly the opposite of what Adventists claim to be the Mark of the Beast. I have little doubt that Adventists would insist that all other people within their territory observe the seventh day sabbath and worship God according to their directions. Intolerance towards those who did not follow with great zeal in fact would be unbelievable. A return to such tactics as burning at the stake and hanging of witches would be quite possible.
I am not exaggerating; I have been symbolically burned at the stake several times by members of the Adventist Church. In fact I was physically attacked in the church parking lot by a macho fellow who had not even yet become a member of the church. he could not tolerate my criticism of Ellen White and the resultant commotion this was causing in the church.
When I began asking questions about Ellen White I was barraged with accusations that I was committing the sin against the Holy Spirit in questioning the validity of Ellen White as a prophet. This manipulation by guilt was attempted for quite some time but when my evidence became stronger it became obvious that something more appropriate had to be done. An envoy was sent from the executive board of Ellen White Estates. Let me assure you that this is a strong, rich establishment. This man's function was to assure everyone in the church that Ellen White was in fact a true prophet and that I was just causing trouble. It seemed that a debate was going to be allowed in the church.
However this man very effectively used up all the time by telling stories about Mrs. White having visions of stolen hairnets and other nonsensical anecdotes. I was allowed a couple of minutes to speak publicly but really wasn't given any hearing. What I had to say was felt to be too threatening. The debate was cut very short, as this goodwill ambassador had something more important to do. He herded everyone downstairs to show them some slides he took of a visit to the Middle East. The whole exercise turned out to be a big farce but was quite instrumental in assuring me that my accusations were in fact true, and that I was not going crazy.
Following this episode I produced a short booklet pointing out to members some of the errors of Ellen White. This was read and accepted by a few, immediately thrown in the wastebasket by others, and simply ignored totally by the remainder. I received very few attempts from the members to try to explain away these difficulties. I received some rather bitter letters telling me that I was heading straight for hell since I was attacking Ellen White. By the grace of God I received a couple of letters which lead me to discover a lot of the material you find in this present book. We all know that prayers are often answered in very strange ways.
As my evidence mounted, my presence in the church was becoming intolerable to many of the stalwarts. A meeting of the Board was called, in secret I may add, and the subject of my excommunication was discussed. Despite the deep-seated hatred most members had for me, they could not bring themselves to vote my excommunication. They realized this would be very damaging for them, my being a doctor in the community, and carrying considerable weight, they feared I would cause considerable damage. Needless to say I was excommunicated in the hearts of many of these people but they didn't have the courage to make it official on paper.
Since the church elders had not followed the instructions from the big bosses, another envoy was sent to feel out the situation. He spent some time preaching about love, did an excellent job at that, and had a couple of visits with me just to find out how serious I really was. He was to report back to his bosses his opinion as to whether I should be excommunicated. Whatever the decision was the excommunication never really came. I suspect the local executives did not have the courage to follow the orders anyway.
All of these occurrences which obviously were much more involved than I have related were a tremendous emotional drain for me and my family. Not a few of the church members were convinced by me that Ellen White was a false prophet. Several met a life crisis and had to make some serious decisions. Despite repeated efforts to get at the hard core of the church I realized these people were becoming more deluded by my attempts. As my convictions grew stronger I realized that I could no longer have my presence and what little influence I might carry appear to be supporting their cause. I had fought the difficulties within the church long enough and I reached a point where I felt I could be much more successful outside. I could not take the risk that my influence of remaining in the church might draw someone else into their ranks.
My wife had the overwhelming urge to get out of the cult quite some time before I did and she filed her resignation with the elder of the church. Sometime later I indicated my resignation. Some fancy footwork was done by the pastors to try to reconcile our differences. After all it would not look good for a doctor to resign from their community church. Nor would it look good for three names (my daughter also resigned) to be stricken from the church books. These names in the church books could not be classified as having been transferred to another Adventist Church of having died. They would have to be marked 'apostatized'! Also this would lower the growth rate of the church which is an unbearable statistic for Seventh Day Adventists. In fact, formal ministers are kept few in number so that baptisms per year per minister will be relatively high.
How do Adventists remain so strong? They have several methods devised to protect their church. They usually get rid of Ellen White critics very rapidly. In my few years in the church I saw several come and leave, stirring up a minimum of trouble. Many just could not be bothered and moved on to churches with more reasonable beliefs. Others could not tolerate the rejection and guilt trips laid on them and sorrowfully disappeared. Some left not being quite sure and remain haunted by the thought that they may have done the wrong thing. There are many people with these heavy doubts. It is my hope that they will receive considerable release from this book.
Does Your Religious Affiliation Make You Vulnerable? ˝
Most people would be quite willing to admit there is no church currently on earth that has all the truth. Nowhere does the Bible indicate that we will have all the truth anytime prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Seventh Day Adventists strongly preach the second advent of our Savior which should be stressed more by other churches. It is hardly mentioned by some denominations. This is a very emotional subject and one can become very wrapped up in it.
Adventists really take the second advent a little too far. They stress this so much and with such vigor that false doctrines have developed from it. The erroneous idea that one can either hasten or delay Jesus' coming is one example which will be discussed later. The preoccupation with the second advent really makes Adventists a sad and pathetic group of people. The joy and fun of this current life is completely dismissed. This really produces an environment of a living hell for their young children who are not quite so fanatic. Adventists seem to neglect the reality of eternal life. They fail to realize that this life is part of that eternal life, and that they should be happy, joyful people. Instead they sit around with long faces feeling very sad and blaming one another that Jesus has not yet come.
The other item which the Adventist Church stresses is the sabbath day. The get people to believe that the sabbath day must be kept holy as commanded in the Old Testament. If one is not keeping the seventh day sabbath then he has the 'Mark of the Beast' and is slated for everlasting destruction.
The Adventist church teaches some Biblical truth better than other denominations. It is to their credit to do this but some Biblical subjects are severely perverted, particularly by the writings of Ellen White. The whole movement has become very dangerous and is a threat to many Christians. The power of this movement must not be underestimated.
The gospel truth in itself is very strong. When one begins wondering why he is here, what life is all about, etc., it is very comforting to accept the peace and hope offered through Jesus Christ. Many of us share this and pray that we will never lose it. However when people are coming to Christ, the devil is going to throw up stumbling blocks in their pathway. The Adventist Church is especially adept at doing just that.
It is quite obvious that false religion is not going to be handed to us as a bunch of unbelievable lies. Rather the material will contain a lot of truth which is very impressive and the error will be very well hidden. We would not expect the devil to present 100% lies. Anyone can see through a deception like that. We are warned in the Bible that we will be deceived by miracles, not tricks. "The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and pretended signs and wonders and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon us strong delusion to make them believe what is false so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth". (2Thess 2:9-12) Also notice Rev. 16:14, "For they are the spirits of devils working miracles". It seems quite evident that Satan will be able to work miracles such as healing the sick, producing some natural phenomena and may appear in other forms. He appeared to Eve as a serpent. In these latter days he may be appearing to people who are hurting, disguised as a lost, loved one.
Notice the story of Moses confronting the Pharaoh of Egypt to have the children of Israel released. We see that the magicians of that day had great power which was given to them by Satan. The devil has power to do many things. I do not believe he can new life; I believe this is the realm of God only. I do not believe the devil can read a persons thoughts, as the Bible indicates that God alone knows what is in the heart of man. many people seem to be worried that Satan does know their thoughts. It is true that he may be somewhat of a mind reader depending on the expression on one's face. He is usually aware of what temptation one is facing at the moment. However I stress that he cannot read your thoughts.
In the story of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, the great king insisted that his prophets tell not only what he had been dreaming but what the dream meant. None of these false prophets were able to do this, proving the devil could not tell them what was going on in Nebuchadnezzar's mind during his dreams. Only God was able to give this information and He chose Daniel to serve His purpose at that time.
The devil will use all kinds of miracles and deceptions to lead one astray. Paul warns us about the terrible enemy who confronts us. "Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places". (Eph 6:11-12) We are fighting a foe who is much smarter than we. The only protection we have is our belief and faith in Jesus Christ and this is to be our armor. The better we know God and the more we have of the truth the better we shall be protected.
We would not expect the devil to be working very hard in a den of sin or among a group of pagans. He has already won there and has nothing in particular to gain. The place he is going to put his real battle is in the church where people are actively seeking a closer relationship with God. It is here that Satan's deceptions can be expected to be overwhelming if we are not well prepared and protected by God.
Some religious denominations are much more
vulnerable to Seventh-day Adventism than others. Adventists particularly like to
work on Catholics. There are several Catholic beliefs that can be attacked quite
nicely. A person of any denomination however can easily fall prey to their advances
as they seem to rely so heavily on the Bible at first and make very good arguments for
their points. They usually come at you with a lot of truth that you have not heard
before and they show it to be true from the Bible. This sets up feelings of
intolerance towards the victims previous beliefs.
Some Tricks Used on Protestants in General
Most Christians are really starving for the Bible and Bible studies. Even in Protestant denominations this need often arises and to fill this void one may turn to an Adventist Bible study group. At first it seems very impressive that Adventists seem to stress the Bible so much. This is a very strong drawing card and is used with expertise by Adventists. This is somewhat of a deception in itself, as many Adventists know very little about the Bible. Having lots of material produced by their own prophet, there is really little need to turn to the Bible. In sixty-nine books she covers the Bible completely. Reading these works keeps one busy enough to stay away from the Bible.
Bible studies given by Adventists are really their standard sales pitch. They have specific chains of Bible passages all related to one subject which support that doctrine in the way they profess. Other relevant Bible passages will be left out if they seem to be in any way contradictory. These Bible chains are based on the Bible principle of "precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little". (Isa 28:10) This concept itself is new to most Bible students and seems to carry a lot of weight. Adventists however pervert this instruction by leaving out bits here and there which do not support their position. Other than these Bible chains, which are easily marked in his Bible,the average Adventist has very little foundation in the Bible itself. The claim that Adventists are people of the Bible is totally false. They are people of Ellen White who have perverted the Bible miserably.
It is quite paradoxical how these people actually know very little about the Bible in general. At times one wonders whether their ministers have ever read the Bible let alone studied it deeply. One Adventist pastor had misinterpreted a Bible passage so badly that he believed John the Baptist was lost for all eternity. It was very shocking for me to hear this from his lips and realize that he had been leading me for quite some time and having considerable influence on my thinking.
Perhaps the most impressive Bible study presented by Adventists is the topic concerning life after death. This catches many victims. Their belief in life after death is somewhat like that of the Jehovah's Witnesses. It is fairly plain from the Bible that people who are lost will not actually burn in hell forever. There is a much more acceptable explanation than that. This belief tends to make God appear unjust and this particular perverted belief in eternal torment is one reason that some Catholics and Protestants have such a small measure of faith. However, no matter what you believe about future life, it does not really have any bearing on your salvation.
Prophecy in the Bible as described by Seventh Day Adventists is also very exciting. Their interpretations may or may not be true but are somewhat fascinating and set the stage for further indoctrination. I will not touch on any specific prophecies at this time. Suffice it to say they are very powerful tools.
The title 'Reverend' is used by most clergymen and seems to be a traditional title. However, if you really think about it there is no one anymore reverend than you are. By giving someone this title of 'Reverend' you are putting yourself down and giving this particular person a license to exercise power over you. This is not what God intends. The term 'Reverend' should be reserved for God alone. "Holy and reverend is His name". (Ps 111:9)
If you call another person by such a title you are setting yourself up to be victimized or manipulated. You should feel quite comfortable at calling your minister by his first name. If you prefer, use 'Pastor', which denotes one as ministering to another. Likewise you should be able to call your doctor or dentist by his first name without feeling uncomfortable. However if you do prefer to use the term doctor or any other title, just make sure you are using it because you want to; not because you feel compelled to do so.
The sabbath day is a very difficult subject. This may be very impressive to Protestants and may lead them into the trap of Seventh-day Adventism. I will discuss the sabbath at some length in a later chapter.
Adventists efficiently ridicule Catholics in front
of Protestants. That tends to draw Protestants closer to Adventists and makes them
more prone to further indoctrination. Making fun of Catholic practices provides something
in common to break the ice.
Tricks Used on Catholics
Being an ex-Catholic, I am well aware of many shaky beliefs of this denomination. Unfortunately Catholics have left themselves wide open to criticism concerning false doctrines. Their theology has grown very little over the centuries and repeated pronouncements by the pope tend to keep most Catholics disillusioned. This leaves them at great risk for falling into the trap of Seventh Day Adventists.
Adventists literally make fun of Catholics, particularly their bingos and dances, their praying for the dead and praying to saints. The doctrine of indulgences is a very easily attacked item, as is confession to a priest, penance, etc.
Much of what I have said about 'Reverend' above applies to the title 'Father'. Priests seem to demand this title and the flock seems compelled to continue using it. Jesus gave many commandments during his short stay here on earth. He said "And call no man your father on earth for you have one father, who is in heaven". (Matt 23:9) Here Jesus is pointing out how the Pharisees like to be called Rabbi and enjoyed being seen by other men doing their penance; how they enjoyed the places of honor at feasts and in the synagogues. But Jesus warned no one is to be called Rabbi, Father or Master. This seems to be a rather straight forward commandment. Jesus goes on to say "He who is greatest among you shall be your servant". This would tend to indicate that your minister is not someone to be set about you but someone who gladly ministers to you and is on an equal basis with you. You should be quite content to call your priest by his first name. If he cannot tolerate it then that is his problem, not yours.
No Catholic doctrine is quite as easily attacked as the triad of confession, penance and indulgences. The Catholic church has recently indicated that confession to a priest is not completely necessary. However many Catholics continue to confess directly to the priest as it gives them a sense of relief and gives them someone to talk to. Perhaps this is a good thing in itself. The bible is quite adamant in pointing out the fact that there is to be no mediator between God and man except Jesus Christ. "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all." (1Tim 2:5) The Bible is quite plain in pointing out that one need confess his sins only to God directly. Forgiveness is easily given by the grace of God.
Catholics generally insist that a sinner do penance to pay off his sin. Whether this is five stations of the cross or two Our Fathers and ten Hail Mary's, it seems to me that this is an affront to God. How can it be possible that we pay off our sins by chanting a few memorized verses. If it is so easy for us to pay off our sins, why did Jesus have to bother to come and suffer and die on the cross for you and me?
The doctrine of penance of course leads into the trap of indulgences. These are pretty well hidden by the Catholic church at this time but a few centuries ago forgiveness for sins was granted by the pope or a bishop for a certain sum of money or other service. This really gave a license to sin. This is one of the most prominent doctrines which bothered Martin Luther and lead to the Protestant Reformation. Indulgences are still alive and well in the Catholic church. For example, a mass said for a departed loved one will get so many years off his time in Purgatory.
This leads us into the doctrine of praying for the dead. It also leads to the doctrines of Limbo and Purgatory, neither of these being described in the Bible. It seems that it would take a very unjust God to allow the actions of another person to have an effect on his punishment or reward. Each person will be judged on his confession of faith in Jesus Christ and will be rewarded or punished according to his works on that basis. No amount of rosary saying, masses or prayers can have any effect on the dead. This is a self defeating practice which must be abandoned by the Catholic faith - it perpetuates disbelief in Catholic youth.
Transubstantiation is another point of differing doctrine between Catholics and Protestants in general. Catholics actually insist that the bread and wine of the communion service is changed into the body and blood of Christ. It certainly doesn't look to be changed into anything different and the Bible gives no hint that it actually becomes the body and blood of Christ. The Biblical passage "And when He had given thanks He break it and said 'Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me;". The term "this is my body" in the original actually reads "this my body" with the verb "is" being absent. That verb ahs been put into the English version to make it more readable. A verb such as "represents" or "signifies" could have been used just as well. It would not have given the impression that the bread actually becomes the body of Christ. The same argument goes for the "this is my blood". (1Cor. 11:24-26) This is not a serious point but one which keeps Protestants and Catholics separated to this day - and gives Adventists and other cults another chance to steal away those in doubt.
Catholic views concerning Mary the mother of Jesus are also wide open to attack. Catholics generally hold that Mary was and always remained a virgin. This is easily proved not to be so by some Biblical texts. I have no doubt that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost and the Mary remained a virgin until after His birth. Consider this passage: "When Joseph woke from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus." (Matt, 1:24,25) This passage specifies that Joseph did not know his wife Mary until she had given birth to Jesus. It seems evident from this passage that Joseph did know his wife after Jesus was born. Mary could not possibly remained a virgin. In another passage we read; "While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside asking to speak to him." (Matt. 12:46)
In wondering about Jesus, the people had this to say "Where did this man get his wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not hi mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? (Matt. 13:54-56) "After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples." (Jn. 2:12) Joseph and Mary apparently had quite a large family.
Catholics tend to suggest that the word brother was meant here as first cousin. There is no good reason for taking that meaning from the Bible. Elsewhere the Bible speaks about 'His cousin John'.
The Immaculate Conception is a mystery and one which I believe. However I do not feel it is necessary for my faith to believe Mary retained her virginity throughout her life. Having further children by Joseph detracts in no way from her character as far as I am concerned. Many people try to make sex appear dirty and this doctrine about Mary remaining a virgin forever tends to support that attitude.
Praying to Mary and other saints or angels is another easy doctrine to attack. The Bible is quite adamant that no one but God be worshipped. As indicated above there is no mediator between God and man except for Jesus Christ. This makes it completely useless to ask Mary, the saints, or the angels to intervene for us with God. We have a direct line to the Father through Jesus Christ and should use it. Neither Mary, our favorite saints, nor the angels can put in a good word for us. Our salvation rests entirely on our own shoulders and depends on whether we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Many Catholics will flatly deny that they pray to Mary, saints or angels. In the 1977 version of Handbook for Today's Catholics we find the following prayer to your guardian angel. "Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom his love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guide, to rule and guide, Amen."
We do not have to ask our guardian angel to look over us. God has already looked after this. The angel is under direct orders from Him. We cannot influence our Guardian angel.
A favorite prayer of Catholics is "Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you we cry... Turn then, of most gracious advocate, ...." In this prayer Mary is made out to be our hope and advocate. Again I must stress that our only hope is in Jesus Christ. He alone is our advocate and intercedes for us with the Father. Mary has no part to play in this and the only reason that Mary might be in heaven at this time is the fact that the Catholic Church has declared that she was taken up into heaven. This doctrine is not indicated in the Bible.
Unfortunately a lot of time is wasted by Catholics in saying the rosary. This in most part is praying to Mary - for what?
Prayers for the dead consume considerable energy. Let us get on with the business of praying for one another who remain alive and who need each other's prayers to get through the miseries and trials of this life. Let us have the faith that God will be just in His dealings with our dead loved ones. Let us be realistic enough to admit that we cannot bribe God by saying a few Hail Mary's or a mass for our loved ones who have gone to the grave. These practices are responsible for sending your kids off chasing cults like the Adventists and other degrading clans!
Much is made in the writings of Ellen White to point out the atrocities committed by popes in bygone centuries, particularly against other Christians. This or course is true of dealings between many denominations. We find the pilgrims fled England for religious freedom only to arrive in America where they immediately took up witch hunting to murder so called heretics. Enlighten your children in these realities. Otherwise these monstrosities will be used against you.
Tricks Used on Other Denominations
Those belonging to the Pentecostal faith profess belief in the secret rapture and stress speaking in tongues. These theological points can be attacked Biblically. If these beliefs can be made to look foolish to the new prospect then considerable ground has been gained.
Jehovah's Witnesses are very difficult for Adventists to deal with as their delusions are very firmly entrenched. The bad theological point concerning Jehovah's Witnesses is the fact that they do not recognize Jesus as Almighty God. he is said to be the Son of God and a Mighty God but not one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Notice the play on words - 'Almighty' versus "Mighty God'. This makes God's plan of redemption somewhat of a hoax. What is the point of Him sending just another Son to die for my sins. He could have sent anyone and called him His Son. The traditional belief that God came down Himself in the form of Jesus Christ and suffered more than we do is the only thing which keeps us from shaking our finger at God and blaming Him for what is happening to us.
Other cult members are very unlikely to be influenced by Seventh Day Adventists. Their beliefs are so deeply ingrained that they are generally unshakable.
Adventists generally want you to believe that you are involved in some form of false worship. They delightfully attack such festivals as Christmas and Easter. They enjoy making fun of Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, Easter eggs, etc. They point out that all of these traditions may have originated in pagan cultures and therefore insist that they have no place in Christian life. This is all very impressive in the beginning but as it is repeated over and over it tends to become a bore. It is quite obvious that some symbols and rituals have crept into Christianity from pagan practices. But in now way does this detract from a Christian's worshipping God.
Tammuz is a false God mentioned in Ezekiel 8:14. His symbol was the cross; one of the most universal symbols of Christianity also happens to be the cross. Adventists have crosses in their churches. They have made no attempt to remove these on the basis that the cross is a symbol of the pagan god Tammuz. However, they are very intolerant of such things as Easter bunnies and Easter eggs used as a symbol in Christianity for new life or fertility. The intolerance of Adventists towards other denominations is their downfall. it really impresses one just how great hypocrites they really are.
Whether you are Protestant, Catholic or whatever, I feel your best defense from any of the cults, including the Seventh Day Adventists, is a good basic knowledge of the Bible. The Bible is generally ignored by Catholics, a little less by Protestants in general and I think it is a fair generalization to say that none of us spend enough time with our Bibles. This is really the method God uses to speak to us individually, to instruct our consciences, and to comfort us.
Paul advises us to "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". (Eph 6:11) The armor of God is faith and knowledge which comes only through reading or hearing God's Word. This may be the only protection we have against the fantastic deceptions set up by the devil. Remember that Jesus quoted scripture to Satan when he was confronted and tempted after forty days of fasting in the desert. Jesus used no other weapon than His knowledge of scripture.
The Meat of the Adventist Health Message ˝
Seventh Day Adventists generally believe they have been called and chosen by God in these latter days to spread the gospel to the whole world and bring people to God. One of the greatest tools for achieving this aim is their health message. It is intended to show people how to live more healthy lives and therefore lead them to Jesus Christ.
The Adventist health message is based on the counsels of their prophet Ellen G. White. As we shall shortly see, one would have to be an idiot to follow her counsel. Oh, there is no doubt that Ellen White gave a lot of good counsel. But after reading what is to follow, one must be very careful of anything that she has to say and probably should stay away from anything she wrote.
The 'meat' of the Adventist health message actually is based on meat or flesh food literally. Their whole health message hinges on this one item. Any Adventist today will tell you that most of them are vegetarian; probably 50% are most of the time. They will insist to you that they do not eat meat because meat eating is not in God's plan and the consumption of the flesh of animals can only lead to sickness, particularly cancer. They will tell you that chickens and salmon these days are full of cancer these days; and how could you possibly eat them and not end up with cancer yourself? Adventists do not realize the original reason why Ellen White condemned meat. That is to be the fascinating subject of this chapter.
Before we go into this further, let me point out some good advice given by the writer of the Book of Hebrews. "Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents." (Heb 13:9) The writer here is indicating to us that the people preaching special diets as doctrine are teaching diverse and strange teachings. Further, diet has not done anything for the salvation of any of these fanatics.
The revelation that was to shape Adventist health reform was given to Ellen White in the famous vision of Oswego, on June the 6th, 1863. During a vision lasting 45 minutes they claim God exposed highly advanced, revolutionary medical principles years that were supposedly years ahead of their time. (Ellen G. White: Prophet of Destiny, Rene Noorbergen, p. 98.) One would think that in 1863, with man's knowledge of healthful living being rather poor, God would several important topics to relate to his prophet. It turns out to be quite a shock when one finds out the particular item which was to take priority in the health message of the Adventist church. As indicated previously most Adventists today have no idea what that priority item was.
In 1864, just months after the famous health vision, Ellen White published a book entitled "An Appeal to Mothers: The Great Cause of the Physical, Mental, and Moral Ruin of Children of Our Time." This was Mrs. White's first book on health reform. Its intent was to warn the world about the evils of solitary vice or MASTURBATION!
It seems that Mrs. White was dissatisfied with the result of this production and therefore six years later in 1870, another publication was produced entitled "A Solemn Appeal" by Ellen G. White. This book was edited by her husband James White and included some articles from other writers to back up Mrs. White's counsel about masturbation and meat.
This fascinating booklet is not widely available currently. One can certainly understand why it is not advertised in the Adventists book catalogues. However, there must have been some questions about this book as it was recently reprinted in small number for those who wanted to look into these original writings more deeply. Between 1976 and 1979 a total of 700 of these books were produced. I suspect they were generally confined to Adventist theology students, who by their very disposition could not be adversely affected by this information.
Fans of Ellen White often point out that her works can stand on their own merit. I would ask that Adventists hold to this saying. After I have pointed out some of the writings of Ellen White, I would ask them to make a careful and honest decision. The word of God says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits." (Matt. 7:15-16) One should have no difficulty categorizing Ellen White as a false prophet when he becomes aware of some of the fruit she has produced.
Let us examine some of the passages in this important health book by Ellen White. "I feel alarmed for those children and you who by solitary vice are ruining themselves ... you listen to numerous complaints of headache, catarrh, dizziness, nervousness, pain in the shoulders and side, loss of appetite, pain in the back and limbs, wakeful feverish nights, of tired feelings in the morning, and great exhaustion after exercising? and have you not noticed that there was a deficiency in the mental health of our children?" (p. 11) "Secret indulgence (masturbation) is, in many cases, the only real cause of the numerous complaints of the young. This vice is laying waste the vital forces, and debilitating the system." (p. 13) "The state of the world is alarming. Everywhere we look we see imbecility, dwarf forms, crippled limbs, misshapen heads and deformity of every description . Corrupt habits are wasting their energies, and bringing upon them loathsome and complicated diseases. Unsuspecting parents will try the skill of physicians, one after another, who prescribe drugs, when they generally know the real cause of the failing health, but for fear of offending, and losing their fees, they keep silent, when as faithful physicians they should expose the real cause . Children who practice self indulgence (masturbation) must pay the penalty." (p. 14)
It is enlightening to note that Ellen White's original writing of this last quotation has been changed in this later edition. Her husband, James White, the editor of the writing, deleted the evidence which indicated his wife had seen this in a vision from God. Was James embarrassed by the original version? "The state of the world was presented before me, and my attention was especially called to the youth of our time. Everywhere I looked, I saw imbecility, dwarfed forms . . . etc". The force of the later quotation is considerably dulled to, "Everywhere we look etc". Maybe James White didn't believe in his wifes so called visions. Lets study more of the enlightening visions.
"If the practice is continued from the ages of 15 and upward, nature will protest ... and will make them pay the penalty ... by numerous pains in the system and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys and cancerous humours There is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution; and death is the result." (P. 14 & 15)
"Many are ignorant of the sinfulness of these habits, and their certain results. Such need to be enlightened . . . Females possess less vital force than the other sex, . . . The result of self abuse in them is seen in various diseases, such as catarrh, dropsy, headache, loss of memory and sight, great weakness in the back and loins, affections of the spine, and frequently, inward decay of the head. Cancerous humour commences its eating destructive work. The mind is often utterly ruined, and insanity, supervenes. . . Such are just as self murderers as though they pointed a pistol to their own breast, and destroyed their life instantly The practice of secret habits surely destroys the vital forces of the system . . . Among the young the vital capital, and the brain are so severely taxed at an early age, that there is deficiency and great exhaustion, which leave the system exposed to diseases of various kinds. But the most common of these is consumption (tuberculosis). . . They must die. (p. 17)
"There is hardly an end to these diseases caused by solitary vice; dyspepsia, spinal complaint, headache, epilepsy, impaired eye sight, palpitations of the heart, pain in the side, bleeding at the lungs, spasms of the heart and lungs, diabetes, or incontinence of the urine, fluor alblis, whites, inflammation of the urinary organs ... Besides rheumatism, affected perspiration, consumption (tuberculosis), asthma, catarrh, polypus of the heart, affections of the bones, fevers, priapism, strangury, polypus uteri, blood discharges, etc. . .
Then a case history is reviewed. "A full and particular account of a little boy who at two years old was epileptic, from this cause; the vice taught to him by his nurse Rendered him paralytic. By the most vigilant use of mechanical means for confining the hands, covering the genitals, etc. the child was at length cured; he now enjoys good health, and, with the exception of a remarkable loss of memory, retains no trace of his former indiscretions."
Picture yourself taking your two year old son to see a doctor after he has suffered a convulsion. The doctor tells you that he has been masturbating and this is the cause of his illness. You are going to have to bind his genitals and tie his hands until he is cured of the filthy habit. This is the kind of stuff that Ellen White believed with all her heart, has been commissioned to pass on to us, and we are expected to believe she is a true prophet.
Let us continue with more of these fascinating quotations. "Unchastity, as we have already seen, deranges, debilitates, and ruins the body. Now, out of this startling fact arises another fact, if possible more startling. It is that unchastity deranges, debilitates and ruins the mind ... By unchastity, especially by solitary vice (masturbation), the mind suffers permanent debility ... great debility of the memory, great prostration and foolish imbecility of the mind. Perception is made dull and obtuse, the reasoning powers are blunted ... From debility the mind often sinks into idiocy ... I saw a young woman in a town of Massachusetts who made herself an idiot by masturbation. (p. 2 & 3)
"In the fall of 1844, the writer visited the Massachusetts State Lunatic Hospital Our attention was suddenly arrested by the peculiarly haggard, frantic, wild, fiendish appearance of a young man, with his eye turned back over his shoulder. Struck with his shocking aspect, we inquired of our attendant, a young physician, what was the cause of his insanity? 'Solitary vice', was the ready reply. Thought we, solitary vice produces solitary insanity! We further asked, have you many here from that cause? 'A large proportion', more than from, intemperance? 'Oh, yes, far more.' When they (crazy persons) do indulge, this act must be considered as a bad symptom, since it constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the cure: it destroys the strength and finally produces in the patients, stupidity, phthisis, marasmus, and death . . . Nurses, by manipulating infants to cure their crying, have been known to give them a notion which has resulted in a habit of solitary vice." (p. 4)
"Self abuse opens the door for consumption, dyspepsia, nervous debility, epilepsy, apoplexy, paralysis, insanity, and almost every disease from which humanity suffers. It weakens and deranges the stomach, the liver, the kidneys, the bowels, the muscle, the bones the nerves, the brain, and all the various organs of the body The loss of semen is very exhausting yet the expenditure of nerve force is quite as great a source of evil . . . it gives a shock to the whole system; and when often repeated, the nervous power is completely drained away. It impoverishes the blood and induces consumption, dyspepsia, nervous diseases, and mental derangements . . . Self abuse is, probably, the most flagrant violation of the sexual law; the grossest abuse of the sexual function with the most disastrous consequences to the health, happiness and even life of the race. It is an evil more damning than any other to which mankind is subject!" . . . "Although the habit may be abandoned, in 9 cases out of 10 the loss will be continued in the form of involuntary nocturnal emissions" (wet dreams).
"After having indulged in this habit for a time, the child loses its bright and happy looks; it becomes pale with a greenish tint, the eyes are sunken, and surrounded by dark rings; the vermilion of the lips is faded, the limbs are attenuated, the muscles soft and flabby both in form and feature the child has the appearance of being old and worn out."
"Many children are born with this propensity and the habit is commenced in infancy or in early childhood ... without a thought of evil on the part of the little masturbators."
"Self abuse is a sure road to the grave . . . This picture full of horrors as it is, is not overdrawn, in truth the half hath not been told."
"It will not kill you outright ... Ask any medical man conversant with diseases having this origin and he will tell you that no other cause of disease equals this no cause is more influential in producing insanity. The records of the institutions give an appalling catalogue of cases attributed to it (masturbation).
Well, enough is enough. From the above quotations we can see Ellen Whites preoccupation with masturbation as a direct cause of all these Illnesses. Her visions from God indicated that masturbation causes such diseases as blindness, epilepsy, diabetes, consumption (tuberculosis), asthma, etc Not only does it cause these physical diseases but leads to imbecility, idiocy, and insanity. We are told that the mental hospitals are filled with people who are insane because they masturbated. The end result of course is death.
When I revealed this information to some staunch Adventist believers they actually tried to defend these writings of Ellen White. Emotion took over completely and rendered their common sense, and logic useless.
Anyone can conclude from common sense alone
that none of these diseases or conditions are caused by masturbation. Consumption or
tuberculosis we know is caused by a germ, a specific bacterium. In fact the germ causing
tuberculosis was discovered shortly after these writings of Ellen White. How can anyone
possibly believe this nonsense written by Ellen White? How could anyone insist she is a
true prophet from God?
The Cause of The Cause
Having been told by Ellen White that masturbation causes all of these illnesses, what are we to do about it? Well, one must know what might lead to masturbation and its horrors so that one can avoid it. "We noticed bad diet as a cause of unchastity. By bad diet we mean the use of food and drinks of bad qualities and unreasonable quantities. (p. 5) A diet chiefly or wholly vegetable, is evidently best adapted to allay passionate excitement. Flesh meat diet is more stimulating than vegetable. Consequently it is plain that all those who suffer from too high venereal excitement, should abandon it (meat) ... When children shall be taught correct habits of diet, much, very much, Will be done toward the removal of secret vice and other species of unchastity from society. (p. 9) Mince pies, cakes, preserves, and highly seasoned meats, with gravies, create a feverish condition in the system, and inflame the animal passions. . . We should encourage in our children a love for nobleness of mind, and a pure, virtuous character. In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions, . . . we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal foods, and use grains, vegetables and fruits, as articles of diet. (p. 15)
"Sip no more the beverage of China; no more the drinks of java; what shall you drink at your meals? ... I say, nothing is best; yet cocoa, chocolate, or warm water seasoned, or bread coffee, rice coffee . . . will be good substitutes as they do not inflame."
"For a similar reason, meats, mustards, condiments, peppers, spices, rich foods, gravies, everything heating and irritating, will only add to existing inflammation, and increase both desire and disease ... Some kinds of food, as already specified, excite amorous desires; while others, as rice, bread, fruit, vegetables do not; and may therefore be eaten."
"As to suppers, I recommend none at all. A full stomach induces dreams or the exercise, in sleep, of those organs most liable to spontaneous action, which produces libidinous dreams, with accompanying night emissions, which weaken and disease equally with indulgence A heating, stimulating diet still more prematurely develops this passion. We have already seen that meats, teas, coffee, mustards, spices, etc. stimulate in adults ... A heating diet, after all, is the most prolific cause of excessive and perverted sexuality eat and drink cooling, calming articles only."
"Sleeping on feather beds and feather pillows, in close, unventilated rooms is another cause of weakness, and therefore aids in inducing this vile practice of solitary vice."
We have just seen several of the stimulants which leads one to masturbate. In fact such things as meat and spices are claimed to be aphrodisiacs. We notice that we should not eat supper as this would cause us to have wet dreams. Also we should recognize that sleeping on feather beds and feather pillows tends to make one masturbate.
Here then, is the real reason that Ellen White counsels against meat eating. Of course as time went on she added other reasons for not eating meat. But the original reason for abstaining from meat, as given to her by God in that first important health vision, is to prevent uncontrollable passions leading to masturbation which in turn leads to disease, insanity, and death. Is this really a prophet from God speaking? Can one trust anything that she says in her writings unless it is in the mainstream of Christian thought?
The Cure For Masturbation
Having pointed out the cause of masturbation and its disastrous results, what is her counsel as to how we could get out of such a dilemma? Mrs. White was greatly impressed with hydrotherapy or water treatments which was really a fad during her time. This type of treatment represented big money and was the basis of most of the Adventist health units of that day. One would expect then that water treatments would be involved in the treatment of those poor souls trapped in the habit of masturbation. Let us look at some of the treatment.
"Here is a brief outline of the course of treatment which should generally be adopted by this class of unfortunates ... thousands who read these pages will readily acknowledge the truthfulness of the picture, and admit that their own cases are faithfully pointed out, but will despairingly exclaim, what shall we do? The fearful prevalence of sexual disorders, has been rendered painfully prominent to the physicians and managers of the Health Reform Institute at Battle Creek, and a large number of cases have been successfully treated here, while many more have been advised by letter to the health reformer. The advice which follows is therefore the result of experience, observation, and careful study. The greatest difficulty in their management consists in inducing them to adhere with any degree of tenacity to a prescribed course of treatment. Such had better place themselves under the care of a hygienic physician, if this can possibly be done".
Here we have the cure as recommended by Ellen White for one who masturbates. In short he should avoid stimulating food, particularly meat, should not eat supper, avoid feather beds and pillows, and not loiter in bed. He should take prescribed baths (and imagine yourself doing this) consisting of sitting in a cold pail of water, putting your feet in a pail of hot water and wrapping cold bandages around your head. At other times a wet girdle should be worn and the genitals should be bathed with cool water frequently. Not only is supper disallowed but reading or thinking in the evening [or toward night is completely banned as this 'Mental activity may lead to wet dreams.
After reading these wise counsels given by Ellen White and realizing that she is claiming divine inspiration, I would say to you that there is only one class of person that could continue to believe that Ellen White is a true prophet. This type of person can be classed only as an idiot.
Apparently Mrs. White did not take her own counsel too seriously. She continued to eat meat for years after this revealing vision from God and actually went against her own counsel. In later years she added the second reason for not eating meat, the belief that meat directly transmitted diseases, particularly cancer. This of course is the reasoning used by more modern Seventh Day Adventists.
Despite having this vision concerning meat eating and masturbation in 1863, Ellen White continued to eat meat until 1894. For 31 years following her health vision then Ellen White did not follow her own counsel. Ellen White was finally convinced by a Catholic lady of the ultimate reason for not eating meat. Mrs. White had just given a temperance lecture in Australia and was approached by this Catholic lady who inquired if the speaker ate meat. When Mrs. White confessed that she still ate meat the Catholic lady fell on her knees at Mrs. White's feet and tearfully pleaded with her to have compassion on the unfortunate animals.
Mrs. White later wrote to some friends "when the selfishness of taking the lives of animals to gratify a perverted taste was presented to me by a Catholic woman, kneeling at my feet, I felt ashamed and distressed - I saw it in a new light, and I said, I will no longer patronize the butchers. I will not have the flesh of corpses on my table." (Prophetess of Health: Ellen G. White by Ronald L. Numbers, p. 1 72)
It seems that Ellen White herself was not impressed that meat eating would lead her to masturbation and its resultant tragic consequence . It took an emotional appeal concerning the killing of innocent animals to get her to stop eating meat. Much more will be said about meat eating later but at this point let us remember that Jesus was not a vegetarian He ate meat.
During three years in the Adventist Church I didn't hear one sermon about meat eating and masturbation - lots of rumbling about meat; but nothing about these secret horrors. Why? Isn't it time other Adventists learned the facts? It is possible these revelations about Ellen White may change some lives - honest ones!
Why All This Fuss about a False Prophet? Who Cares? ˝
I care. If you are involved in Seventh Day Adventism or any other cult, let me assure you that your friends and relatives do care. When one considers how God's Word is being perverted and maligned, the shortest verse in the Bible comes to mind, "Jesus wept". (John 11:35) There is no doubt that God cares.
We have recently witnessed a false prophet at work. Jim Jones completely changed the life of a large group of people, convinced them to leave their native United States and retreat to the jungle wilderness of Guyana. The world was shocked at the mass suicide and murders which followed. How in God's name could such an atrocity occur we all asked?
I see the same thing happening in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Perhaps no one has blatantly committed suicide or homicide but lifestyles have been changed drastically; a wall of prejudice and intolerance is erected against other Christians. The average member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church thrives on self righteousness and hypocrisy.
Ellen White claims to be God's spokesman; a prophet for a lost world during the latter days. Paul entreats us, "Quench not the spirit, despise not prophesyings, prove all things". (I Thes. 5:18-21) We are to take anyone seriously who claims to be a prophet; we are to examine his claims and his fruits, and we are to decide whether the person is a true or false prophet.
Elsewhere in His word, God tells us that he will send false prophets to test us; that these prophets will speak words which will come true. Then they will lead us astray after other gods. He indicates that he is trying to prove us to know whether we love him or not. When we discover that the prophet is false we are commanded to "Stone that prophet to death". (Deut. 13:1-5)
Some of Ellen White's predictions are very impressive, much of her counsel seems to make a lot of sense. Many of her writings hold great power over her readers. She is revered by all classes of people from the simple native of far away mission fields to the sophisticated and highly intelligent modern professional and corporate officer. Like it or not, we must take Mrs. White seriously. Someday we will be asked to answer for our decision.
Perhaps one of the stronger proofs Adventists use to support their prophet is the fact that Adventists live about seven years longer than the general population as a result of following Ellen White's' counsel. However Mormons can claim the same longevity. Obviously Adventists will not admit that the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith might be a true prophet on these grounds.
It is notable that several cults began around the same time in history. The predictions by William Miller, that Christ would come back to this earth in 1844 in the second advent, seemed to spearhead many new cults. During this time period we have appearing on the scene the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Christian Science movement, Mormonism, and the Jehovah's Witnesses. This time period witnessed the comparable prophets, namely Ellen White, Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, and others.
All these denominations that arose during this time period, including Adventists, expect you to believe that theirs is the true church. They will quite effectively use the Bible itself to prove that they are the true remnant church. Consider these passages from Revelation which Adventists use to back up their claims. "The remnant of her seed which keeps the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ". (Rev. 12:17) Adventists will attempt to convince you that unless you keep the seventh day, that is Saturday, as the holy Sabbath, then you are not part of the remnant church. They will go further in trying to convince you that this is in fact a sin against the Holy Spirit.
They also use, "For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy". (Rev. 19:10) They will point out that they have a contemporary prophet in the person of Ellen White. They have perverted the term 'Spirit of Prophecy' from the above Bible passage to be equated with Ellen White. They overlook the fact that the phrase 'Spirit of Prophecy' is intended as another term for the Holy Spirit. This can be deduced quite easily from Rev. 1:2-3. The soil is now quite fertile for you to fall into the ranks of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Unless you know the word of God you cannot very easily contend against these seemingly good Biblical arguments.
Only after you have decided that Ellen White is in fact a false prophet can these other difficult subjects be seen in their true light. Hence the great importance of recognizing Mrs. Ellen White for what she is; a false prophet.
When I consider Seventh Day Adventists whom I know personally, I realize that none of them is happy. None of them have the peace of Jesus Christ. The perverted lifestyles have served only to alienate and divide members of the family. Of course hard-line Adventists just love to see families divided as this indicates persecution and reinforces their delusions of self-righteousness.
I see a group of very unhappy people pretending endlessly, trying to put up a good front and making a mockery of God and His word. I hear accounts of young children being forced to listen to readings from Ellen White's books daily for periods of 30 to 60 minutes at a time. I see countless examples of one member shaming another for not following Mrs. White's counsel, then turning around breaking some of her rules themselves.
I see Adventists continually badgering and harassing relatives in an attempt to get them into the church and thus save them. I see Ellen White's rules being pushed on people who are reaching out for God, searching for something better and often these poor souls make an about face and leave God in dismay.
I see a ten year old boy being baptized in the Seventh Day Adventist Church despite the objections of a non-Adventist mother. The child who cannot possibly make such a serious decision, goes through with his baptism just to side with Dad against Mom and perpetuate that old game; Dad, let's you and Mom fight.
I accompany a lady to church as she reaches out to God for some peace and comfort from her long mental suffering. I see her leave the church in dismay after hearing a regular Ellen White type sermon damning jewelry and makeup. Will she ever risk approaching God again? How can you or I allow something like this to happen?
There is the example of the young friend of mine who once had a reasonably strong belief and faith in God. Now in his late teens and in college he has finally discovered that his parents had been daily reading to him for long periods from books written by a false prophet. What a rude awakening to realize that he has spent all these years trapped in a lifestyle prescribed by a Victorian era, fanatic old lady. What recourse does this man have but to throw up his hands in disgust and turn his back on God? Will he ever again risk a relationship with God? How tragic are the fruits of a false prophet!
Then there is the example of my own pathetic sister. Basically quite religious all of her life, her emotional needs could not be met by the Catholic Church. She was easy prey for the recruiting forces of the Adventist Church. Being the wife of a doctor, she was even that much more a' preferred candidate. The philosophy of Ellen White has allowed her to nurture her long standing neurosis which at this point has rendered her almost totally antisocial. She has withdrawn into her own little world. She has been professionally brainwashed by suave talking Adventists and her easily converted husband. She no longer thinks for herself about any subject concerning her religious philosophy or eternal life. She is totally unapproachable by other members of her immediate family and is unfortunately trapped for life. I pray somehow by the grace of God she can be reached.
As if this is not heartbreaking enough, there are now six lovable little ones who face the same neurosis, the same lifestyle, the same fate. Here are innocent children who, due to the isolation resulting from this religious lifestyle, are just unavailable to be loved by their grandparents, aunts, and uncles. The examples of heartbreaking situations like this are many indeed.
I realize there are many things to prevent people coming to God. We are warned in the Bible that such things as selfishness, cares of this world, too much ambition etc. will prevent people from finding God. In each church there are false doctrines which tend to make God and His word appear incredulous. Especially, is this so during the searching teenage years. In the Adventist Church there is a false prophet, Ellen White, setting up a code of rules which God never intended.
The situation in the Adventist Church today is much the same as that of the Jewish Church at the time of Jesus. The Jewish leaders had set up so many impossible rules and rituals that the common people could not possibly attain. Jesus described these people as follows; ""The Scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men." (Matt. 23:2-5) Jesus was very angered by the legalism which permeated His church at the time of His first advent. I suspect He will be just as angry with the legalism practiced in churches such as the Seventh Day Adventist denomination when He comes the second time.
Yes, there are many warnings about false prophets in the Bible. We would do well to heed these warnings and make our rule of faith the Bible and the Bible only.
A Salute to Some Heretics ˝
There is little doubt that Jesus Christ was in fact the greatest 'heretic' of all time. The revelation of God, in the person of Jesus Christ, was not acceptable to the hierarchy of the Jewish Church at that time. His teachings of the laws of God as they should be practiced were continually rejected by the Scribes and Pharisees. When He preached 'love your enemy and turn the other cheek' as an improvement over the old law of 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth', He was misunderstood and harassed. In Luke 4:16-18, Jesus read aloud in the synagogue the prophecy of Isaiah and announced that He was this promised Messiah. The people's reactions were as recorded in verses 28-30. They were filled with indignant wrath when they heard Him say these things. They kicked Him out of the church and out of their city, and lead Him to the brink of a hill where they hoped to push Him over and end it all. However, He somehow escaped. As His teachings became more and more threatening to the Jews and when His 'heresy' could no longer be tolerated it became expedient for the Jewish leaders to have Him crucified.
The history of Christianity is repeatedly marred by examples of so called heretics being martyred by the church. The story of perhaps the first Christian martyr Stephen, is recorded in chapter 7 of the book of Acts. The story of the execution of Joan of Arc by the Catholic Church in France during the Middle Ages is well known to us all. The names of countless thousands of other martyrs down through the centuries have long ago been forgotten.
Another very famous 'heretic' deserves special mention here. Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, became obsessed with the tormenting thought that, despite all of his praying, fasting, and good works, he could not buy his way into heaven. From his study of the Bible and rediscovery of the doctrine of salvation by faith, rather than salvation by works, the Protestant Reformation was launched. But Martin Luther was not to be allowed the privilege of becoming a martyr. Apparently God had other plans for him. Throughout his long and painful mission he was continually tormented by the question "How can I be right and everybody else be wrong?" He was never to be confronted by a flash of light or God's voice comforting him through his difficult task. He had to forge ahead on faith alone. An excellent account of Martin Luther can be read in the book "Here I Stand" by Roland Bainton.
So called heretics are alive and well in the Seventh Day Adventist Church today. Let us be extremely thankful for that. The Adventist Church faces possibly the most difficult period of its history.
Sixty-five years after the death of its so called prophet, the controversy goes on. Courageous voices at this time are difficult to quiet. Witness the example of Desmond Ford, a well known evangelist of the Adventist Church. Recently he has done a voluminous amount of work on one particular subject, the sanctuary.
Ellen White's doctrine holds that, rather than appearing for his second advent in the year 1844, Jesus Christ supposedly entered the heavenly sanctuary to begin the awesome work of the 'investigative judgement'. Pastor Ford has been extremely noisy in pointing out the absurdity of this doctrine to the Adventist community. In Ford's own words "No scholar seriously believes that Jesus Christ is sitting in heaven turning pages to investigate Christian lives". He points out that this notion violates the orthodox Christian belief that Jesus' atonement for sin was completed by his death on the cross. "I am not a disloyal Adventist," Ford says, "I just believe the aberrant gospel should be pruned away". (Newsweek, Jan. 19, 1981)
Ellen White has long been criticized for her plagiarism. Adventists have always excused her stealing of other people's writings by saying that it is not the words that are inspired but the underlying principle. By this pronouncement Adventists hope to give Ellen White a license to copy ad infinitum. The impressive amount of her literary 'borrowings' have never really been assessed until now. An inquisitive Adventist Pastor of the Church in Long Beach, California, spent two long years studying the writings of Mrs. White in relation to known previous religious writings. He has discovered that as much as 80% of Mr. White's writings have been copied almost word for word from other authors.
Perhaps Ellen White's best writing is represented by the book "Desire of Ages", a very readable book on the life of Christ. Douglas Hackleman (in Spectrum; Vol. 10, No. 4) writes; "Walter Rea displayed a colour coded copy of the Desire of Aces showing parallels with six different non Adventist books. The committee did not have time to examine each passage, but they noted the Rea copy was almost entirely coloured. Toward the end of the second afternoon the committee was ready to acknowledge that the extent of borrowing surprised them . . . the evidence was of alarming proportions."
This represents some fairly startling news to the common everyday Seventh Day Adventist. The church leaders feel that the faithful need to be protected from such knowledge. Because of this, both Pastor Walter Rea and Evangelist Desmond Ford were unceremoniously defrocked by the Adventist hierarchy and are no longer allowed to preach in the Adventist Church, nor of course be paid from the tithe money of the Adventist community. It seems the message is loud and clear; 'don't look too hard for the truth and if you find any be sure you don't allow anyone else to hear about it, or else.' These two gentlemen have my deepest respect and admiration. As far as I know they remain loyal Adventists but I suspect there is to be a lot of religious growth for them in the immediate future.
Another casualty of truth in the ranks of Seventh Day Adventism is the interesting story of a brilliant author, Ronald L. Numbers. In 1972 he was teaching history of medicine at the respectable Adventist School of Medicine of Loma Linda University. He became curious and proposed a personal objective study of Ellen White's health reform counsel. The results of Number's labors were contrary to what he had hoped and there is no doubt that the reporting of his actual findings caused him considerable pain and temporary loss.
He was given a grant by the Adventist Institution to carry out this study. But following the production of his fascinating work he promptly lost his job and I am rather disappointed in that I do not know his final fate. His book entitled "Prophetess of Health: Ellen G. White" should be compulsory reading for all Adventists. Unfortunately it does not seem to be available despite just being published in 1976 by Harper and Row. I have inquired directly to the publisher and they indicate they have no copies of the book in stock. (Note: This book has since been republished and is now easily obtainable). I have not been able to buy one anywhere and I suspect copies are available only in a few large libraries. I fear that sometime in the near future the second last copy of his book will be burned by Adventists. The last copy I have; and I shall guard it with my life.
In this impressive book, Numbers lists a large number of original references. Apparently he had almost total access to the original writings of Ellen G. White which are closely guarded in Washington, D.C. His brilliant detective work objectively exposes the marked influence of contemporary minds and authors on the works of Ellen White. She is here unmasked as a product of her time, taking most, if not all of her ideas from her contemporaries. Many bibliographies have been written about Ellen White but I feel this is the only one that even attempts to approach the real truth about her. Other writers tell the story like a fairy tale and that is about all the trust that one can afford these other writings.
In this book I have borrowed heavily from and am greatly indebted to Ronald Numbers' book. I am indebted to him for setting my wife and others free from the shackles of Seventh Day Adventism.
I would like to reproduce here one of the passages he discovered. This is directly from the pen of Ellen White addressed to Christian mothers in The Health Reformer. Here Mrs. White is very concerned about braids being pinned up over the back of the head and wigs being worn in that same position.
The Health Reformer,
October 1, 1871,
Article Title: Words to Christian Mothers on the Subject of Life, Health, and Happiness
The artificial hair and pads covering the base of the brain, heat and excite the spinal nerves centering in the brain. The head should ever be kept cool. The heat caused by these artificials induces the blood to the brain. The action of the blood upon the lower or animal organs of the brain, causes unnatural activity, tends to recklessness in morals, and the mind and heart is in danger of being corrupted. As the animal organs are excited and strengthened, the moral are enfeebled. The moral and intellectual powers of the mind become servants to the animal.
In consequence of the brain being congested its nerves lose their healthy action, and take on morbid conditions, making it almost impossible to arouse the moral sensibilities. Such lose their power to discern sacred things. The unnatural heat caused by these artificial deformities about the head, induces the blood to the brain, producing congestion, and causing the natural hair to fall off, producing baldness. Thus the natural is sacrificed to the artificial.
Many have lost their reason, and become hopelessly insane, by following this deforming fashion.
We have seen in a previous chapter where meat eating causes masturbation which leads to insanity. Here we see that wearing wigs on the back of the head also leads to insanity, and rather surprisingly also may produce baldness. Imagine, this is the revered prophet of the Adventist Church - her inspired counsel.
All of these men described above have much to lose for standing up for the truth. Jesus was crucified by his own; countless others were martyred for the truth. These 'heretics' of the Adventist Church, Desmond Ford, Walter Rea, and Ronald Numbers, all had a great deal to lose by their fearless revelations of the truth. They will be shunned by many of their long standing friends and 'brethren". They have lost their places of respect in the Adventist Church and along with this, their very livelihood. One can do no less than respect and admire such courage.
Many other 'heretics' remain within the Seventh Day Adventist Church trying to put forth the truth in a fashion which might hopefully be successful in reviving Seventh Day Adventists. I refer to the supporters and producers of the publication entitled "Spectrum; a Quarterly Journal of the Association of Adventist Forums". Here varied authors dare to reveal the true Ellen White. Her defenders are allowed equal opportunities to support her. Unfortunately this journal is not allowed much advertisement in Seventh Day Adventist congregations and I know that very few of the common folk realize it exists, let alone read it. For those Adventists who can not accept immediately the jolting evidence produced in my book, the publication 'Spectrum' offers a more gentle and less painful method of reconditioning or reverse brainwashing concerning Ellen White.
If you are an honest Adventist, you will subscribe to and read this journal and will make every effort to obtain and read the books described above.
Also, to be complimented here are many Adventist students who have the courage to take part in the debate concerning Ellen White's 'inspiration'. This new breed of Adventist college students will soon have to be reckoned with by the Adventist hierarchy. Many of course will escape the cult; hopefully others may finally be successful in transforming it.
It seems that the voices proclaiming Ellen White a false prophetess will not be stilled. I challenge honest Adventists everywhere to reconsider your position. Study your Bible, and allow yourself to be freed from the destructive philosophies of Ellen White. Do not be convinced by your leaders that this book and other books mentioned here are condemned readings.
More on Ellen White and Meat Eating ˝
We have already seen in an earlier chapter the horrible effects which result from meat eating according to Ellen White's inspired knowledge. Before I discovered this explosive material about meat, masturbation, insanity and death, I had been aware of many other passages condemning meat eating which were not quite as dramatic as the masturbation connection. On looking back I realize that I was really quite naive in that I didn't understand the underlying theme of masturbation in all that she has had to say about meat. In this chapter I would like to consider some less inflammatory remarks about meat eating.
Mrs. White has made it quite plain that one's salvation depends on abstaining from meat. "Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God's people to walk no more with them". (Counsels on Diets and Food, p. 382). This is a very serious statement considering the fact that only 50% of Adventists are vegetarians. It appears that those who have not heeded Mrs. White's counsels are in for big trouble. Statements like this are of course refuted by the Bible.
We have the account of the Pharisees criticizing the followers of Jesus for not washing their hands before eating as was the custom of the Pharisees. Jesus said "There is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him ... Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and passes on?" (Mk. 7:1-23) I agree that Jesus here is talking about eating without washing one's hand but it seems more inclusive than that. It points out that a man cannot be defiled by what goes into his stomach. Ellen White would have us believe otherwise.
To support her case against meat eating Ellen White delights in using Bible heroes as examples of vegetarianism. Daniel is a highly respected Bible hero of most Adventists. Any good Adventist will tell you that Daniel did not eat meat. I can find no statement by Mrs. White indicating that Daniel never ate meat but let us consider, the following quotations and you decide what she is implying about Daniel.
"A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism ... rendering the mind incapable of understanding the truth." (Counsels on Health, p. 576) "Meat eating deranges the system, beclouds the intellect and blunts moral sensibilities." (Testimonies Vol 2, p. 63-64) "Flesh food has the tendency to animalize the nature, to rob man of sympathy which he should feel for everyone and to give the passions control over the higher powers of being." (Quiet Hour Echoes, March '79 p. 41 quoting her writings.)
When Daniel refused to eat meat from the king's table (or drink wine) Mrs. White had the following to say. "Those who are truly sanctified will elevate the moral standard by preserving correct physical habits, and like Daniel presenting to others an example of temperance and self denial." (COH p. 68) "Here is a lesson for all it is necessary to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life". (COH p. 65) "There are many among professed Christians today who would decide that Daniel was too particular, and would pronounce him narrow and bigoted." (COH p. 69) "Although but a youth Daniel had seen the injurious effects of wine and luxurious living upon physical health." (COH p. 65) "He (Daniel) purposed in his heart that he would not use wine nor any other unnatural stimulant, he would do nothing to becloud his mind." "Daniel's firmness of mind and firmness of purpose, his strength of intellect were due in a great degree to the plainness of his diet."
The question naturally comes up; what was Daniel's diet? I find it very commendable that Daniel chose to stay away from meat and wine during his training period. No doubt there was a lot of unclean food for a Jew on the king's table. Instead of causing a commotion and picking out certain types of food, he opted for a plain diet of vegetarian food and no alcohol. However, the above quotations from Mrs. White do not give us the idea that Daniel was mainly avoiding unclean food of Jewish law and that this was prompting his course of action. She considers meat (generally, always) to cause, animalism, becloud the mind, make one incapable of understanding the truth. She paints the picture that Daniel's diet was plain and simple.
Jan Doward wrote an Adventist devotional book called, "Catch the Bright Dawn". In the introduction she tells us that nothing is made up in this book; there is no fiction; all facts and information nave been carefully checked, and that she has leaned heavily on the writings of Ellen White. On page 205 we find the story of Daniel in simple language. She imagines Daniel as saying to the officer in charge of the mess hall, "Could we have a substitute meal? Something simple like vegetables and fruit, cereal and dates? We are not fussy but we are vegetarians." I suspect, mainly because of the teachings of Ellen White, that at least 95% of Adventists believe that Daniel was a vegetarian. Was he?
Daniel Chapter 10 describes Daniel seeking knowledge from God. Here he describes his method of fasting and praying and in verse 3 we read, "I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh, nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all till three whole weeks were fulfilled." It is obvious from this passage that Daniel at other times before and after these 3 weeks did eat flesh food; and he did drink wine. Mrs. White did say above that Daniel purposed never to drink wine. Here we see in the Bible that he did drink wine. Also she certainly gives the strong feeling that Daniel was a vegetarian, but here we see that, in fact, he ate meat.
To Adventists I would ask; how much of your lifestyle, 'sacrifice', and false counsel to other people is based on this erroneous belief that Daniel was a vegetarian? This error has been conveyed to you by Ellen White. Whenever I point out this verse to a Seventh Day Adventist, he is amazed and the mouth usually drops open in awe. Here we see that Daniel's diet was not a plain and simple diet as Ellen White indicated. I suggest you read this verse of Daniel in many different Bible versions and notice the translations describing what he actually did eat.
Remember, Mrs. White said that meat eating deranges the system, beclouds the mind and intellect, blunts moral responsibility, tends to develop animalism and makes one incapable of understanding the truth. She stated that Daniel would do nothing to becloud his mind. I think you get the point and I shall not belabor Daniel any more.
Another of Adventists' 'favorite vegetarians' is John the Baptist. Mrs. White confirms this in her writings about John. His diet, purely vegetable, of 'locusts and wild honey was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite and the gluttony that everywhere prevailed."
(Testimonies 3, p. 62) But was John the Baptist a vegetarian? Matthew 3:4 says; "His meat was locusts and wild honey." What are locusts? Adventists and Ellen White would like us to believe that locusts are some type of legume rather than an insect.
The word locusts is translated from the Greek word 'akris' and it always refers to an insect in the Bible. The word locust is used in about 24 other passages in the Bible always indicating an insect. However Ellen White would have us believe that in this 25th usage of the word locust that it should be translated to mean the legume. In Leviticus 11:22 we find one of the dietary laws of the Jews. "Of them you may eat; the locust, according to its kind, the bald locust according to its kind, the cricket according to its kind', and the grasshopper according to its kind." There is no question as to the meaning of the word locust in this passage.
Why does Mrs. White insist that John the Baptist was a vegetarian? I must agree with her that John the Baptist never drank alcohol as this was one of the instructions given to his parents before his birth. However, there was no such instruction indicating that he must abstain from meats. In fact all Jews, including John the Baptist, were under command from God to take part in the Passover supper.
This consisted in large part of eating the Passover lamb. John the Baptist would not qualify as a vegetarian.
Jesus tried to point out to the Pharisees that no matter how God tried to get his message across to the people, they never seemed to be satisfied. He compared his habits to those of John the Baptist when the Pharisees accused Him of being a glutton and a winebibber. Matthew 11: 18 says "For John came neither eating nor drinking." Let's not take this verse too literally for John must have eaten and drank something. Luke 7:33 says "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine." I think that Jesus was using this statement figuratively to indicate that John had a fairly simple diet as compared to the frequent good meals that Jesus enjoyed. Again I don't believe that John drank alcoholic wine but he certainly must have eaten some bread, particularly the bread served at the Passover.
John the Baptist was in fact a Nazarite. The rules governing the diet of a Nazarite can be found in Numbers 6:1-7. In these vows there is nothing which prevents a Nazarite from eating meat.
We also know that John the Baptist was the 'reincarnation of Elijah'. There is no doubt that Elijah ate meat, as when he was starving, God had a raven bring bread and flesh to him to sustain him in his mission. Remember if you are an Adventist you must believe what your prophet Mrs. White tells you when she insists that John the Baptist was a vegetarian. As for me the Bible indicates that John was not a vegetarian and I intend to believe the Bible, rather than Ellen White.
Of course Jesus Christ also ate meat. There are Biblical statements that He ate fish and He would also have to fulfill the Jewish law and take part in the Passover lamb. Does Ellen White accuse Jesus of beclouding His mind? Animalizing His nature? Blunting His moral sensibilities? Making His mind incapable of understanding the truth? etc. Perhaps some of the dangers of the fanatic belief in vegetarianism are becoming evident to you.
Certainly if one chooses to be vegetarian this is fine. But please, there is no basis to make this a religious issue and to insist that meat eating will have something to do with your eternal life. This is just another huge stumbling block preventing people from coming to Christ. This is the danger of following the counsel of a false prophet and the Adventist Church.
Mrs. White's misgivings about meat eating changed as the years passed. In the early days immediately following her health vision she was preoccupied with the fact that meat caused masturbation. She later graduated to a more direct causation for meat eating causing specific diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, etc. "The liability to take disease is increased ten-fold by meat eating." (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 386) Of course some diseases can be transmitted by careless handling and preparation of meats. But then, disease can be transmitted by careless preparations of any types of food.
In her later years, Mrs. White's feeling about meat eating became highly emotional. I suspect this developed following the confrontation with the Catholic woman who condemned her for eating meat. She later wrote; "What man with a human heart that has ever cared for domestic animals could look into their eyes, so full of confidence and affection, and would willingly give them over to the butcher's knife? How could he devour their flesh as a sweet morsel?" (Ministry of Healing, p. 361) Isn't this a great emotional appeal? It is intended to make you feel guilty about meat eating and this device is used by people yet today.
The question obviously comes up, how could Jesus possibly look into these animals' eyes and then have them killed and eat their meat? Having created all of these animals in the first place, how could He possibly do it? Again by inference Ellen White is maligning the character of Jesus Christ, the trademark of all cults.
The vegetarian diet of modern Adventists is really quite a joke. They are so concerned about food additives in real meat. Adventists prepare other dishes to look and taste like meat. Consider the additives in fake wieners used by these hypocrites. Keep in mind they are not to eat any spices. In addition to a soybean base we find: flavorings, monosodium glutamate, spices, natural smoke flavor, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, paprika, garlic powder, spice oils and extracts, carrageenan, sodium alginate, artificial colors. Did I hear someone snickering?
Did you know that a strict vegetarian diet can fairly rapidly result in death? Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products. (Cows make their own B12, man cannot). Fortunately most vegetarians are not true vegetarians in that they eat milk products and eggs. These are good sources of Vitamin B12. Mrs. White really does not have very much good to say about milk, eggs, or cheese either; and had she had her way, I think a lot of Seventh Day Adventists would have died of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Perhaps what Mrs. White considers people's stubbornness to give up these particular items in the diet, was, in fact, a merciful intervention by God to save their lives.
There is currently a T.V. advertisement that Adventists would love. "You are what you eat." This is Ellen White's belief and is total nonsense. Do people who eat mostly fish turn into fish? Do people who eat mostly potatoes become potatoes? Of course not!
In truth we are what we see and hear. If we see and hear sin continually, what chance do we have? If we read and hear Ellen White all the time, we will live her nonsense. The more we read and hear the Bible, the more we can expect to be guided by God.
I would like to close this chapter by stating again a Bible passage from Hebrews 13:9. "Do not be lead away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents."
Ellen White and More Health Reform Counsel ˝
Mrs. White picked on several items of diet and drink condemning them as sinful. For instance, "Tea and coffee drinking is a sin." (Counsels on Diet and Food, p. 425) That seems pretty simple and straightforward. I have no Biblical evidence to contradict this statement. However my conscience does not indicate to me that drinking tea or coffee is sinful. Certainly one might overdo coffee and tea drinking and that would become sinful. Some people are actually known to drink too much water sometimes even ending in death. Perhaps this is sinful but maybe they can be excused on the basis that they have an illness.
I know one Adventist lady who stands by Ellen White as a true prophet with great fervor. However, she admits that she does not believe the statement about tea and coffee being sinful. With great bother to her conscience she continues to drink her tea, she just can't give it up. In effect she is proclaiming that Ellen White is a false prophet when she claims she does not believe this straightforward statement made by her. Somehow she can't recognize the hypocrisy of her professed faith in Ellen White.
It seems that it is the caffeine in tea and coffee which causes the objections by Ellen White. As far as I know most Adventists do eat chocolate and cocoa. Hot chocolate is a favorite beverage during most Adventist Church socials. Surely these people realize that there are significant amounts of caffeine in these beverages. Many Adventists will boastfully tell you that they don't drink coffee when you offer it to them. But they have no qualms whatever about drinking a cup of hot chocolate. Why dont these people follow the counsel of their prophet? Who do they think they are fooling? Are they actually deceiving themselves? I suggest Adventists stop drinking hot chocolate at their church gatherings.
Mrs. White writes, "The use of soda or baking powder in bread making is harmful and unnecessary. Soda causes inflammation of the stomach and often poisons the entire system." (Ministry of Healing, p. 300) Baking soda and powder are simply sodium bicarbonate. Its mode of action in bread mainly is to release carbon dioxide gas which produces bubbles and causes the dough to rise. This leaves behind sodium which is a component of common table salt. The carbon dioxide of course would disappear long before the bread is eaten and even if it got into the stomach it is completely harmless. Are we really expected to believe that these two harmless substances (especially in such small quantities!) can cause inflammation of the stomach and poisoning of the entire system?
Mrs. White certainly does not go along with simple scientific knowledge, does she? I must admit, again I do not have a Bible passage which tells you that baking soda is okay.
The story is somewhat different concerning vinegar. Mrs. White actually contradicts the Bible on this subject. Vinegar was a subject used by Mrs. White trying to impress people about her health message.
In a letter to some poor soul who was trying to follow her advice on vinegar, but was having a difficult time, Mrs. White wrote: "As long as you acknowledge this habit (using vinegar) by indulging in it, Satan will retain his hold on your will, and bring it into obedience to himself." (App. 1:6 Counsels on Diet and Foods) About vinegar she
says, "The salads are prepared with oil and vinegar, fermentation takes place in the stomach as a consequence the blood is not nourished, but becomes filled with impurities, and liver and kidney difficulties appear." Another quotation, "Pickles (made with vinegar), and other things of like character irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure." (CODF p. 345)
Adventists now use lemon juice instead of vinegar. The acidity of these two substances is about the same. They are both very weak acids. The acid which is found in the stomach is many many times stronger than vinegar. There is just no way that vinegar can "irritate the stomach".
As far as making the blood feverish and impure, I am aware that some people in the local congregation have been told that vinegar is used to clump red blood cells so they can be seen under a microscope. This is an example of a little bit of knowledge being extremely dangerous. These people latch onto little 'pearls of knowledge' like this to justify almost anything. As I said above, the stomach acid is extremely potent as compared to vinegar, and somehow God keeps this potent stomach acid from making the blood feverish or impure. Can you imagine the guilt of this poor lady mentioned above who was trying to break the vinegar habit and was told that if she didn'tt, that Satan would soon have complete dominion over her?
I am quite aware that a very wise man has said in Proverbs 10:36; "Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him." Certainly the smoke from campfires was irritating to the eyes but God did not command the Israelites to stop using campfires. Likewise there is no command to stop using vinegar. A simile is being used here to indicate that a lazy man is not going to do a very good job for his boss.
Did you know that Jesus drank vinegar on the cross? "And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.... (Mk. 15:36)
In fact, the Bible does give an indication that we can use vinegar. In the law of the Nazarite found in Numbers 6:2-7, we find that this special class of person, who has taken an oath for a time for God, "Shall separate himself from wine, strong drink; shall drink no vinegar of wine or vinegar of strong drink; neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes nor eat moist grapes or dried grapes." It goes on to say that he shall eat nothing from the vine tree. He shall not shave his hair. He is not allowed to go near a dead body and that includes staying away from the funeral of his father, mother, or sibling.
Notice that these are the things that these special people must not touch during the time of oath only. It seems quite understood that other people in the congregation can use all of these things or else it would say so. In fact, we find that when the oath is finished in verse 20 we read, "After that the Nazarite may drink wine."
Imagine trying to raise a baby following this rule. "Infants should be allowed only plain food partaken of at regular periods, not oftener than three times a day, and two meals would be better than three. (CODF p. 229) Would anybody in the house get any sleep?
I have studied much of Mrs. White's medical counsel and find a great deal of it stinks!! Doctor Harvey J. Kellogg was an avid follower of Ellen White in the beginning but it appears that as he grew older and wiser he could no longer follow her counsel. I am sure he recognized her as a false prophet whether he actually said so or not.
Mrs. White prided herself in the fact that she was a health reformer. As we are seeing, much of her counsel is error to say the least. There is no doubt that gluttony is a sin. It is discussed quite plainly in the Bible. To stress this fact Mrs. White gives the following misinterpretation of the Bible. "The first great evil was intemperance in eating and drinking" (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4. p. 131) In this setting Mrs. White was trying to point out that Eve could not control her appetite and that is why she sinned.
In the actual account in Genesis chap. 3, I think you will find that Eve was not hungry. Her sin was the same as Lucifer's in that she wanted to be like God. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be open, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:5) I can't agree with Mrs. White that the first sin was intemperance in eating and drinking. In fact drinking was not even involved. The sin did not involve appetite at all.
In such a small book we obviously can't discuss all the errors in Ellen White's massive writings. However she did have something to say about almost everything. So that you will realize how fanatic Mrs. White actually was about diet I include this. "You place upon your table butter, eggs, and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go?" (Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 362)
Mrs. White actually complained that many of her contemporaries were accusing her of not following her own health reform counsel. I would have to agree with the accusations. Mrs. White wrote "No butter or flesh meats of any kind come on my table" (Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 487) We have already seen that Mrs. White did not give up meat eating until around 1892. The above quotation is from a book published prior to 1868.
Have a look at pictures of Ellen White. It seems fairly obvious that she was rather obese most of her life. She seemed to be quite aware of this herself and, in fact, wrote, 'I have within eight months, lost 25 pound of flesh" (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4, p. 154) She was 37 years of age at that time and we can see from later pictures that she was markedly overweight. Perhaps she was ill when she lost the 25 pounds but it seems quite obvious that she was unable to control her appetite and ate too much resulting in her obesity. How can she possibly claim to be a health reformer inspired by God and expect to retain her credibility'? How gullible does she think people are?
Ellen White and Medicine ˝
Mrs. White had a considerable amount to say on the subject of medicine and doctors. Some of her statements are quite hilarious, others are rather nauseating. In an era ravaged by malaria, smallpox, tuberculosis, pneumonia, etc. Mrs. White wrote the absurd statement: I have been shown that more deaths have been caused by drug taking than from all other causes combined. If there was one physician in the place of thousands, a vast amount of premature mortality would be prevented. Multitudes of physicians, and multitudes of drugs, have cursed the inhabitants of the earth." (Spiritual Gifts, Vol 4, p. 133)
I realize that medical practice was rather crude during her days and some people were poisoned by medicines as they are today. However Mrs. White would like us to believe that over 50% of all deaths were directly due to medications. This smells a bit like sensationalism to me.
On the following page she wrote, "Drugs never cure disease ... nature alone is the effectual restorer, and how much better could she perform her task if left to herself." Consider the fact that pneumonia used to kill about one-half its victims. Have you ever had a loved one cured by the miracle drug penicillin? Do you know any children who have survived 15 years because of drug treatment for leukemia? This disease used to kill kids within one or two months! Do you have any friends who have lived many extra years because they are able to get B12 injections monthly; really a small price to pay. Aren't you thankful that God has allowed us to find drugs which do cure diseases. Again, notice the words that Mrs. White used. She said, "Drugs never cure." Would it be possible today to have any of these miraculous cures had we followed Mrs. White's advice back in the 1860s?
Mrs. White had her own rules for physicians too. Let us consider a few of these. "God's servants should not administer medicines which they know will leave behind injurious effects on the system, even if they do relieve present suffering." (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4, p. 140) It is a fact that all drugs have injurious effects. Penicillin can cure, but unfortunately, it can kill too. The most commonly used drug aspirin can be fatal also. There is no drug that I know of that does not have potentially serious injurious effects. This means that Adventist doctors should get out of the business of using drugs to treat disease. Maybe they can use hydrotherapy (water treatments) for everything as Mrs. White advised.
True to the Victorian attitude on sex, Mrs. White of course had special counsel for doctors concerning treatment of the opposite sex. "The light given me of the Lord in this matter is that as far as possible lady physicians should care for lady patients, and gentlemen physicians have the care of gentlemen patients ... any unnecessary exposure of ladies before male physicians is wrong ... women should be educated and qualified just as thoroughly as possible to become practitioners in the delicate disease which affect women, that their secret parts should not be exposed to the notice of men ... it is a most horrible practice, this revealing the secret parts of women to men, or men being treated by women. Women physicians should utterly refuse to look upon the secret parts of men ... It is not in harmony with the instructions given at Sinai that Gentlemen physicians should do the work of midwives. The Bible speaks of women at childbirth being attended by women, and thus it ought always to be." (Counsels on Health, p. 363-4-5). It is obvious from these selections that Mrs. White had quite a hang-up on matters of sex. I suppose lady nurses shouldn't look after make patients either.
Concerning physicians fees, Ellen White was quite adamant that Adventist doctors should not charge the same prices charged by 'worldly' doctors. "Every physician should be true and honest the charges made by other practicing physicians in this country when called upon to attend suffering humanity is robbery, fraud." (Medical Ministry, p. 121-2) "I am commissioned to speak to all who are engaged as physicians in our institutions ... while many who cannot afford to pay are treated free, others are charged exorbitant prices for operations which take but little time. The charges of worldly physicians are not to rule in our institutions." (Medical Ministry, p. 170) Mrs. White had some rather slanderous views of physicians. Most people would agree that, with a few exceptions, physicians represent an ethical and honorable profession. I suspect Ellen White was just a bit jealous.
I am not aware of any Adventist physicians who follow Ellen Whites counsel. I don't know of any Adventist physicians who do not use drugs, who do not treat the opposite sex, nor do I know any who send back half their check to medicare. However these Adventist physicians who do not follow her counsel will adamantly defend Ellen White as a true prophet. Do they not understand their own actions indicate that deep down in their heart they don't believe Ellen White is a true prophet from God? Why can't these professionals be honest?
In earlier days Mrs. White really had no use for doctors whatever. "If any among us are sick, let us not dishonour God by applying to earthly physicians, but apply to the God of Israel. If we follow his directions (James 5:14,15) the sick will be healed. God's promise cannot fail. Have faith in God, and trust wholly in Him that when Christ who is our life shall appear we may appear with Him in glory." This quotation appeared in an early edition of her book "Early Writings" but was deleted in subsequent printings. An answer has been given to this criticism that Mrs. White's statement is comparable to that of James indicated in her quotation. James, however, did not indicate in his statement that physicians should be excluded.
This notion is very reminiscent of a few modern day cults of which Christian Science is a good example.
We do have a good Biblical example of a physician's services being used. Luke, a writer of one of the gospels was often with Paul and apparently he attended Paul in his illnesses. It certainly is true that God answers prayers for the sick but this does not preclude Him working through a skilled physician. The Bible makes it quite plain that God gives gifts to people in order to help other people. The gift of healing is included in the spiritual gifts discussed by Paul in 1 Cor. 12. It is notable that healing is fourth; listed after wisdom, knowledge, and faith. Healing is listed before working of miracles, prophecy, ability to distinguish between spirits, kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues. No wonder this inflammatory statement was deleted in further printings of her book.
Mrs. White rightfully warned about mercury used as calomel - a laxative. She also warned of the dangers of Strychnine being used in medicines of her day. Of course, both these substances are poisonous and certainly have no legitimate medical use - she was right.
However on the same page, (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4, p. 139) she also warns about the use of opium and quinine.
Opium derivatives are pain killing drugs like Morphine, Demerol, etc. The suffering these drugs have relieved cannot be estimated. Only recently has it been discovered that the body itself produces similar substances (endorphins) in an attempt to relieve pain and protect the body. Unfortunately, these drugs like many others can be abused and lead to much misery.
Quinine is another miracle drug used exclusively until 1942 for the treatment of malaria. It is still used for this along with the newer drugs. Can you imagine how many lives have been saved by the use of Quinine? Malaria used to be one of the greatest killers of all time and remains a severe threat even in our day.
Ellen White said God had forbidden use of Quinine & Morphine. She was very wrong about these - but right about mercury and strychnine. A prophet can't be 50% right - accuracy must be 100%.
I shall prove to you in a later chapter that Mrs. White copied both her truths and errors from predecessors.
Ellen White and medicine make a rather fantastic study. A masterful coverage of this topic is found in the book by Ronald L. Numbers "Prophetess of Health; Ellen G. White". It would be well worth your time to search out a library copy of this book if you are particularly interested in this topic. (Note: This book is now easily obtainable)
Ellen White and Alcohol ˝
Whenever discussing alcohol with a group of Christians it usually becomes a rather emotional subject. People remember personal events involving alcohol and this causes one to lose his objectivity concerning the subject. Many Christians use Bible passages erroneously to try to justify overdrinking. Others, however, try to use the Bible to indicate that alcohol should not be used under any circumstances. This latter group is as bad as the first. Ellen White belong to this teetotaler group. You might say she was the original prohibitionist and putting it mildly she never had a good thing to say about alcohol.
It may be unspeakable for some people to consider alcohol as a gift from God. All gifts from God can be mightily abused or used for the purposes intended. Unfortunately, sex and alcohol appear to be two gifts that are more often abused than not. This does not make the subject inherently 'bad'. The bad part depends on the one who is using it and how perverted the use becomes.
There has been a fair amount written about alcohol and the Bible. My primary purpose here is not to either condone or condemn alcohol. I am primarily interested in discrediting Ellen White's claim to be a prophet of God.
Whenever talking about alcohol in the Bible the opponent of alcohol tries to point out that the word wine in the Bible actually means grape juice. Some of the following passages will explode that myth for you.
Mrs. White says, "The Bible nowhere sanctions the use of intoxicating wine." (Ministry of Healing, p. 333) This is a straight forward statement. It is all inclusive with the word nowhere being employed. It is contradictory to many Bible passages.
Let us particularly consider a passage from the book of Proverbs, a book written by the wisest man in history next to Jesus Christ. "Give strong drink to him who is perishing and wine to those in bitter distress: let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more." (Prov. 31:6-7) Here we see strong drink and wine being prescribed for people who are dying. This Biblical passage indicates that alcohol can be used for medicinal purposes. However it is also indicated here that people who are of low spirits or who are depressed should use alcohol to escape their miseries. I do not particularly like to see this passage in the Bible as I personally feel that alcohol does not generally benefit someone who is depressed. However it certainly does provide escape for many so that they may forget their troubles for a time. Used under these circumstances it usually becomes addictive and the person ends up suffering more misery from the alcohol than his original troubles. However, regardless as to whether I personally agree with the advice or not, the advice is there in the Bible and I cannot deny it. I must try to look beyond my prejudice about alcohol.
The main point I want to make from this reading from Proverbs is that Ellen White actually lied when she said, "The Bible nowhere sanctions the use of intoxicating wine."
Let us look at one more very plain commandment in the Bible concerning the use of alcohol. Note that with this statement no argument can be made either. I would suggest you read the whole passage in Deuteronomy 14:2226. It reads in part, "Then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses, and spend the money for whatever you desire, oxen, or sheep, or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves, and you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household." Note that God is actually commanding one to use his tithe to buy something his appetite craves whether it be meat, wine or strong drink and to consume it in his church. I find this a rather disturbing passage also but I must be realistic and admit that it exists. Certainly this is not the way I would expect Christians of this day to behave. To have a drink of alcohol in church would almost be considered blasphemy; but it seems God has different ideas than we do. Personally I really don't think I could tolerate a bunch of people sitting in church drinking wine and liquor but that is really my biased prejudice coming out. Obviously God doesn't have any of the hang-ups that you and I have. My point however is valid; Ellen White is a liar. Whether we personally like it or not these commandments are in the Bible and Ellen White has misrepresented God and His commandments. Granted, she may well have good personal reasons for hating alcohol but it is fairly obvious that God did not give her this message to pass on to us.
Let us be aware that the term 'wine' is used in both of these passages and one can argue forever whether this means plain grape juice or fermented grape juice. However the term 'strong drink' is also used in both passages. There can be no doubt as to the meaning of this terminology. The never failing argument that wine means grape juice has just failed.
Mrs. White went to great lengths to discredit alcohol. Certainly we don't have to look very far around us to discredit alcohol for ourselves but that is really not the point. Mrs. White was always reading something into the Bible that was not present. Her rendition of the story is always accepted by Adventists rather than the Biblical account. Mrs. White has done a very successful job in perverting the
story about two priests during the time of Moses. "Nabab and Abihu drank too freely of wine, and the result was, they used common fire instead of sacred, and were destroyed for thus dishonouring God." (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4, p. 124) The Old Testament story about this occurrence does not mention anything about these two priests drinking alcohol and it does not indicate this was the cause of their not following God's instructions concerning sacred fire. The story is recorded in Leviticus 10:1-3. Nothing is said there about alcohol.
Later in the same chapter God does indicate to Aaron that the priests and his sons should drink no wine or strong drink when they are going to serve in the temple. He has put a penalty of death on this commandment. It seems fairly obvious that these priests were allowed to drink alcohol when off duty. Anyway there is certainly no indication here that alcohol was the cause of these two young priests getting into trouble. I think Mrs. White has let her imagination run away with her again.
Why did Mrs. White throw in the part about the two priests getting drunk? If drunkenness was the issue here, why did Moses not make that plain in his original account of the story? I don't think we can conclude that Moses' rendition was untrue or that Moses was misguided or stupid. The only conclusion we can draw is that the untruth is coming from Ellen White.
God led the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness, and they lived all those years without any alcohol. "I have lead you 40 years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out upon you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet, you have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink; that you may know that I am the Lord your God." (Deut. 29:5-6) These Israelites were teetotalers for 40 years. Of those who entered the Promised Land none of them had ever tasted alcohol. If God felt they should remain abstainers He certainly would have given them a commandment prior to their entering the Promised Land. There just is no such commandment in the Bible.
In the book of Psalms we find the writer thanking and praising God for providing many good things in life including wine. "And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shine and bread which strengtheneth man's heart." (Psalms 1044:15) Surely we cannot conclude from this verse that it is grape juice making glad the heart of man. The psalmist is thanking God for alcohol.
Whenever the subject of alcohol comes up, Paul's famous passage is always quoted. "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments." I realize that many people will still insist that this is grape juice being used for frequent ailments. However the logic does not seem to hold up.
Paul lays down some rules for bishops in his writings. "Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money." (I Tim. 3:2,3) This passage indicates that the bishop must be 'temperate'. It does not say he is to be an abstainer. It does indicate that he should not be a drunkard. In the same chapter we see some rules for deacons. "Deacons likewise must be serious, not double tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain." Here it indicates that they must not be addicted to much wine. It does not say that they are to be abstainers from alcohol. It indicates that they must not overdo it. I don't think anyone will argue that the Bible is talking about grape juice. After all it is rather hard to drink too much grape juice.
The Pharisees were always finding fault with Jesus and trying to find something to condemn. Jesus spent considerable effort in pointing out the inconsistencies and false accusations of the Pharisees. Jesus speaks about John the Baptist indicating that he preached and lived by the rules of the Nazarites. John followed these special rules to indicate to the people that he was set apart by God for a particular job. Jesus points out that the Pharisees did not accept the preaching of John the Baptist even though he fulfilled all the requirements of a Nazarite. He then contrasted his own lifestyle in that He personally socialized with the people and did not follow the rules of a Nazarite. In describing this situation Jesus said; "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'he has a demon'; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'behold a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Here they were accusing Jesus of being a glutton and a drunkard. They tried to accuse Jesus of eating too much and of drinking too much alcoholic beverage. It is obvious that Jesus ate food but we know He was not a glutton. Jesus did not say here that He was not drinking any alcoholic beverages; it seems quite logical that He was. But we certainly know that He was not a drunkard. (Mt. 11:19)
The King James version does not use the word drunkard, it uses the term 'winebibber'. As this word is used here there is no question as to its meaning. No one goes around accusing someone else of being a 'grape juice bibber'. There is no doubt that this word wine meant alcoholic wine. Many people cannot tolerate the idea that Jesus drank alcoholic beverage but they should try to put their prejudice aside and accept what is written in God's word.
In John 2 we have the account of Jesus' first miracle. This was done rather reluctantly at the request of His mother and consisted of changing water into wine. Many people would have us believe that He changed water into grape juice. There are several points that do not support the notion that this was grape juice. One could take some grapes and quite quickly produce grape juice by pressing out the juice and could have the beverage available within a very few minutes. However it would be truly miraculous to produce a fermented beverage in a very short time. The miracle is that not only did Jesus change the water to a juice but He changed it to a fermented juice.
More impressive is the fact that the governor of the feast called the bridegroom after he had tasted the wine and questioned him as to why he kept the good wine for the end of the celebration. It does not seem realistic that an important man would comment on getting better grape juice at the end of a party than at the beginning.
When I was a believer in Ellen White I had a very good argument which I felt supported the notion that this was really grape juice. Assuming these people had been drinking wine for quite some time one would expect that many of them would be drunk. I felt that it would not be consistent with Jesus' character to produce more alcoholic beverage so that they could get drunker. However let us look at the same idea in a different light. Supposing the guests had run out of food and Jesus was asked to miraculously produce some food. Certainly many of the guests were overweight and even those that weren't were probably on the verge of gluttony if all the food had been eaten up. I don't think Jesus would have refused to produce food just because there were some fat people around or because He had decided that they had already had enough to eat. This good argument loses its impact when viewed realistically. I have no doubt that Jesus turned the water into alcoholic wine. Ellen White in her accounts insists that the water was changed into grape juice. But as we are seeing over and over again, we cannot believe any of Ellen White's renditions of Bible happenings.
Jesus spoke a parable in which He used wine to illustrate a point. "And no one puts new wine into old wine skins; if he does, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wine skins." (Lk 5:37,38) Grape juice will not burst old wine skins. It is obvious from this passage that Jesus is talking about fermented wine which builds up pressure in the wine skins. Old hardened wine skins would burst under the pressure but new wine skins would be quite pliant and would stretch as the pressure built up.
Jesus goes on to say; "And no one after drinking old wine desires new; for he says, 'The old is better' ". (Lk 5:39) Old grape juice does not taste better than fresh grape juice. Certainly Jesus is talking about alcoholic wine.
Jesus tells another parable concerning the Good Samaritan. In the story He points out how the Samaritan cares for the poor wounded man on the road. "But a Samaritan, as he journeyed came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him." (Lk 10:33-34) I don't think anyone will argue that the Samaritan was pouring grape juice into the wounds of this poor man. Even in Biblical days alcohol was recognized as an antiseptic.
A lot of controversy about alcohol is built around this convenient excuse that there were no separate words in the language to distinguish between grape juice and wine. I do realize that the Old and New Testaments were written in different tongues originally but let us look at an Old Testament passage. This describes the requirements of a Nazarite. "When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazarite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink, and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins ... no razor shall come upon his head ... he shall not go near a dead body." (Numbers 6:2-6) Notice that the Nazarite could not shave his hair. Samson was a Nazarite and got into difficulties as he did not follow this commandment. He lost his strength when his head was shaven and as you know that lead to his great tragedy. However there is nothing intrinsically wrong or bad about shaving one's hair. It was simply a special rule God set up for this special person.
Likewise note that the Nazarite was not allowed to drink wine or strong drink, nor was he allowed to eat any grapes or consume anything that came from the vine. This does not mean that it is wrong to eat grapes. Nor can one conclude that it is wrong to drink wine or strong drink. Again these are simply rules God set up for these special people.
It is notable that after the Nazarite's vow is finished; "After that the Nazarite may drink wine." (Numbers 6:20) This passage indicates that people other than Nazarites were allowed to consume all these things and the Nazarite himself was allowed to consume it after his period of separation was ended.
John the Baptist was a Nazarite for life and I believe he never drank alcohol. He followed the rules and was beheaded. Samson did not follow the rules and was crushed to death when he brought the temple down upon the Philistines. I don't think we can look on either of these events as being the reward or the judgement of these particular Nazarites. By faith we must believe that they will be rewarded.
Another interesting Bible documentation involves Paul's instructions to the young church at Corinth. Paul was always pointing out errors that were quickly springing up in the early Christian church. The subject of this episode involved the perversion of the Lord's supper. By the way it is interesting to notice that there is a need for divisions or factions in the church so that the genuine Christians can be recognized. "For there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you meet together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?" (1 Cor. 11:19-22) Paul is pointing out that at the so called Lord's supper, some are going ahead and eating a big meal, others are drinking and getting drunk. But does he say anything about getting drunk or drinking alcohol in the church? No. He simply tells people that they must wait for one another and all eat and drink together. "So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another, if anyone is hungry let him eat at home ... lest you come together to be condemned. About the other thing I will give directions when I come." (1 Cor. 11:33,34) The priority for Paul here is that the Lord's supper be celebrated by all people together not some going ahead without the others. He did not have anything to say about overindulging in alcoholic beverages. Perhaps that was included in later directions.
There are many other Bible passages which we could study but I think I have made my point. I do not want anyone to get the idea that we should all become drunkards. There is much Biblical exhortation to be temperate and drunkenness is defined as a sin. As an example consider, "And do not get drunk with wine for that is debauchery; but be filled with the spirit." (Eph. 5:18)
All that God has provided man is to be received with thanksgiving. We have the choice as to whether we shall use it as God intended or whether we shall abuse it to our own detriment. Unfortunately alcohol has been abused and its evil consequences are everywhere. However, abuse of one of Gods gifts does not give us the privilege of changing and perverting God's word to try to prevent the use of alcohol. God does not insist on abstinence but he does expect control and temperance. If one makes a personal decision to abstain I can certainly accept that decision, but he does not have the right to insist to the world that God has commanded abstinence from alcohol.
As I have indicated, I am not particularly happy with some of these Biblical passages concerning alcohol. However that is my personal problem and I have to accept what is written in God's word and be realistic. I think I have pointed out quite nicely that Ellen White is unable to accept what is written in God's word. She preaches total abstinence and insists that this is God's position. Again we see Ellen White contradicting God's counsel. We are asked to make a decision as to whether she truly represents God as one of his prophets. To Adventists I would ask, will you live under the guidance of God's word, or do you still need Ellen White's blessing?
Ellen White Contradicts The Bible Some More ˝
Perhaps the greatest test for any prophet is the requirement that teachings be in harmony with the Bible. In my opinion Ellen White fails this test miserably and we will look at only a few such examples in this chapter.
Mrs. White had several visions about the Ten Commandments. This is a rather interesting item involving the physical description of the Ten Commandments on the tables of stone. "Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together ... The hand opens the tables and there are seen the precepts of the decalog traced as with a pen of fire." (Great Controversy, p. 560) In another vision describing the Ten Commandments as seen in heaven, Mrs. White wrote, "In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book. Jesus opened them, and I saw the Ten Commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table were four and on the other six." (Christian Experience and Teachings of E. G. White, p. 91)
Picture in your mind the description she is giving with the tables closed, nothing of the precepts visible, and then, when the tables are opened up: there are the Ten Commandments all visible. Please reads Exodus 32:15 which describes the Ten Commandments written on both sides of both tables of stone. Here we can see that Mrs. White did not see the real Ten Commandments. It also brings up the very logical question as to whether she really read all of the Bible?
God had the commandments written on two tables of stone. If the writings covered only one side of each of the two tables of stone, it really makes you wonder what God was doing. Why didn't He just write on the front and the back of one table of stone so poor Moses wouldn't have to carry those two heavy pieces down from the mountain on two different occasions?
In Matthew 24:14, Jesus promised all of us that when the Gospel of the Kingdom had been preached in all the world that the end would then come. It seems that this was to be the last sign to be fulfilled before His coming. Mrs. White tends to make a liar out of Jesus however, by indicating that the Gospel has already been preached to the entire world (but Jesus has not come yet). In Education, p. 93 we find, "To every nation under heaven was the gospel carried in a single generation." Acts of the Apostles, p. 48 says, "The glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world." In the same book on p. 578, she says, "The gospel of the Kingdom was sounded to all inhabited parts of the earth." It is true that in Colossians 1:23, Paul said, "The gospel which was preached to every creature which is under heaven". It is quite evident here that Paul is using a figure of speech impressing the people as to how far the gospel had spread in the known world of that day. Mrs. White is saying something entirely different. It is impossible that the gospel went to the Eskimos, the jungles of Africa, the island of Japan, etc. Mrs. White's words in the above quotations leave no doubt as to her meaning and she obviously carried Paul's statement too far and again gave herself away.
Let us now look at another blatant Bible contradiction. We find, "True knowledge has decreased with every successive generation." (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4, p. 154) This does not agree with a real prophet that is a favorite of many of us. We find in Daniel 11:4, "Even to the time of the end, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Some people with whom I have discussed this point like to get into a diversionary tactic of philosophizing on the meaning of the words 'true knowledge'. However, I believe that honesty will indicate the contradiction in the above statements.
Mrs. White's story about the adulterous woman does not agree with the Bible rendition. In Desire of Ages, Chapter 20, p. 404, Mrs. White says that the Pharisees were convicted of their sins by reading what Jesus had written in the dust. John 8:9 however, gives a different picture. "And they which heard it being convicted by their own conscience" is John's testimony. John was present on the scene and said they were convicted by hearing. Mrs. White would like to make the story more romantic and says they were convicted by reading their sins written in the dust. Do you think God would change the story to a prophet two thousand years later? I tend to believe John's version. How about you, Adventists?
There is one very bothersome prediction of Mrs. White's which did not come true. It must have been very distressing for people who were aware of this prediction. It can be likened to the situation in the very early church where people believed mistakenly that Christ would return the second time before any of the Christians died. They became distressed when the saints began dying and Paul had to write a special letter to the Thessalonians to reassure them. He pointed out that the people in the grave who died in Christ would be the first to rise and then the others would join them in the air to meet Christ. (1 Thes. 4:16, 17) Mrs. White was at a conference sitting around the table with some people in 1856 and she said, "I was shown the company present at the conference. Said the angel, 'Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus.' (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 131) All these people are dead: none of them went through the seven plagues; and none were translated to heaven.
Some people tend to dismiss this point by indicating that in the above quotation, Paul used the word 'we' (which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with Him in the clouds). Many people say that Paul felt that he would be alive at Jesus second coming. I think if you study the writings of Paul you will find that he was quite aware that the second advent was to be quite some time in the future. Among other things, he talks about the great falling away first and son of perdition being revealed. This 'we' that Paul uses is very similar to the 'you' Jesus uses in Luke 21:31, "So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know you that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand." Certainly when Jesus used the word 'you' there, he knew that none present that day would see any of the signs which he was predicting in the very distant future.
Besides Paul was quite well rounded in Scripture and knew the prophecies of Daniel. He knew that there was a long time period left in the 2300 day prophecy. There is little doubt that Ellen White actually believed that Jesus was coming during the lifetime of some of the people around that table. Of course, this prediction ties in with the doctrine of your being able to delay or hasten Jesus' coming. The date of the second coming is fixed and one cannot use the excuse that Mrs. White's prediction was conditional. Anyway, she did not lay any conditions on that prediction. She was certainly trying to impress the people sitting around that table.
In her book The Acts of the Apostles, p. 153, Ellen White says: "Angels are constantly bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above." This belief is not in the Bible. In fact, it is contrary to 1 Tim. 2:5 which states "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." I have certainly always been under the impression that God heard prayers directly and it is a silly fantasy to imagine angels picking up my prayers and carrying them up to the Father.
Mrs. White also has a strange idea as to the nature of the greatest sin. In Ministry of Healing, p. 163, she says, "The inhumanity of man towards man is our greatest sin." There is not doubt that all sin is bad but my Bible points out that there is one great sin. That is the sin against the Holy Spirit. In fact, our rotten treatment of fellow human beings is not in itself a sin, but the result of sin. It results from our failure to follow the commandment, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Ellen White Contradicts Herself ˝
As I began to bring up questions about Ellen White in church discussions with Adventists, many tactics were used to try to keep me quiet. Adventists generally cannot tolerate anyone questioning the validity of their prophet. Their most forceful weapon for stifling questions was the use of guilt. So many times I was chided for trying to cause division in the church and I was frequently reminded that I was committing the sin against the Holy Spirit in not accepting Ellen White as a true prophet. It seemed the more persuasive the evidence I produced, the more the devout followers would tune me out.
It appears that Mrs. White was somewhat prepared for the possibility of some questioning souls. She wrote, "Not by discussion and controversy is the soul enlightened". (Desire of Ages, p. 145) However she completely contradicted herself in another 'inspired' passage. God means that the testing of truth shall be brought to the front and become a subject of examination and discussion. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander will be God's means of provoking inquiry and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber". (Thoughts From the mount of Blessing, p. 33) Of course the greatest master of controversy and discussion was Jesus. He was not very popular with the respected establishment because of this and the controversy finally led to His crucifixion.
In discussing tithing in the Review and Herald, November 10th, 1896, Mrs. White said; "Let none feel at liberty to retain their tithe to use according to their own judgment. They are not to apply it as they see fit ... A minister should not feel that he can apply it according to his own judgment." Ten years later in a letter written to Elder George Watson in January, 1906, Mrs. White wrote, "it has been presented to me for years that my tithe is to be appropriated by myself It is a matter that should not be commented upon; for it will necessitate my making known these matters which I do not desire to do ... For years there have been persons who have lost confidence in appropriation of the tithe but have placed their tithe in my hands ... I write this to you so that you shall keep cool and not become stirred up, lest more shall follow their example". Again we see her contradicting her own counsel while supposedly under the guidance of God.
Concerning this contradiction, one of her sons, W. C. White, wrote "The letter was written by my mother and duplicated and a copy was sent, very unwisely I believe, to my brother. I am very sorry that the letter was written." It seems that one of the sons was not very impressed with his mother's inspirations and that there was somewhat of a feud between these brothers. The point is, that you and I, and even the ministers, may not appropriate our donations, but Mrs. White has the privilege of deciding where her tithe goes.
Ellen White even admitted to contradicting herself at times. What appeared in testimony 11 concerning the health institute should not have been given ... I yielded my judgment to that of others in this I did wrong." The question immediately comes up, how could she yield her judgment to that of others when God has indicated to her what she should write? Her original testimony began with "I was shown"! Obviously, one of the testimonials has to be an error. But they were both supposedly written under the guise of divine inspiration.
There are many other examples of Ellen White contradicting her statements. These two are gleaned from the book, "The Truth About Seventh Day Adventism" by Walter R. Martin (Zondervan Publishing House 1960)
This book was given to me by a patient of mine. I was very biased against this book when I first saw it. On looking back on it now it is obvious that it sowed the seeds for my eventual liberation from Seventh Day Adventism. This friend is now gone: I did not have a chance to thank him in person. However I do believe that at that day I will be able to communicate my thanks to him face to face.
Ellen White's Teaching on Depression ˝
Depression certainly was no strange to Ellen White. I am she had her own despondent episodes. Certainly her poor husband James, a minister of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, suffered a prolonged serious depression.
Mrs. White's statements about depression have been among the most impressive for me. While still a strong believer in her teachings I certainly had my troubles with depression. When I discovered her writings on the subject it was almost disastrous for me.
In Prophets and Kings, p. 145 we find, "From the depths of discouragement and despondency Job arose ... Despondency is sinful and unreasonable." From these two statements, with simple logic, we can deduce that Job was a sinner because he was despondent. I have noticed that some people have great difficulty in following this simple logic and I do not understand how that conclusion can be denied. According to Mrs. White, Job was a sinner when he was despondent.
Let us look at the Book of Job. In the first chapter we find that Satan killed all his children, many of his servants, sheep, and camels. Job must have been rather depressed at these happenings as he rent his robe, shaved his head, fell upon the ground, and worshipped. However, notice verse 22 which says, "In all this Job did not sin." Job 2: 10 adds, "In all this Job did not sin with his lips." That was when his wife was prompting him to curse God and die. In Job 23: 12 we hear, "I have not departed from the commandment of His lips." In Job 42:7 we find God commending Job's actions when He rebukes Job's attackers with the words, "My wrath is kindled against thee and against thy two friends for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right as My servant Job hath." There is no indication in the Book of Job that he sinned during this trial.
There is no doubt that he was depressed and despondent. If some want to get into a discussion of semantics, the meaning of the words depressed or despondent, then that will not help. Mrs. White could have used any word which she later defined as sinful. But the Bible tells me that, "In all this Job did not sin."
We find in Job 42:6 that Job did "repent in dust and ashes". However there is no indication here that he sinned and the word repent does not always mean that sin has occurred previously. It simply means that there has been a change of mind. We find all through the Old Testament instances where God himself has 'repented'. We cannot conclude from this that God was a sinner.
Despondency and depression are feelings. They are not thoughts or actions nor attitudes of choice. Feelings cannot possibly be sinful. A severe pain in the big toe hurts but it is not sin; it is just a bad feeling.
Jesus was called the 'man of sorrows'. There is no doubt that He was often depressed and despondent but this did not deter His mission. The ultimate in depression is reached when one 'dies of a broken heart'. It is a well known medical fact that people do, in fact, die from broken hearts and it is a common belief that Jesus died from a 'broken heart'; being crushed by the sins of the world. Jesus therefore suffered from the most severe form of depression actually resulting in His death. If depression is sinful, than our Lord was guilt! This erroneous teaching of Mrs. White can only lead to that conclusion.
I do not believe that despondency is a sin nor do I believe that Job sinned during the trial period when he was assaulted by Satan. Will Adventists believe Mrs. White or the Bible? For those of you who are depressed I pray that you do not believe that your bad feelings are in themselves sinful: and I pray for God's peace for you.
Abraham Lincoln had a terrible time with depressions. Notice the look on Abe's face next time you see his picture. If you have read his biography you will certainly understand why he was so often depressed. I would say God used Abraham Lincoln mightily depressed or not.
Ellen White Misrepresents God's Character ˝
One of the more distressing perversions I have discovered in Mrs. White's writings indicates that God is not just. John 5:28-29 indicates that, at the resurrection, all shall come forth from the grave, some unto the resurrection of life, the others unto the resurrection of damnation. Mrs. White had other ideas! She has written, "God cannot take the slave to heaven, who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God, or the Bible, fearing nothing but his master's lash, and not holding so elevated a position as his master's brute beasts. But he does the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do. He lets him be as though he had not been. (Spiritual Gifts Vol. 1, p. 193) So, in Mrs. White's view, instead of either heaven or hell, as is taught in the Bible, we have a place comparable to the Catholic purgatory; and that is the possibility of remaining in the grave and never being resurrected as promised. Can you imagine our God allowing a fellow human being to go through such a horrendous life and then allowing him to remain forever in his grave providing him with neither reward nor vengeance?
Mrs. White describes the destruction which takes place at Jesus' second coming. "The false watchmen are the first to fall. There are none to pity or spare. Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together." (Great Controversy p. 575) I am not exactly sure of how 'little' these children are that are perishing. It seems that she is describing very young children (who have not sinned). She makes it appear that our just God is going to wipe out little children, in fact, they will 'perish'. Of course, God wiped out many little children in the records of the Old Testament. But this only indicates a first death and does not really leave us with the idea that these children will not receive justice. However, at the end of time, these little children 'perishing' have not been translated. Therefore, they will suffer the second death also. Do you believe that your God will do that?
According to Ellen White, it seems that God made a dreadful mistake at the time of the flood. "After the flood everything had been destroyed upon which man could subsist, and therefore, the Lord in their necessity gave Noah the permission to eat the clean animals which he had taken with him into the ark." (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 121) Did God really need to break His plan if He intended man not to eat meat? Could He not have supplied food in some other way such as 'manna from heaven' as He did for the Israelites for forty years?
Some people say that the people were crying and begging for meat and that is why He allowed Noah to eat it. But apparently Noah had never eaten meat previously. There was nobody left but he and his family. I can't imagine that they were begging God for meat. If all the food was destroyed at the flood, and no provisions were made, how did all the other carnivorous animals survive? Ellen White thinks God made a mistake! I don't believe her.
Mrs. Whites writings do much to malign the purity of Jesus Christ. Let us look at this example. "His countenance did not wear an expression of grief and repining, but ever one of peaceful serenity." (Steps to Christ, p. 120) Here we are told that Jesus' face always appeared peaceful and serene. What sort of expression do you think was on His face when He wept over Jerusalem? What did His face look like during His cleansing of the temple when He was overturning the money changers' tables? Can you imagine the look of anguish on His face in the Garden of Gethsemane? Then picture the scene on the cross begging forgiveness for His executioners; giving His mother into the custody of apostle John. Imagine the tortured look when He cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Why does Mrs. White try to paint a false picture of Jesus? Isn't He well known as the 'man of sorrows'? There is no doubt that Jesus had the 'peace of God', but to describe His facial expression as above is nonsensical. If you believe that statement you have to ask yourself the question, did He really come and suffer for me?
Mrs. White also indicates that Jesus was a doubter and was hopeless. Picture Jesus in agony hanging on the cross. "Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror or tell him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that their separation was to be eternal." (Desire of Ages p. 664) On the cross did Jesus really doubt that He would be resurrected? Did He doubt that His sacrifice would be accepted by the Father?
Here we have a picture of a hopeless and doubting Saviour. If we hold on to this picture how can we possibly have any hope ourselves? This description of Mrs. White's makes Jesus more of a doubter than was doubting Thomas! This is completely unacceptable to me and in my opinion is blasphemous. It is against every precious feeling I have for my Saviour.
As if it was not bad enough to have Jesus doubting on the cross, He was still not quite sure whether His sacrifice would be accepted later. Picture this. He had risen. According to Ellen White, Jesus returned to heaven almost immediately after His resurrection. This may be true; it is not quite clear in the Biblical account and is not an important doctrine anyway. However, the reason for His return there is important. She says, "Jesus refused to receive homage (as He entered heaven) ... until He had the assurance that His sacrifice was accepted by the Father." Can you imagine Jesus doubting on the cross, still not quite sure when He walked out of the tomb alive, and needing to go up to heaven, confront His Father, and ask whether His sacrifice had been accepted? What a horrible teaching! This degradation of Jesus' character is the hallmark of the cults. Any group detracting from the deity of Jesus Christ necessarily fulfills the definition of a cult.
Of course, on the cross, Jesus did cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" I realize that none of us can really understand the depth of the meaning of those words. However I do know that Jesus was not hopeless and he was not a doubter.
Mrs. White was rather fanatic at times, depending on which issue was currently on her mind. The next example really illustrates and shows how her own words betray her. Mrs. White was addressing herself to tithes and offerings under the heading, "The Only Way to Manifest Gratitude." (Counsels on Stewardship p. 18 & 19) "The Lord does not need our offerings, we cannot enrich Him by Our gifts ... Yet God permits us to show our appreciation ... This is the only way in which it is possible for us to manifest our gratitude and love to God. He has provided no other way." Notice that Mrs. White is saying no other way and that it is the only way to show our gratitude and love by giving tithes and offerings.
This is almost a doctrine of salvation by works. It does not live up to the standards put down in the Bible indicating to us how we should express our love to God. John 14:15 says, "If ye love me keep my commandments." Matthew 23:23 speaks of the qualities of judgment, mercy, and faith, and relegates things like tithing to a much lower position. Micah 6:6-8 indicates that we cannot please God with any or all of our riches, but that we must do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. I certainly cannot agree with Mrs. White's theology on this point. Besides, this is a very disgraceful way of soliciting money from poor gullible Adventists. With this type of brainwashing and guilt tripping, it is no wonder that Adventists are the highest per capita givers of any church. I wonder how many are truly 'cheerful givers'.
Some Very Dangerous Adventist Theology ˝
Most denominations have some theological beliefs which I feel are dangerous. Obviously some are more dangerous than others. One of the more dangerous beliefs held by some denominations is the 'Second Chance Theory'. The Pentecostal Church teaches that some people will get a second chance after the supposed secret rapture. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that in the new world, the people who were saved the first time around will have a chance to convert the people who were lost on the first try and they will get a second chance. Catholics have the doctrine of Purgatory which in a way is a second chance theory. Adventists have a theory somewhat like the second chance doctrine but it is a little more subtle. This is the belief that, man by his actions can hasten or delay the Lord's Second Coming.
This, in a way gives one a second chance. If one's actions can delay Jesus Second Advent, then the more He is delayed the more chances one has to be saved. Adventists looking around at one another must conclude that the Second Advent is delayed by many years by the actions of their brethren. This leaves lots of time to be saved and rather dampens the Biblical exhortation; "Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2)
This erroneous belief I suspect has come out of the Biblical passage, "Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God." (1 John 3:11,12) A footnote to this verse in the Bible indicates another translation of the word hastening as "earnestly desiring". The passage would then read in part "Waiting for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God". This second translation makes this Bible passage more consistent with others I will be quoting shortly.
Mrs. White feels that Adventists of 1844 and shortly thereafter were very incompetent in the work given them. She feels that had the people been more faithful and done their work, Jesus would have come long ago and all this would be over. She lays the blame squarely on the shoulders of early Adventists; contemporaries that she wanted to manipulate by inferring guilt. "Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith ... receiving the message and proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive his people to their reward ... it was not the will of God the coming of Christ should be thus delayed." (Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 68) Another similar passage: "Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God." (Testimonies 6, p. 450)
Ellen White describes Jesus waiting. She suggests that He must wait because too many are not ready for Him. "The long night of gloom is trying, but the morning is deferred in mercy, because if the Master should come, so many would be found unready. God's unwillingness to have His people perish, has been the reason for so long a delay". (Testimonies 2, p. 194) Surely this argument is self-defeating. So many are dying daily in a lost condition. Many more are being born to run the risk of not being saved.
Not only did Adventists fail to do their work, they also failed to give enough money. "If they will be faithful in bringing to His treasury the means lent them, His work will make rapid advancement. Many souls will be won to the truth and the day of Christ's coming will be hastened." (Counsels on Stewardship p. 45) Being barraged with this type of guilt producing statement, I must repeat, it is no wonder that Adventists give so much money. Shouldn't they feel rather guilty about not giving all their money to t he church to have Jesus come even sooner.
The Bible says, "He hath appointed a day to judge the world." (Acts 17:31) When that day of judgment occurs and we have been judged, what is the point of Him delaying, His coming any further? The first advent of our Saviour was on schedule and there is no reason to believe that His second advent will not be on schedule and preplanned, as are all other major events in God's overall plan.
Further, in Daniel 8:19 we find, "For at the time appointed, the end shalt be." Paul tells us in Hebrews 10:37; "For yet a little while and he that shall come will come and will not tarry." By all means, we are instructed to pray that His Kingdom will come but that does not mean that our prayers or any of our deeds will actually have any effect on the date. We find that Daniel prayed for future events even though he knew God had set a specific fixed date.
Let me ask Adventists a few serious questions. If you are delaying Jesus' coming by your current lifestyle, don't you feel extremely guilty? How can you possibly live with yourself under this load of guilt? Have you not seen the guilt trips handed out by fellow church members when they felt you were not doing enough work to hasten His coming? Is this not one of the main reasons why there is a total lack of love in your congregation? These false beliefs are leading you down the wrong path.
I think that Satan would be very happy if we were to believe that we could delay or hasten Jesus' coming. If we are sitting here condemning others for delaying His coming then it is impossible for Jesus to come now. But remember what Jesus said in Matthew 24:44, "Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh." He is coming when you and I think he is not coming. This should make us very careful and watchful indeed.
Let us now turn to some more serious errors. Nowhere does Mrs. White seem quite as confused as in her descriptions of the end of probation and the seven last plagues. My next point is rather difficult to follow and quite confusing, even in the Bible. Mrs. White's beliefs can be found in the Great Controversy, Chapter 39, entitled 'The Time of Trouble'. In essence Mrs. White believes that the close of probation is announced by Jesus in Heaven standing up saying, "It is done." He also says, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still." (Rev. 22:11) At that point, the plagues begin, and Jesus leaves the sanctuary. Mankind is without an intercessor during these seven plagues for an unknown period of time before the second advent. There are several errors to point out here and this belief can have disastrous effects.
First read Rev. 16:17. "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the Temple of Heaven from the throne saying, "It is done." Notice that Jesus says, "It is done." at the time of the seventh plague and not as Mrs. White indicated before the onset of the first plague.
I have heard a very crafty defense of this criticism. I was told that Jesus may have said, "It is done," many times. On the cross He said, "It is finished." However, I can only find "It is done." twice in the Bible. The above quotation is one and the second occurrence is in Rev. 21:6. Here Jesus again says, "It is done." but this is after John saw a new heaven and a new earth and after he saw the holy city descending from heaven. The defense goes on by saying, "'Well, maybe he also said an 'It is done.' before the first plague and it wasn't recorded in the Bible." This seems to be impressive, fast thinking. But on the first page of Chapter 39, where this occurs notice that "It is done." is surrounded by quotation marks. This means that Mrs. White is actually quoting the Bible here as all quotation marks indicate a passage taken directly from the Bible. She has to be either talking about the "It is done." in Rev. 16:17 or the one in 21:6. She cannot possibly be talking about an, "It is done." occurring before the first plague which is not recorded in the Bible.
And why should she take Rev. 22: 11, "He that is unjust let him be unjust still " and suppose that occurs at the time of the close of probation. There is no such indication for this time sequence in the Bible.
For the next point, again please read Rev. 16:17. This is during the seventh plague and a great voice came from where? It came from out of the temple. But didn't Mrs. White say that Jesus left the sanctuary or temple before the first plague began? What is He doing in the temple at that time? Are we really going to be without an intercessor during the plagues?
Suppose that, as an Adventist, you believe Mrs. White's version of the above. Picture the plagues beginning. You now believe that you have been declared just and that you will remain just (that means you cannot sin). Jesus will be returning in one or two years. You have always had this belief but one fateful day you recognize that you have sinned terribly. But you remember that you were supposed to be among the saved and were now incapable of sinning. Now you realize you have made a mistake and that you must not be included among those saved at the time of the close of probation. What will be your reaction? Who is going to mediate this terrible sin for you? You are doomed! What can you do? It seems to me the only course at that time would be suicide. Do you now see the danger in believing this false doctrine? This teaching is not necessary for our salvation; we need only believe that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. Why take such a terrible chance?
There is another angle. The Bible quite plainly indicates that we will not be perfect (i.e. sinless) until, "that day". It is obvious from 1 Cor. 15:50-57, that those of us who are living will remain sinners until Christ returns and changes us, "in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump". Mrs. White is trying to tell us in her story that we will be completely sinless for a year or so during the seven last plagues. Can you buy her story? I submit to you that Mrs. White's rendition can lead to nothing but the loss of many souls. And superficially, it all seems so innocent!
Ellen White and Miscellaneous Nonsense ˝
How did Ellen White feel about herself? Many Adventists say that she never called herself a prophet. They take great pride in the fact that Mrs. White was being very humble. Mrs. White is quoted as saying, "Why have I not claimed to be a prophet? Because, in these last days many who boldly claim that they are prophets are a reproach to the cause of Christ and because my work includes much more than the word prophet signifies. To claim to be a prophetess is something I have never done. If others call me by that name, I have no controversy with them. But my work has covered so many lines that I cannot call myself other than a messenger." (Questions on Doctrines p. 92)
It is notable that many of the revelations of God given to men came through an angel who often called himself 'a messenger'. In this passage Mrs. White is indicating that she had much more responsibility than that of mere prophet and preferred to use the term messenger. This obviously signifies a higher position than ordinary prophet and puts her on the same level as angel messengers.
As to the concern of not wanting to be confused with other false prophets of her time, I personally feel that if one is representing God as His prophet, then one should have enough fortitude to indicate that to God's people and be prepared to suffer the consequences. I do not think Adventists can read humility into this statement from Mrs. White.
Ellen White seemed to have an excuse for the slow growth of her particular church. "The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden". (6 Testimonies p. 371) She is using the word 'truth' here of course to mean the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I am not aware of God ever having kept one from the truth because some other person or group of persons was not living up to par. Would God really keep people from the truth and hold them responsible for it on the basis of other peoples' actions? The problem keeping people from joining the Adventist Church seems quite obvious to me. Most people are not as gullible as I was and very early on they recognize Ellen White as a false prophet. They rather quickly part company with her followers. I have seen several intelligent people enter the Adventist Church, recognize Ellen White for what she really is and quietly leave without rocking the boat. Many people aren't quite that lucky and really get taken.
In an attempt to say at least something about almost everything, Mrs. White had the following to say about trees. "Numerous shade trees cast off many leaves which if not immediately removed, decay and poison the atmosphere". (Counsels on Health p. 58) This would suggest that a walk through the woods would be rather detrimental to one's health. Mrs. White thinks that God has things so ordered that leaves from His trees are poisoning the atmosphere. It seems she had many questions as to how God is running things.
Of the many perverted doctrines, Mrs. White was rarely the originator. She would generally pick up these ideas from someone else, then she would have a vision about it and indicate that this was proof from the Lord that the doctrine was correct. Joseph Bates was early pushing observance of the seventh day sabbath. He had considerable difficulty in convincing Mrs. White about this and she did not start keeping the seventh day until 1846 - two years after her first vision. The seventh day sabbath is probably the most important item of Seventh Day Adventist theology. Why wasn't this supposed 'great truth' revealed to her much earlier?
Joseph Bates had considerable reservations concerning Mrs. White's inspiration for quite sometime as she was rather slow to accept the seventh day sabbath doctrine. However he was finally convinced of her claims when he observed her having a vision about planets. During this she mistakenly describes the wrong number of moons for Jupiter. She did not mention the name Jupiter but Joseph Bates blurted out during the vision that she was seeing Jupiter. Her husband James White was also present and the three of them must have discussed the vision later. Mrs. White did not give any hint that the planet she saw might not be Jupiter. Adventists try to excuse this blatant error by saying that Mrs. White didn't call it Jupiter but Joseph Bates did. Joseph Bates was a sea captain and an astronomer, obviously he was very impressed by this vision.
When Ellen White said, "I see four moons", Joseph Bates excitedly said, "She is viewing Jupiter". It has long been known that Jupiter has many more moons than four but in those days it was believed that Jupiter did have four moons. Certainly God hasn't added extra moons since that time. Nor does it seem reasonable that God would give someone an erroneous vision to convince one man of a prophet's integrity. God would realize that many people later would examine the evidence and use this in part as a basis for their decision. I do not believe that God would use a lie to convince one man that she was truly having visions only to have that lie used later to convince many others that she is a false prophet.
One of her other visions on astronomy is rather humorous. "Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. There I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated." (Early Writings p. 940) The adjectives 'good, old,' are not really appropriate in describing Enoch. He was several hundred years old at the time of his translation but if we were to see him right now I don't really think he would look old. The term 'good, old Enoch' suggests that Mrs. White was talking about an old lost friend. I think she really outdid herself in this vision.
Mrs. White had a lot to say about entertainment and pastimes. You may be aware that Adventists are strictly forbidden 'worldly functions' such as movies, the circus, dances, and cards. They are not even allowed to read secular literature and the reading of novels is strictly forbidden. They must not wear make-up or jewelry and even wedding rings are forbidden! Of course many nominal Adventists don't want to know that these rules exist. If they do happen to find out they ignore them.
However others carry Mrs. White's counsel even further than she intended. I suspect some of them even refrain from voting. (Jehovah's Witnesses I believe refrain from voting) "There are amusements such as dancing, card playing, chess, checkers, etc. which we cannot approve because heaven condemns them". (The Adventist Home, p. 498) It is true that evil might develop from any pastime. Evil thoughts may occur when someone is trying to pray; evil might even develop in church. Some people may become trapped in these entertainments and almost anything can be overdone and can become sinful. Just because people get killed in car accidents is no reason for banning automobiles.
The Holy Spirit has not convinced me that it is sinful to have a game of checkers or chess, or to socialize with a group of people and have a good game of cards. There are many chess players in the Adventist Church who are not aware of this statement by Ellen White. I would say to them that they better stop playing chess at this point if they continue to believe that Ellen White is speaking on behalf of God.
We have already seen some of Mrs. White's attitude towards sex. God told Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth". (Genesis 1:18) By the way, the word replenish seems to be a poor translation as it implies that the earth was populated sometime previously. Anyway it doesn't seem that Mrs. White would want to allow anyone to enjoy this part of God's plan. She wrote; "When the passions are indulged, the blood, instead of circulating to all parts of the body, thereby leaving the heart and clearing the mind, is called in undue amounts to the internal organs. Disease comes as a result." (Counsels on Health p. 587) Mrs. White is not here talking about illicit sex. She is talking about a natural function,
a gift from God, intended for a multiplicity of purposes including procreation, pleasure, and to bind a man and woman together. Mrs. White sees intercourse as robbing the heart and brain of its blood supply and leading to disease. She doesn't appear to have enough faith to believe that God had looked after these complex details. This statement of course is nonsense.
The Victorian attitude was that the woman should give an appearance that she abhors sex. Women were expected to put off brutish husbands as long as possible and certainly were not ever to admit to enjoying sex. But God has indicated that this is not the way it is to be. "To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you'." (Gen. 3:16) Note the passage "your desire shall be for your husband".
God really does not set out a desired frequency for intercourse in the Bible. However, common sense would seem to indicate that sex can be overdone. Certainly in some marriages the withholding of sexual favors without just cause is sinful. Paul advised, "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." (Col. 3:18, 19)
In Ellen White's infamous/health book we find "Whoever indulges often, and weekly is often in wedlock or out of it, will experience an unnatural heat, tension, tenderness, irritation, swelling, perhaps soreness, in these organs, of course resulting from their inflammation". (A Solemn Appeal p. 50) From this passage we can infer that intercourse once a week, even between man and wife, will lead to disease.
It seems that sexual relations should be completely dispensed with during pregnancy. "The sexual passion is indulged during pregnancy, which causes the mother to transmit doubly of the direful ail to the offspring within her womb ... every orgasm expends of the mother's vitality a portion that should go to nourish and develop her babe. Very much of the weakness and lassitude experienced during pregnancy is due to the exhaustion consequent upon the sexual embrace, and the forming child must suffer from its effects: for the mother cannot impart what she does not herself possess, health and strength." (Solemn Appeal p. 23) There is no directive in the Bible to ban sexual relations during pregnancy.
Mrs. White was depending on visions from God for almost everything. "I have resolved not to engage in prayer for anyone unless the Spirit of the Lord should dictate in the matter." (Counsels on Health p. 619) She could not even use her own judgment concerning those who needed her prayers. Many of us would have been out of luck with Mrs. White as we would have been much too lowly to be worthy of her prayers. Following is a rather sickening note by Ellen White indicating just how full of herself she really was and also illustrating the above attitude.
"One Who Requested Prayer for Healing. - My husband and I once attended a meeting where our sympathies were enlisted for a brother who was a great sufferer with the phthisic. He was pale and emaciated. He requested the prayers of the people of God. He said that his family were sick, and that he had lost a child. He spoke with feeling of his bereavement. He said that he had been waiting for some time to see Brother and Sister White. He had believed that if they would pray for him, he would be heated. After the meeting closed, the brethren called our attention to the case. They said that the church was assisting them, that his wife was sick, and his child had died. The brethren had met at his house and united in praying for the afflicted family. We were much worn and had the burden of labor upon us during the meeting and wished to be excused. I had resolved not to engage in prayer for anyone, unless the Spirit of the Lord should dictate in the matter ...
That night we bowed in prayer and presented his case before the Lord. We entreated that we might know the will of God concerning him. All we desired was that God might be glorified. Would the Lord have us pray for this afflicted man? We left the burden with the Lord and retired to rest. In a dream the case of that man was clearly presented. His course from his childhood up was shown, and that if we should pray, the Lord would not hear us; for he regarded iniquity in his heart. The next morning the man came for us to pray for him. We took him aside and told him we were sorry to be compelled to refuse his request. I related my dream, which he acknowledged was true. He had practiced self-abuse from his boyhood up, and he had continued the practice during his married life, but said he would try to break himself of it. This man had a long-established habit to overcome. He was in the middle age of fife. His moral principles were so weak that when brought in conflict with in conflict with long-established indulgence, they were overcome ...
Here was a man debasing himself daily and yet daring to venture into the presence of God and ask an increase of strength which he had vilely squandered, and which, if granted, he would consume upon his lust. What forbearance has God! If He should deal with man according to his corrupt ways, who could live in His sight?
What if we had been less cautious and carried the case of this man before God while he was practicing iniquity, would the Lord have heard? Would He have answered?
This is not a solitary case. Even the marriage relation was not sufficient to preserve this man from the corrupt habits of his youth. I wish I could be convinced that such cases as the one I have presented are rare, but I know they are frequent." (Child Guidance p. 450-1)
Ellen White would have us believe that God, in a dream, directed her not to pray for this poor sinner. She records many ridiculous stories like this one. Her writings tend to become very nauseating. Consider some more of her rubbish.
"Frequent bathing is very beneficial, especially at night just before retiring, it takes a few moments to give the children a bath and to rub them until their bodies are in a glow. This brings the blood to the surface, relieving the brain, and there will be less inclination to indulge in impure practices." (Child Guidance p. 461)
"Having the clothing neat and clean will be one means of keeping the thoughts pure and sweet ... nothing of irritating character should touch the bodies of children nor should their clothing be allowed to bind them in anyway. If more attention were given to this subject, far less impurity would be practiced ... Idleness leads to the indulgence of corrupt habits. Industry does not wary and exhaust one-fifth part as much as the pernicious habit of self abuse". (Child Guidance p. 162)
"When the extremities which are remote from the vital organs, are not properly clad, the blood is driven to the head, causing headache or nosebleed; or there is a sense of fullness about the chest, producing cough or palpitation of the heart, on account of too much blood in that locality; or the stomach has too much blood, causing indigestion." (Child Guidance p. 426)
"I have been shown that persons of apparently good deportment not taking unwarrantable liberties with the other sex, were guilty of practicing secret vice nearly every day of their lives. They haven't refrained from this terrible sin even while most solemn meetings have been in session ... They were such slaves to this awful crime that they seemed devoid of power to control their passions". (Child Guidance P. 442)
Ellen White's visions and religious dreams, if she had any, were certainly preconceived notions and were consistent with the religious mentality of her day. We have already seen some examples of this particularly where she erroneously describes the Ten Commandments being written only on one side of the two stones. Another good example is her visions of Satan. We all have a mental picture of what the devil looks like. This most often consists of an ugly red man, with pointed ears, sharp barbed tail, and a pitch fork in his hand.
Notice Ellen White's description of Satan. "I was then shown Satan as he was, a happy, exalted angel. Then I was shown him as he now is. He still bears a kingly form. His features are still noble, for he is an angel fallen. But the expression of his countenance is full of anxiety, care, unhappiness, malice, hate, mischief, deceit, and very evil. That brow which was once so noble, I particularly noticed. His forehead commenced from his eyes to recede backward. I saw that he had demeaned himself so long, that every good quality was debased, and every evil trait was developed. His eyes were cunning, sly, and showed great penetration. His frame was large, but the flesh hung loosely about his hands and face. As I beheld him, his chin was resting upon his left hand. He appeared to be in deep thought. A smile was upon his countenance, which made me tremble, it was so full of evil, and Satanic slyness. This smile is the one he wears just before he makes sure of his victim, and as he fastens the victim in his snare, this smile grows horrible." (Spiritual Gifts Vol. 1, p. 27-28)
This description is really quite hilarious. Does she think anyone might believe that the devil really looks like that? We know that the devil can disguise himself in many different forms and I doubt that he ever uses the disguise as depicted by Ellen White. The devil took the form of a serpent when he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. We don't have any description of what he looks like when he appeared to Jesus in the wilderness and tempted Him after forty days of fasting. Paul does however give us a description of Satan. "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14) Surely Satan could deceive no one if he were to appear as Ellen White describes him. I wonder how many Adventists would admit to believing Ellen White's description of Satan?
Ellen White probably errs in a preconceived notion of Jesus' appearance also. Most of us have been lead to believe that Jesus was nailed to the cross through the palms of the hands. Ellen White certainly had this picture. "The wounds made by the nails gaped as the weight of His body dragged upon His hands." (Desire of Ages p. 6 71)
I can recall doing a Bible study of this subject in the Adventist Church. The pastor pointed out that the New Testament was originally written in the Greek language. He further explained that there is no word in the Greek language to correspond with the English word 'hand'. The Greek word in fact meant that part of the arm from the elbow down to the finger tips.
When considering the anatomy of the hand it is unlikely that a nail through the palm could support a man's weight. There is considerable evidence to suggest the nail was driven through the forearm just above the wrist between the two bones of the forearm. Ellen White saw the nail prints in the palm of the hand which is the customary belief. Had she seen the nail prints in the wrist area, this might have supported her claim to be a real prophet. Let me add however that there is no way I can be certain about this item.
The next topic concerns the widespread belief that Jesus actually sweat blood in the garden of Gethsemane. I have heard this topic many times from the pulpit of Adventist and non-Adventist Churches. I believe it comes from misinterpretation of the Bible. In Ellen White's rendition of this story she first quotes the King James version of this occurrence. "And being in agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the around". (Lk. 22:44) She goes on to say "He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow, ... a heavenly peace rested upon His blood stained face." (Desire of Ages p. 609, 610)
There are several contradictions to consider here.
First notice the words in the King James version; "Sweat was as it were great drops of blood". The words 'as it were' make it quite plain that a simile is being used here comparing large drops of sweat to large drops of blood. This no doubt was used to give an impression of how great the Lord's agony really was. The passage does not say that He sweat great drops of blood.
Comparing this passage in the Revised Standard version we find that the verse is left out of that translation. However it is included in a footnote indicating that other ancient authorities add verses 43 and 44. "And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven strengthening Him. And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground." (Lk. 22:43,44) In this translation the word 'like' is used to indicate that a simile is being utilized. There is no point in putting the word 'like' in there if He was actually sweating blood.
If Jesus actually did sweat blood it seems that this would be a very serious and dramatic event. However this description of His sweating is not even included in the other three gospels. It has occurred in the Gospel of Luke who was a physician. It is understandable how he might compare the agony of large drops of sweat to that of large drops of blood both indicating severe pain. And besides, Luke was not present.
Also notice that Ellen White indicated He had blood on His brow and a blood stained face. His disciples were sleeping a few feet away being unable to stay awake and pray. What would have been their reaction had Jesus wakened them and they noticed that His face was all bloody? Shouldn't at least one of the four gospels have indicated that they were horror stricken with His appearance?
With a bloody face standing before Pilate and Herod isn't it reasonable that one of them would have commented on it?
Adventists have found a learned physician who indicates that there is a disease where it is possible that a man may sweat blood. If that disease does exist, I don't think any of us would believe that Christ was suffering from that disease.
We are unable to understand the depth of our Lord's suffering in the garden of Gethsemane. However, to pervert the picture and try to make us think that He was sweating actual blood is unacceptable deception. It is just another example of Ellen White following pre-conceived opinion.
Fairly early in my course with the Adventist Church, a friend told me a few things Ellen White had predicted or talked about. One of these statements I recall was that she was the first to indicate that the function of the Nervous system depended on electrical currents. Being a doctor, this piece of information was fairly impressive. On reading Number book it became very obvious that she copied this idea from predecessors as she had all of her ideas.
Consider two examples from Numbers' book showing almost word for word copying by Ellen White from a predecessor, L. B. Coles.
|"Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system, lessens the strength of the vital powers, and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind." (E. White Testimonies 11 p. 347)||"Whatever mars the healthy circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system, lessens the strength of the vital forces, and through them, deadens the native susceptibilities of the soul. (L. B. Coles, Philosophy of Health p. 266-67)|
|"The sympathy which exists between the mind and the body is very great. When one is affected, the other responds (E. White Testimonies IV, p. 60)||"The sympathy existing between the mind and the body is so great, that when one is affected, both are affected. (L. B. Coles, Philosophy of Health p. 127)|
It sounds like I am repeating myself, doesn't it?
Well, it seems like this principle stated by Coles is pretty sound. Ellen White did copy some principles which are correct - but she still copied!
Why do I say Mrs. White did the copying? Coles' book was published in 1855 - - eight years before Ellen White's fantastic health vision 'from God'. These quotations from her pen were published after this health vision.
Her idea about vital force, a very interesting concept, was stolen from Coles. It is believed that this 'vital force' is drained off by masturbation and other sexual activities. This explains how this behavior leads to all the horrendous diseases we have talked about previously. As a true prophet, Mrs. White shouldn't have copied this idea of masturbation draining nervous vitality. That one doesn't look so good!
Another topic which impressed me considerably, being a smoker, was that Ellen White had indicated that smoking caused cancer. This friend of course lead me to believe as he believed; that Ellen White was the first to come up with this idea. Ellen White called tobacco a 'malignant poison' but did not really say it caused cancer. Anyway, scientists had noted previously that there was some relationship between the use of tobacco and cancer. She copied this idea from Coles too. I will not quote the comparable passages here. I must point out here that I am not condoning the foul habit of smoking.
In the mind of this particular friend and I'm sure in the minds of countless Adventists, Ellen White has been credited with many revelations that have actually been stolen from others. I hope my friend can recognize now how we were both lead astray.
Ellen White and Some More Erroneous Adventist Theology ˝
Adventists really have a conceited view of their position of favor with God and their function in these last days. They believe that they have been called by God, a chosen people to spread the last warning message before the second coming of Christ. In an attempt to prove that they are the right church they will point out that they are the only people that keep all the commandments, including the fourth, and that they have the gift of prophecy in their church. They also believe that Jesus cannot come until most of the people in the Adventist Church are pretty well sinless. It seems they spend a lot of time making one another feel guilty about not being sinless yet and therefore persistently putting off the Second Advent.
Adventists basically believe that they have been entrusted with the responsibility of getting three particular messages to the world in these latter-days. They refer to these as the 'Three Angels' Messages'; they are found in the book of Revelation. It is important to understand these teachings as ground word for discussion about the Sabbath day in a later chapter.
The first message is given in Rev. 14:6,7. This depicts an angel flying in heaven proclaiming the everlasting gospel, indicating the hour of God's judgment has come and calling everybody to worship God the creator. Adventist consider themselves to be this angel messenger. They believe that this message was proclaimed around the year 1844. At that time it was erroneously believed that Jesus would appear in glory for His second Advent. But when that did not occur, one of the faithful had a vision in a corn patch. This vision instructed him that the true meaning was that Jesus had entered the heavenly sanctuary to begin the task of judging Christians who were still living. When this judgment was over, apparently Christ was to return at that time. We have already considered this doctrine previously noting that one of the Adventists own top evangelists lost his preaching license because of his contradictory views of this topic. In review, he had indicated that no serious Christian could possibly believe that Jesus is sitting in heaven going through records to judge the performance of people currently living on earth.
The second angel's message consists of Rev. 14:8. Adventists again consider themselves to be this other angel giving the message, "Babylon is fallen is fallen." This message doesn't seem to be quite as clear cut as the first. It has been delivered by Adventists to the world for quite some time now. Adventists consider all other denominations as forms of false worship. They feet that only their church is eligible to be classified as true worship of God. The message really is that people should leave their churches when they find some error and flock into the Adventist Church which supposedly has all the truth. This second message really paves the way for the next which is considered much more important for Adventists.
The content of the so called third angel's message is very serious indeed and is really the basis of Adventist theology. Needless to say it has been strongly endorsed by Ellen White. This third message is recorded in the Bible as follows, "And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, if anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God's wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of His anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshippers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name." (Rev. 14:9-11)
In short Adventists believe that they are called to give a message to the world that the Pope is the beast spoken of in Revelation. They claim that his mark, that is the mark of the beast, is the observance of Sunday rather than the Old Testament sabbath, Saturday. They do a very convincing job in this department and I must confess that I swallowed this belief, hook, line and sinker for quite some time. This principle is studied and reinforced so often that almost anyone would believe it after hearing it that many times. However I do not claim that as my excuse for being taken in.
This passage gives the very strong warning that at some time in the future we will see a 'Beast' who will insist that people either worship him or God. There will be some method of telling how these people are divided into two classes by a 'mark'. This appears to be a rather final decision for those people living at that time and they must make a choice.
Adventists, and I must add, other denominations believe that the beast is represented by the papacy. There is considerable Biblical evidence supporting this view and perhaps we should go through some of that here. This is really an important subject as this passage quoted above carries with it one of the most serious warnings to be found in all the Bible. It is something we must not take lightly.
Let us first consider the so called number of the beast as it is depicted in the Bible and see if we can get anything from that. "This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is 666." (Rev. 13:18) Let me first point out that the number 6 is used in the Bible to denote imperfection as compared to the number 7 which always stands for perfection.
We look at people's names or titles and add the
numerical value of the letters of those names. We can find several names which add up to a
total of 666. Catholics apparently believe that Nero Caesar was the beast and that his
name adds up to 666, although I have never been able to discover how they arrive at that
conclusion. The Pope's official title is 'The Vicar of the Son of God'. It is inscribed in
Latin across the front of the papal crown. The Latin rendition is 'Vicarius Filii Dei'. As
you will see from the illustration, this name does add up to 666:
As an interesting aside it is rather remarkable that the prophetess of The Seventh Day Adventist Church also has a name which adds up to 666. Ellen Gould White is her complete name. As you can see from the illustration the letters also add up to 666. I am not suggesting we should consider Ellen White to be in the running as one of the possibilities for the beast. She just is not important enough to qualify for that position.
It is notable that whenever the term beast is used in the Bible it is used to denote a kingdom or nation. This is certainly true of the prophecies found in the book of Daniel in chapter 7. We find here described four great beasts. It appears that the subject we are currently discussing is represented as the fourth beast. It is described in verses 7 and 8. After the fourth beast comes a description which suggests the Second Advent of our Lord and His everlasting rule after that nine. "The four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most high shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, and ever." (Dan. 7:17-18)
Strictly speaking the papacy is not really a nation, kingdom or a great king. However I don't think this disqualifies him from the possibility of actually being the beast under consideration.
In the passage just under consideration describing the fourth beast we see a description, "A fourth beast, terrible and dreadful and exceedingly strong; ... it was different from all the beasts that were before; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things." (Dan. 7:7-8) Many Bible interpreters today do agree that the fourth beast represents the pagan Roman Empire. This empire did in fact break up into ten different kingdoms.
We read in verse 24 "As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings." It is pointed out that the little horn shall be different from the other ten and in several ways the papacy was quite different from the other ten nations. History also tells us that the papacy crushed three of these nations.
Let us carry on in Daniel 7:25. "He shall speak words against the most high, and shall wear out the saints of the most high, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hands for a time, two times, and a half a time." Interpreting this verse, Adventists will tell you that the pope has indeed in the past spoken great words and in fact the pope does claim some of the power which should be reserved for God alone. For instance he claims the power of modifying, explaining, and interpreting divine laws. He (and other priests) claim to have the power to forgive sin. When Jesus claimed to have this power the Pharisees accused Him of blasphemy as God alone can forgive sin.
Also from this verse we see the expression "He shall wear out the saints of the most high". Adventists claim this prophecy came true when the pope was responsible for widespread barbarous religious persecutions during the Dark Ages when many were put to death because of 'heresy'.
The phrase "think to change times and laws" is explained as the pope changing the sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday. Here the pope changes the time of the sabbath day and seems to fulfil this prophecy. A great deal of Adventist theology depends on the assertion that the pope changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. But as we shall see later this is just not true.
Adventists love to quote a question and answer given in a Catholic catechism. From this they insist that the Catholic Church admits that they were responsible for changing the day of worship.
Question: "Have you any other way of proving that the Catholic Church has power to institute festivals or precepts?"
Answer: "Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority."
We will see later that Sunday was being observed as the Lord's day long before the Catholic Church gave this particular claim.
Also in the last Biblical verse quoted there is a time period given in which the beast will persecute the saints. This time period is defined as "a time, two times, and half a time". After a rather complex manipulation, this time period can be calculated to be 1,260 years. Adventists claim that this time period began in 533 AD when the bishop of Rome became recognized as the Pope. However the pope did not exercise full authority until 5 years later in 538 when Justinian took the city of Rome from the Goths after considerable warfare.
Exactly 1,260 years later we find the French revolution in progress. France was considered by many to be the strongest supporter of the Roman Catholic Church but an Act of the French parliament actually decreed that God did not exist. In the year 1798, a French general marched into Rome and arrested Pope Pious VI. This pope died in exile and the great power wielded by the pope seemed to be diluted somewhat since that time. The papacy lost its great power over many European countries which it had enjoyed for many years. Around this time the papacy lost its great power and authority to persecute heretics and in fact the last executions occurred around 1775.
This brings us to the next point intended to describe the beast. In Rev. 13 we find a description of two beasts. One of these beasts seemed to suffer a mortal wound but recovered. "One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the beast with wonder". (Rev. 13:3) This wound is spoken of again in verse 12, "Whose mortal wound was healed" and again in verse 14, "The beast which was wounded by the sword and yet lived". This mysterious wound to the beast referred to in the Bible is explained by Adventists again on the basis of Pope Pious VI being taken prisoner by Napoleon's army. The pope died as an indirect result of this act of warfare which would seem to be signified by the word 'sword'. However, the papacy was immediately reestablished by election of a new pope in 1800. But the pope has never enjoyed the tremendous power he wielded prior to this historical event.
There are other Biblical passages which can be used to support the idea that the beast is represented by the papacy. There appears to be a lot of evidence incriminating the pope. I must confess to you that I am not certain how the Bible should be interpreted on this subject. At this time I reserve my judgment as to the real identity of the beast - - it might well be the pope.
In the foregoing, the Catholics have been taking quite a pounding from the Adventists. However Protestants should not feel too smug because they are not let off the hook. In fact, they play a great part in Adventist interpretations of the Bible. Revelation has a considerable warning about the "Image of the beast". Adventists believe that this term signifies the Protestant community which supports the Catholic practice of worshipping on Sunday.
The image of the beast is described in Rev. 13:11-17 and I will not go into it very deeply here. Suffice it to say that the image of the beast will insist that everyone receive the mark of the beast and those who don't will face execution. These are all very serious subjects but it is not my intention to study them particularly in this book. I do hope that these discussions will stimulate your exploring spirit so that you will open your Bible and study seriously, particularly the book of Revelation.
The major point I want to make in this chapter is the Adventist interpretation of "The mark of the beast". Adventists will try to convince you, with considerable success, that the mark of the beast involves the keeping of the sabbath day. They will point out that the pope has changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Since they consider the pope to be the beast, one shows his allegiance to the pope by worshipping on Sunday, whereas 'a true worshipper of God' will show his loyalty to the Creator by worshipping on Saturday. Superficially this seems to be a very foolish and even impossible doctrine. However, let me remind you that people are vulnerable for many different reasons. Adventist arguments to support this view can be extremely convincing. One should not study this subject lightly or simply out of curiosity. Without considerable guidance from the Holy Spirit, the student runs a high risk of being convinced of this Adventist doctrine. Let me point out that this is when the fanaticism really begins.
I must categorically say that I don't know what the mark of the beast is either. However I do feet certain that it does not represent observance of Saturday as opposed to observance of Sunday. The observance of a day in itself in fact becomes an idol. God has given us stern warning about worshipping idols.
Also we should consider the fact that Jews and other Christian sects observe the seventh day. According to Adventist arguments these people would not receive the mark of the beast but I don't think you will get any Adventist to agree that these other sabbath keepers belong to the 'true church'. However because they observe the seventh day they will not be subject to receiving the mark of the beast.
Adventists believe that sometime in the future a law will be passed by the 'beast', or the 'image of the beast', insisting that everyone keep the first day as the Sabbath day. Those who do conform to this edict will of course be deemed to have received the mark of the beast. Therefore Sunday keepers will be disloyal to God and Saturday keepers will run the risk of being executed by the civil authorities who passed the law in the first place.
Adventists have been watching for years to see this law appear. Anytime there is any 'persecution' against a Seventh Day Adventist for not wanting to work on Saturday, they immediately jump on this as evidence that this law is coming sometime in the immediate future. They in fact thrive on this type of persecution. Their lifestyle is built totally around the sabbath idol.
I wish I did know what the mark of the beast is so that I could avoid it in the future and be counted in God's camp. However I do have enough faith to trust that God will make this known to me at the appropriate time so that I can make the correct choice. Whatever the mark of the beast is, it is obvious that it is going to be very serious and difficult decision for all of us to make. If you discuss this in any depth with an Adventist they will be very careful to point out that you as a Sunday keeper really have not yet received the mark of the beast ... they don't want you to flee just yet.
However Ellen White in her writings is quite specific as to who has received the mark of the beast. "With the issue (the seventh day sabbath) thus clearly brought before them, whoever shall trample upon God's law to obey a human enactment receives the mark of the beast; he accepts the sign of allegiance to the power which he chooses to obey instead of God." (The Great Controversy, p. 530) "While one class, by accepting the mark of submission to earthly powers receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receives the seal of God." (p. 531) There is no doubt that Ellen White would believe that I have received the mark of the beast personally. Besides, since I have delivered the Adventists' third angel's message to you, that is the 'truth about the sabbath', then you will also receive the mark of the beast if you don't fall in line and start observing the seventh day sabbath.
This is where Adventists really get their high feelings. The fact that they are doing something that other people aren't, that is keeping the seventh day sabbath, they feel elevated above everyone else. They experience a false sense of security and counterfeit happiness. This legalism is responsible for their smug, self-righteous attitude which literally pours out of them. If you personally know any Seventh Day Adventists you will know exactly what I am talking about.....
If I have made a mistake, and future developments indicate that Saturday keeping versus Sunday keeping does turn out to be the mark of the beast, then I will have a chance to change my mind. Of course I do not believe that this will ever happen but I must remain alert to discover what the real mark of the beast is when it does appear. We all must remain alert and watch.
I just want to bring forth a couple of examples to show that Adventist interpretation of the book of Revelation is questionable to say the least. Going back to the Adventist so called second angel's message we read; "Another angel, a second, followed, saying, fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of her impure passion." I do agree that Revelation has a lot of symbolic phrases. Adventists feel that the word 'Babylon' stands for false religion in general. Their second message has already been proclaimed for quite some time. "The spirit of world conforming and indifference ... has gained ground in the churches of the Protestant faith in all the countries of Christendom; and these churches are included in the solemn and terrible denunciation of the second angel. But the work of apostasy has not yet reached its culmination." (Great Controversy p. 344) Any church but the Adventists' is considered by them to be practicing false worship. All other churches are counterfeit religion they say. Remember, they insist that they are the only true church!
Adventists fail to realize that perhaps Babylon means exactly what it says . . . the city of Babylon. They generally believe that Babylon was destroyed centuries ago never to be in existence again. But I have some interesting news for them.
There is a prophecy in the book of Isaiah concerning Babylon. "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, splendor and pride of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them. It will never be inhabited or dwelt in for all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there." (Isa. 13:19,20) It is a fact that Babylon was completely destroyed when invaded by the Medes and Persians. But notice that in the Biblical quotation above, God has pointed out that "It will never be inhabited or dwelt in for all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, etc."
Something very interesting is happening now. The city of Babylon is being rebuilt by the government of Iraq. This project is their national pride and all of the riches they are gaining from selling vast amounts of oil are being poured into restoring this city. It could well become the financial and commercial center of the world as is indicated in the book of Revelation.
To show you that the Iraqis are serious I quote you this interesting piece of news. "An archaeologist who is field engineer for the Iraqis government's Babylon restoration project, is resolved to change the slow pace of the work. For the last nineteen months, he has been running the excavation from a little office where he studies charts and sleeps most nights on an iron bed. 'We are trying to restore Babylon to the way it was, one of the seven wonders of the world.' He said 'Babylon is a special place, world civilizations spring from Babylon. It's worth all the attention we give it.' The Iraqis government is spending about six million dollars a year on a ten year project to explore the ruins scientifically, preserve as many as possible and restore them artificially when necessary with building materials similar to those used millennia ago. The effort flows from the increased pride and Iraqis nationalism fostered by President Hussein's Socialist Party rule and fuelled by an estimated 14 billion dollars this year in oil revenues. 'Not a million or two, but whatever we want, without limit.' In another reflection of Iraqis pride, the project has an entirely Iraqis staff - - the 750 workers along with more than 50 archaeologists and other specialists." Jerusalem Post, Nov. 15, 1979)
The aim of the Iraqis government is to restore Babylon to its original beauty and glory by the year 1982. This sets up the possibility of all predictions concerning Babylon in the book of Revelation to be fulfilled sometime in the near future. While Adventists are sitting around believing Babylon to represent false worship, the original city is in fact being rebuilt. A major part of their theology must go down the drain.
Let's look at another very interesting point concerning the city of Babylon. In the passage from Isaiah quoted above we note that "Babylon . . . will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them." What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? They were both destroyed by 'everlasting fire. That does not mean that the fire burned forever, but the resultant destruction of those cities is everlasting. They will never exist again according, to God's word. However note that Babylon did not meet this fate in its first destruction many centuries ago. Babylon did not burn up when it was over thrown by the Medes and Persians. God indicates to us that Babylon will be destroyed 'like Sodom and Gomorrah and that suggests that Babylon must burn up with fire. That has not happened so this Bible prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. It will be destroyed by fire next time!
Let us go back to the book of Revelation. It is necessary to read all of chapter 18 and the first part of chapter 19 to get the full details concerning Babylon. Let's look at a few important passages. "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, ... for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness. Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, come out of her my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities ... so shall her plaques come in a single day, pestilence, and mourning and famine, and she shall be burned with fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. Then the kings of the earth who committed fornication and were wanton with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, 'alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon!' In one hour has thy judgment come? And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of cold, silver, ... and in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth." (Revelation 18:2,24) Here we see a very livid description of total destruction of the city of Babylon by fire. Babylon is depicted here as being the financial capital of the world and the destruction of Babylon is mourned by kings and merchants who no longer can do business with her.
This revelation about Babylon is much different than the Adventist rendition and this one point alone almost totally destroys Adventist theology. If it is possible that they could be so wrong about one simple word, 'Babylon' in the Bible, imagine how wrong they could be about more complex abstractions such as the 'Beast' and his 'mark'. However we must remain very cautious, some of the teachings of the Adventists may be true and we will have to decide which ones.
Having the above knowledge about the new city of
Babylon, this certainly throws a pail of cold water on the Adventists' so called second
angel's message. How are they going to reconcile this? This has been a teaching of Ellen
White year after year. This illustrates the danger of following a false prophet. The mind
becomes closed forever concerning other possible interpretations of the Bible when a
hero's rendition is followed blindly.
Ellen White and the Jewish Temple
Adventists teach that the destruction of the Jewish temple in the year 70 AD was a final event. They insist that the Jewish temple can never be rebuilt. One Adventist publication tells the story of Julian, Emperor of Rome and his attempt to rebuild the temple in about 300 AD
This mighty ruler, with all the power of the civilized world at his command, failed to rebuild that temple. He under-took this project in an attempt to endear himself to the Jews and undermine the faith of Christianity. One of his biggest problems was the imagined threat that Christianity represented to the Roman Empire.
While trying to restore the ancient glory of the temple of Jerusalem, strange things happened. Horrible balls of fire kept breaking out around the foundations, making the project inaccessible to the workmen. The attempt to rebuild the temple was abandoned.
Justinian felt that by rebuilding that temple and strengthening the Jews in Jerusalem, he could disprove a Bible prophecy and discredit Christianity. "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled". (Lk. 21:24)
This prophecy has now been fulfilled! Jews are once again in control of Israel and Jerusalem after several hundred years absence, as was foretold in the Bible.
There is no prophecy saying the Jewish temple will never be rebuilt. In fact, the great synagogue is being rebuilt in Jerusalem now. It is expected to take seven years to rebuild it; the same time as it took to build the original Solomon's temple. Construction began July 1, 1974 and is slated for completion in 1981. (Janets note: this has not happened. I just came back from a tour of Jerusalem in May 99 and I saw no sign of any temple being rebuilt)
Now being aware that the Jewish temple is being rebuilt, this sets up exciting possibilities for more prophecy to be fulfilled in the near future. This again concerns an Adventist doctrine and is rather difficult to follow. Adventists rely heavily on the book of Daniel using the prophecies there to support their cause. One of the major Adventist doctrines involves the cessation of the sacrifice and oblation in the middle of the week, as a consequence of the power of anti-Christ. "And he (anti-Christ) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (seven years); and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Dan. 9:17 KJV)
Adventists look on this seven year period as the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. They claim this ministry was cut off in the middle of the week, that is after three and a half years when Jesus was crucified. At that time, according to Adventists, the animal sacrifices used by the Jews stopped forever.
It seemed like a very logical explanation to me when I went through this Bible study with them. It was really quite impressive. However thinking back on it there is no reason to believe that the Jews stopped their sacrifices the day Jesus was crucified. Jews have existed ever since that time and I would assume that their system of sacrifices persisted at least until the destruction of the temple some 35 years later. Anyway, it does not seem logical that the anti-Christ would 'confirm the covenant with many', if that included Jesus Christ.
We have already seen that the temple in Jerusalem is about to be completed. It is expected that the Jewish people will reinstitute their system of animal sacrifices. This certainly will not coincide at all with Adventist interpretation of the Bible.
There is a more reasonable interpretation of this prophecy in Daniel which is traditionally known as the 'Dispensational Interpretation of the Scriptures'. In short this suggests that anti-Christ will agree to a covenant with the people of Israel for a period of seven years which will give the land of Palestine to Israel as their everlasting possession. Despite confirming this covenant for seven years, the anti-Christ will actually break the covenant after three and a half years and cause the Jewish sacrifices and the oblation to cease again. This interpretation leaves this prophecy of Daniel to be fulfilled sometime probably in the near future. This is in direct contrast to Adventists theology which teaches that this prophecy has been fulfilled at the time of Christ. Of course Adventists could not possibly entertain this future possibility as they had already previously decided that the temple could never be rebuilt in Jerusalem and therefore there would never be any sacrifice to be cut off. Again we see how one error leads into another. These errors as usual are confirmed by the teachings of the false prophet, Ellen White.
To be fair about this topic I must quote the verse immediately preceding that quoted above. "And after the 62 weeks, an anointed one (the Messiah) shall be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the Prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed." (Dan. 9:26) This sentence does in fact talk about Jesus' crucifixion but this idea cannot be carried on into the next verse and be assumed to be the interpretation there as given by Adventists. The temple was destroyed a few years later by the Roman army. The fact remains that the sacrifice and offering will be cut off again at some time in the future.
In these two examples concerning Babylon and the Jewish temple, we see how Adventist theology has erred considerably. They maintain that these prophecies have been fulfilled in the past but we see that they are to be future events. Circumstances at this time, with the completion of Babylon and the erection of the Temple in Jerusalem, set the stage for the fulfillment of prophecies in God's word. It is all very well to be aware of these errors, but this knowledge should provoke a significant response from each of us. We are about to see all of God's prophecies fulfilled in our time ... possibly.
In studying chapters Luke 21 and Matthew 24 we will be convinced that very little is left to occur before the Second Advent. Closing events will occur very rapidly; as we have already seen, Babylon will be destroyed in one day, she will suffer her plagues in a single day. (This term single day may represent the period of one year as is customary in interpreting Bible prophecies using the day year principle) The lesson here is that we should heed the words of Jesus, "And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Lk. 21:27-28) He indicates that closing events will take place quickly. "When you see these things taking place, you know that the Kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place." (Luke 21:31-32)
Adventists traditionally translate the word 'generation' to mean the Jewish race. They indicate that many races have been wiped off the face of the earth but Jewish people will always exist until the Second Advent. A more reasonable translation of the word generation is exactly what it denotes. Jesus is really pointing out that when the signs at the end of time begin to occur, they will all be fulfilled and happen within a time period of one generation.
We need only to look around us to become awesomely aware of Jesus' words; "As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, ... they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." (Mt. 24:37-39) How many of us will be prepared? - - a very sobering question.
The Question of the Sabbath Day ˝
We have seen how important the Sabbath day is in the foundation of Adventist theology. Should Christians be keeping the seventh day Sabbath? Adventists obviously feel very strongly on this point and believe that they have been called by God to give this message to the world in preparing people for the second coming of our Lord. If Adventists are so serious about this particular doctrine, I feel it is only fair that other Christians consider the question.
Adventists no longer place full page advertisements in the newspaper indicating that those who do not keep the seventh day Sabbath have the mark of the beast. This is a tactic they used many years ago; but apparently they found it was not very successful in drawing people into their church and therefore it was abandoned. For persons who have never before heard the Sabbath argument, it is quite an impressive Bible study; most Adventists can do a pretty professional job with this subject. They give you the feeling that this 'truth' has been kept from you all your life and you may go away with the feeling that your church, and maybe even your family, have been lying to you about the important Sabbath day and wondering why they have never told you about it. This subject becomes very emotional and Adventists certainly know how to use emotional appeal in getting their message across.
In this book I have not used many of the standard arguments of other critics against the Sabbath day. Some of these are really not very impressive and Adventists can very easily nullify them. In the hope of retaining some credibility with honest Adventists I have left them out, even though they would make sense to non-Adventists.
Having shown so forcefully that Ellen White is a false prophet, in itself is a strong argument against the Sabbath day. Ellen White of course was one of the main figures in the establishing sabbatarianism in the Adventist Church. We have already seen that we cannot trust what Ellen White stands for. Any doctrine which is not consistent with the mainstream of the Christian theology should be regarded with great suspicion. Needless to say we must be even more careful when it is supported by Ellen White.
First I would like to explode a few of the ancillary arguments used by Adventists to support the Seventh Day Sabbath doctrine. I have heard some of these arguments so many times I have come to realize they are just cliches. It is very easy to get caught on any, or all of them unless the principle is thought through carefully and prayerfully.
One of the most impressive arguments for me was the fact that Jesus said, "Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath". (Mt. 24:21) This quotation is taken from the middle of the 'Second Coming Chapter'. Prophecies found in this chapter seem to apply to the destruction of Jerusalem which was to occur in 70 AD. They also apply to the second advent of Christ.
Adventists will indicate to you that people here are keeping the sabbath day 35 to 40 years after the death of Jesus Christ. They reason that no one should be keeping Sunday at that time if Jesus indicates that they would be in trouble if they had to flee the city of Jerusalem on the sabbath day. Gates to the city of course were closed on the sabbath day, making it difficult for people to escape the city. However I think we all must understand that Jesus knew what would happen in the future. He knew that all Jews would not be converted to Christianity; that a large number would continue with their long standing beliefs and would not recognize Him as the Messiah even after His crucifixion. So they would obviously continue to keep the sabbath day; the rules about closing the gate would still be in effect, and Jesus was simply warning that it would be difficult to escape the city with closed gates on a sabbath day. There certainly is no command here to keep the seventh day sabbath. I think this Adventist argument really doesn't carry much weight in the light of this explanation.
Another point which Adventists work to death to support the seventh day sabbath is the idea that God never changes. They say that His laws never change, and that it is unthinkable that God should be inconsistent as we understand it. The Bible texts they use for this idea are rather interesting. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and to-day and forever". (Heb. 13:8) I certainly have no argument with this passage from the Bible but there is no indication here that God is limited by what we think He should or should not do. There is no indication here that God cannot do any specific thing such as change the law or a requirement. This verse is just a reassurance to us that Jesus Christ remains constant. It should instill security in His followers since He is 'the Rock'. It is important to note that this reassuring statement about Jesus Christ is followed by a warning not to follow those who teach that items of the diet have something to do with our salvation. We have already studied this passage in detail previously.
God reassures the Psalmist David with the following words; "I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips." (Ps. 89:34) This is another statement used to support the belief that God does not change any of His laws. In studying this passage in context we find that God has made a specific promise to David whom He has anointed King. God reassures David that He will not go back on any promises He made to him or his subjects, the Israelites. We will soon see that God does in fact change from one covenant to another, and that He even changes rules within a specific covenant.
Another passage used out of context by Adventists is: "Behold, I received a command to bless: He has blessed, and I cannot revoke it" (Num. 23:20) Here we find Balaam indicating to Balak, King of Moab, that he cannot follow his wish to curse the Israelites who have camped in the land of Moab. Balaam is simply reminding him that God has commanded him to bless and not curse the Israelites. Balaam cannot reverse this commandment. Adventists take too much license in using this passage out of context as if God had spoken these words to indicate that He could never change anything - they apply it to the sabbath.
David also says of God: "The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy, they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprighteousness." (Psalms 111:7,8) The old King James version seems even stronger in saying "All His commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever". We find in the next verse an even more forceful phrase; "He hath commanded His covenant forever." These quotations seem fairly impressive in insisting that God's commandments or covenant will never change. This passage must have some other specific meaning in the context given as we know that God does change commandments and He does change covenants. This appears to be a contradiction in the Bible. I would rather consider it something that I just can't quite understand at this point. I am realistic enough to be aware that God is not going to allow me to understand everything. I will just have to ask Him for the faith to carry on despite these seemingly obvious contradictions.
First let us look at covenants. God made a specific Covenant with the Jewish people which consisted of a set of laws and rules which were to be kept in the spirit of pointing ahead to the coming of a Saviour. I think we can all agree that with the first advent, a New Covenant was established and if some of the rules were not changed, there was really no point in making a New Covenant. This New Covenant is spoken of often in the New Testament, the following is an example. "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." (1 Cor. 11:25) The New Covenant is the spilling of Christ's blood to cover our sins so we need not suffer the judgment of eternal damnation. This in fact is the basic message of the gospel. The Old Covenant had consisted of following rules and rituals, sacrificing animals whose blood was to remind people of the Saviour to come who would pay the price for their sins. It is a basic element in God's plan that one covenant be changed for another. God did change His covenant!
Does God change commandments? I intend to point out only a few of the commandments which have been changed in the Bible. In the first book of the Bible we find God making a covenant with Abraham. Notice that God had not made this arrangement with previous people; neither Adam, Enoch, nor Noah. Also notice that there is no indication of a command to keep a seventh day sabbath to any of these including Abraham. "When Abraham was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abraham and said to him. 'I am God Almighty, walk before Me, and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.' Then Abraham fell on his face; and God said to him, 'Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of multitude of nations ... and I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you ... this is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you; every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised; every male throughout your generations ... so shall My covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant?" (Gen. 17:1-14) We see from this passage that Abraham and his descendants were to be circumcised. God called this 'an everlasting covenant'.
The word everlasting here, must not have the connotation we usually apply. It does not mean forever and ever or without end. The study of the meaning of this word in itself is a very complex study. Suffice it to say that the ritual of circumcision was ended by God's authority with the New Covenant.
The controversy about circumcision is discussed in Acts 15. 'Here we see a council of the apostles considering this question and giving this advice; "Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood." (Acts 15:19,20) This pronouncement was made under the influence of the Holy Spirit to a charge made by some of the Jewish Christians that Gentiles being converted to Christianity should follow the laws set down by Moses. "But some believers who belong to the party of the Pharisees rose up, and said, 'it is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses'." We see here that Gentiles do not have to follow the practice of circumcision when becoming Christian. We should also notice carefully the words of the Pharisees who insisted that they keep the law of Moses. From the answer of the council as spoken by James, it is very obvious that Gentile Christians did not have to follow the law of Moses. Let us be aware here also that the seventh day sabbath is part of the law of Moses.
In the previous example we have seen how rules changed from one covenant to another. Next we will see how God in fact changed rules while under the same covenant. We are all quite aware that Jews at the time of Moses were allowed to divorce their wives for almost any reason. When Jesus spoke about marriage He indicated that divorce could not occur for any reason except adultery. This was somewhat of a change in the rules and Jesus indicated the reason for that. He pointed out that divorce had been allowed previously and told them the reason for that. "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you; whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery." (Mt. 19:8-9) The Israelites were God's chosen people, they were corrupted by their many years of slavery in Egypt. God realized that they would not tolerate His original plan concerning marriage and softened His rules for a time to adjust for this. Later He raised the standards back to where they had been in the beginning.
Another interesting example of God changing rules within the framework of the same covenant concerns revenge. At the time of Moses one was to exact an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth but Jesus changed this to the dismay of the legalists of His day. "You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Mt. 5: 38,39) As slaves in Egypt I suspect the Jews would pay back an injury by killing the offender. As a step towards reform at the time of Moses, God insisted on an eye for an eye but not a life for an eye. At the time of Jesus the Israelites were expected to have progressed even further to the point where they would accept injury and forgive rather than demanding revenge. Here we see God changing His rules as circumstances allow and actually insisting on improvement, of interpersonal relationships from one generation to another.
Adventists also like the passage, "Forever, oh Lord, Thy word is firmly fixed in the heavens." (Ps. 119:89) Adventists like to equate the term 'word' with 'commandment'. We have already seen that God does change commandments depending on circumstances. We have also seen that the word forever is not used by God in the sense that we understand that word. If someone were to give you his word, you would take this to mean that this person had made a promise to you. It certainly could not be construed to mean that person would never change any of his rules or ways of doing things. They are completely different concepts. As we have already seen God does change His commandments. We cannot go along with the interpretation the Adventists would like us to have from this verse.
An interesting promise that God did give to man which he will keep is found in the story of Noah following the flood. "I establish my covenant with you that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth ... I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. When I bring my clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh." (Gen. 9:11, 13-15) This is an example of God giving His 'word' as a promise we can count on forever. God makes many promises by His word in the Bible and this is the source of great support for all of us during gloomy times of trouble.
There are many other examples where God changes rules, laws and rituals. We have seen that He even changes covenants. He expects certain things from a Jew that He doesn't expect from a Gentile. We will study this point in more detail but the message I want to leave at this point is that God does change laws. The Adventist argument to the contrary is just not true. The old cliche that God never changes cannot be employed to insist that everybody, everywhere, at all times, should be keeping the seventh day sabbath.
The sabbath doctrine as espoused by Adventists depends on considerable repetition of the word 'remember'. This word is used with great effect to arouse emotions concerning the sabbath day. Adventists will ask you how you can forget when God has asked you to remember the sabbath day. They quote the fourth commandment as often as possible; "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is the sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it". I must admit to you that I was very impressed by this argument and it was quite forceful in convincing me to try to keep the seventh day sabbath.
But I would like to use this argument on Seventh Day Adventists. You people who stress the word 'remember', please consider God's institution of the Passover. "The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs in the evening. Then they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it ... It is the Lord's Passover ... You shall observer this rite as an ordinance for you and for your sons forever. (Ex. 12:6,7,8,11,24), 'Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage, (Ex. 13:3)
I now put the question to you Adventists. Do you people keep the Passover? God has asked you to remember it forever and ever. Do you not agree that the Passover ordinance was ended with the death of Christ? Why should you feel the word remember has a different meaning when applied to the seventh day sabbath than when it is applied to the Passover? Surely you must see that your argument involving the word remember cannot carry any authority. As Adventists, you are very careful about the meaning of words like forever and everlasting. I feel you must add the word remember to that same list.
Another passage used by Adventists with great effect to bolster the seventh day sabbath is; "Thy name, oh Lord, endureth forever; and Thy memorial, oh Lord, throughout all generations." (Ps. 135:13 KJV) Somehow they pervert this verse, particularly the word memorial, and insist that it refers to the seventh day sabbath. Looking at this verse in the Bible there are a few words in italics which were not present in the original manuscript but have been added to make smooth reading in English. If these italicized words are removed, we read this passage as; "Thy name, oh Lord, forever; Thy memorial, oh Lord, throughout all generations." With this rendition of the verse there is no doubt that God is saying that His name is the memorial.
As further proof that Adventists have perverted this verse for their own end let us consider God's name. When Moses was commissioned by God to confront Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go, Moses was afraid no one would believe him. He wanted to know what to tell Pharaoh and the people of Israel when they asked who had sent him. Some or the conversation is as follows. "And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am; and He said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am has sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, hath sent me unto you; this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." (Ex. 3:14,15 KJV) God's memorial then is His name, not the seventh' day sabbath.
As a bit of diversion here it is interesting to note that Jehovah's Witnesses stress God's name and this is one of the most obvious peculiarities of that cult. They feel it is all-important to publicize the name of God as Jehovah. There is considerable evidence to suggest that His name is, in fact pronounced, Yahweh. The Adventist cult on the other hand, feel that the all-important feature is to publicize the seventh day sabbath. For one group, the name of God becomes their idol; for the other group the seventh day sabbath becomes the idol.
Adventists also use the following passage with considerable effect. "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men." (Mt. 15:8,9) They like to extend this passage to try to cover the sabbath day. They would like everyone to believe that they are worshipping on Sunday due to a commandment from the pope. They attempt to get at Protestants this way, trying to arouse guilt feelings about not keeping God's commandments but following the dictum of the pope.
When Jesus spoke these words there is no doubt the sabbath day was still in effect. These words were directed at the Pharisees who were trying to pervert God's law concerning the commandment "Honor your father and your mother". These people were using the excuse that they had given so much of their money to God that they no longer had to carry the responsibility of looking after their parents. Jesus pointed out that they were warping God's laws and indicated that Isaiah had prophesied this would happen. This passage has absolutely nothing to do with the Sabbath day. Protestants do not follow the commandments of the pope in worshipping on Sunday.
Another little untruth Adventists would like us to believe is that God gave all His commandments in the garden of Eden, including the sabbath day, and that everybody from that time has been expected to follow these commandments. They make the assumption that everybody followed the sabbath from creation when they quote this Bible passage. "And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it because on it God rested from all His work which He had done in creation." (Gen. 2:2,3) The word sabbath is not used here and nowhere is the commandment found to keep the sabbath until the Israelites are in the desert on the way to the promised land.
We read the stories of many just men up to the time of Abraham who did not keep the sabbath. From Abraham came the Jewish race and we read the stories of many famous Jews including Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and there is no indication that any of these Jews kept the sabbath day.
In the book of Nehemiah we see God being praised for the things He has done for the Jewish people. "Thou didst come down upon Mount Sinai, and speak with them from heaven and give them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, and Thou didst make known to them Thy holy sabbath and command them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses thy servant". (Neh. 3:13,14) Here it is indicated that God made known to the Jews the idea of the seventh day sabbath. This presupposes the fact that the Jews did not know about this before. It is true that they were given an example of the sabbath day shortly before that in the story of manna from heaven which did not fall on the sabbath day. But it seems that the Hebrews did not know about this sabbath day when they were slaves in Egypt.
Adventists would have us believe that people like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc. knew about and kept the seventh day sabbath. Over the period of 400 years of slavery in Egypt would the Hebrews really forget about or lose the tradition of the sabbath day? They would no more forget the sabbath than the Jews over the last couple of centuries during their terrible persecutions. It is quite obvious from this passage that even Jews did not keep the sabbath day until they were freed from Egypt.
Another passage which supports this notion is the sabbath day commandment as it appeared in a repeat list of the ten commandments in Deuteronomy. "You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out thence with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day." (Deut. 5:15) Here God tells the Jews they are to keep the sabbath day to remember His freeing them from bondage in Egypt. Again it appears from this passage that the Jews knew nothing about the sabbath day prior to their exodus from Egypt.
Adventists however will argue that God gave another reason for keeping the sabbath day when he gave the sabbath commandment in Exodus. Here it seems the Jews were to keep the sabbath day to remember that God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. But you Adventists must also accept the other reason, to commemorate the release from slavery in Egypt. The commandment in Exodus in no way indicates that the sabbath day commandment had been given previously and the commandment in Deuteronomy does indicate when and why the sabbath day commandment was given.
Shortly after the sabbath commandment was given we find God being very angry that His sabbath day had not been kept. Consider the following passage describing how God dealt with those Jews who would not keep His sabbath day commandment. "Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not executed My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes and profaned My sabbath, and their eyes were, set on their fathers' idols. Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; and I defiled them through their very gift in making them offer by fire all their firstborn, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the Lord." (Ezekiel 20:23-26)
Even from the beginning when God gave the sabbath day commandment He had terrible difficulties with the Jews not keeping it. Throughout the rest of the Old Testament we see God bringing this to their attention that they had not been keeping His sabbath. In this particular instance God even indicates that He gave them some laws that were not good and some ordinances by which they could not have life. This seems to be pretty stem judgment on the Jews for not keeping the sabbath day. God was obviously very serious about this item.
Isn't it rather strange that we see no pronouncements against anybody for not keeping the sabbath day prior to the book of Exodus? If the sabbath day was a requirement previously, why did God not mention it in His judgment against the people just before the flood? He mentioned all kinds of sins at the time of Noah and certainly He would have included the profaned sabbath days if they did exist at that time. This is a forceful argument that the requirement to keep the seventh day sabbath did not exist prior to the Jews delivery from Egypt.
One whole book of the Bible is devoted to a very righteous man of ancient times. The book of Job is a very encouraging story of a good man who kept all of God's commandments. Throughout the book Job insists on his innocence. I do not mean to imply that Job never sinned, but he obtained salvation somehow through faith. I just want to point out here that there is no indication that Job kept the sabbath day. Isn't it rather strange that none of the important Bible characters prior to Moses, righteous men used by God as examples for us, do not give us an example of keeping the sabbath day?
If Adventists do claim that the sabbath was binding on all of God's servants after the time of the Jews let us consider another specific character. Whenever we hear the name of King Nebuchadnezzar we may picture him as a heathen ogre. He certainly did a lot of rotten things to the Israelites after he had conquered them and dragged them off to Babylon. But consider God's feelings towards this heathen king who would enslave the Jews. "I will send for all the tribes of the north, says the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant." (Jer. 25:9) God calls him 'My servant'. If we look up other people who have been given this title by God we find included in company Abraham, Moses, Job, Jacob and others.
Nebuchadnezzar is grouped with some pretty impressive servants of God. This king of course was quite close to Daniel and the other Hebrew princes. He certainly was aware of Jewish law and the commandment to keep the sabbath day. There is no evidence that Nebuchadnezzar kept any of the Jewish laws or rules and in particular no evidence that he kept the sabbath day. God however referred to him as His servant. It seems that Gentiles, even during the period of the Old Testament Covenant were not obliged to keep Jewish law to be saved. This to me is a very strong indication that you and I do not have to keep the seventh day sabbath.
There is an example of one that we should follow. Jesus is the example and Adventists like to extend that principle to the sabbath day also. They point out that Jesus kept the sabbath day and claimed that He was Lord of the sabbath. This is all very true but Jesus was a Jew, and as such, He was required to keep all of the law of Moses. This included the sabbath day, the passover, circumcision, annual sacrifices, and all the other rituals of the law. It was His duty to do this, fulfill the law and remain sinless so that the sacrifice of one who was innocent would be acceptable to pay the penalty for all of us who are guilty. Of course Jesus kept the sabbath, the Old Covenant was in force during His lifetime and His death ushered in the New Covenant.
We do have another indication in the Bible that the sabbath day law in fact did not exist from the time of Adam. In chapter 3 of Galatians we find Paul discussing the fact that salvation is obtained by faith and not by works of the law. This of course is the principle rediscovered by Martin Luther which ignited the Protestant reformation. Luther, a Catholic priest, could no longer go along with the Catholic requirements that he had to work off his sins by continual prayers and fasting in the form of penance. A feeling of overwhelming futility overcame him when he realized that no amount of his penance could pay off his many horrible sins. His peace with God came when he was allowed to recognize the truth of the gospel. Salvation is a free gift from God. Jesus Christ has already paid the penalty for our sins, and we cannot work our way into heaven by doing good deeds, penance, and fasting. Good works of course must flow from our love for God and our neighbor; after we realize that God Himself has paid the penalty and given us eternal life. Good works flow from a thankful heart, they do not bribe God to let us into heaven.
This seems like a natural place to point out the difference between basic Catholic and Protestant theologies but that is really not the point I want to make here. In the middle of the chapter we find Paul specifically talking about Abraham and he says "The law, which came 430 years afterwards does not annul the covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void." It is not really important for our purposes as to what point Paul was making here. But it is important that he indicated the time in history when the law was given. He points out that it was 430 years after Abraham and that coincides with the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. This certainly demolishes the Adventist belief that the sabbath day commandment was given in the Garden of Eden.
There is the mistaken idea that one must keep the sabbath day holy. Not only have Catholics and Protestants traditionally worshipped on Sunday rather than Saturday but there is no attempt whatever to keep Sunday 'holy'. Not only has the institution of the seventh day sabbath disappeared but also the requirement that you keep one special day holy. It must be realized that anyone is quite free to worship on any day he chooses. In no way is he under any obligation to follow all the Old Testament rules such as sabbath keeping as was required of the Jews. We will have more to say about this subject a little later.
Not only do Adventists use the argument that Jesus kept the sabbath but they insist that the apostles following Jesus resurrection kept the sabbath day. Of all the places the commandments are listed in the New Testament, not once is it indicated that the seventh day sabbath must be kept. We can find all of the other commandments in different places and in fact, some new commandments which Jesus gave, but never is there a command that one must legally keep the sabbath day.
Another Bible passage getting a lot of overwork from Adventists in supporting their seventh day sabbath theory certainly is taken out of context. "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me says the Lord; so shall your descendants and your name remain. From new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me says the Lord." (Isa. 66:22-23) Adventists will tell you that these verses give evidence that the sabbath day will be kept when God has created new heavens and a new earth.
Just by reading this Bible passage it is evident that God does not mean what Adventists say He means. God is simply stressing the fact that the Jewish race shall never become extinct. The people of Israel will survive just as surely as it is a fact that God will make new heavens and a new earth. The last part of the quotation concerning "From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath" can in no way be taken to mean that a sabbath day will be in effect in the new earth. If Adventists insist on this interpretation they will have to agree that new moons will be celebrated in the new earth also. I am sure they are quite willing to admit that celebration of new moons ended at the cross. Why must they insist that the sabbath day was not ended at the cross? Why can't they show some consistency?
There is another Bible passage which gives a completely contradictory idea as to what Adventists would have us believe from the above quotation. Needless to say I have not heard any Adventists going around quoting this piece from the Bible. "And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts." (Hos. 2:11) I suspect Adventists would try to get out of this one by saying that here God has used the word sabbaths, the plural form, and that it couldn't possibly mean the sabbath day. I must say that I could not buy that argument.
Throughout the time of the Old Covenant, God had to remind His people again and again that they must keep the sabbath holy. I don't think any other commandment is repeated so often in the Old Testament, but it is never mentioned in the New Testament. Let's just consider a few passages indicating how God felt about Jews keeping His sabbath day. "Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath and the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they have become a burden to Me, I am weary of bearing them." (Isa. 1:13,14) "But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes but rejected My ordinances, by whose observance man shall live; and My sabbaths they greatly profaned." (Eze. 20:13) "What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the sabbath day? Did not your fathers ask in this way, and did not our God bring all this evil on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath." (Neh. 13:17,18) It seems God was very distressed at how His chosen people the Israelites were polluting His sabbath day.
At the time of Jesus, there were so many legalities to be kept in relation to the sabbath day that people were unable to bear them. If we may think of God in such terms, I feel that He was considerably relieved when the institution of the sabbath day was ended so that it could no longer be profaned. Of course that is a major point of doctrine of standard Christian denominations: the fact that the sabbath ended with Jesus' death on the cross.
Adventists would like us to believe that the sabbath day was so taken for granted during the time of the New Testament that the commandment to keep it did not have to be repeated there. In the Old Testament God has indicated His disfavor at His people's not keeping the seventh day sabbath. The commandment is given over and over, time and again for emphasis. Surely the people after the New Testament were no more Godly than the Jews prior to the New Testament time. If they couldn't keep the sabbath day before, they certainly were not going to miraculously keep it now. It seems logical that God would have to upbraid them continually and remind them repeatedly, even in the New Testament, if He intended that the seventh day sabbath be kept. But, I repeat, the commandment to keep the sabbath day holy is not given in the New Testament despite the other moral commandments being listed many times.
Adventists really do make a big deal of the idea that the sabbath commandment is part of the moral law as compared to the ceremonial law. It is quite true that the Sabbath commandment is found with the other nine commandments. However, on a study of Numbers 28 and 29, a lot of ceremonial law is given and considerable emphasis is given to the sabbath day there. None of the moral law is listed in these requirements so why should we expect the seventh day sabbath to be pushed there if it is truly just part of the moral law. The sabbath here is depicted as being part of the ritual and ceremony.
Not only was the principle of loving your neighbor rather foreign to the Jewish people, but can you imagine the dismay of the Jews when Jesus commanded that they should also love their enemies. "But I say to you that hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." (Lk. 6:27,28) These principles were completely opposite to what the Jews had been told in Old Testament times.
They were not to associate at all with people of other races and we see God rebuking Jews time after time for not following His advice. Of course outsiders were allowed to be taken into the system of Judaism, but in no way were Jews to compromise and drift toward customs of other races. This in fact was King Solomon's great sin. He married women not belonging to the Jewish race. Time after time it was outsiders who polluted the Jewish system and got the Jews into great difficulties with their God. But at the time of Jesus we see this principle is no longer in effect. Jesus offers salvation to all, including Gentiles, and Paul the greatest evangelist of all times was specifically commissioned to take the message to the Gentiles. Yes God made a lot of changes with the New Covenant and nowhere do we see any emphasis put on the seventh day sabbath.
Whenever we do see Jesus concerned with the sabbath day in the stories of the gospels, it is almost always under the same circumstance. The Scribes and Pharisees and other enemies were always trying to catch Jesus breaking the law of the sabbath day. They became very angry when Jesus cured a man with a withered hand on the sabbath day. His enemies were extremely critical when the disciples, walking through the wheat fields, reaped some grain and ate it.
Jesus made a big point in indicating to them that the sabbath day had been so perverted, that the Jews were being required to serve the sabbath day rather than the sabbath day being a blessing or service to the people. Jesus did considerable name-calling and particularly indicated that these people were hypocrites. "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for 18 years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? (Lk. 13:15,16)
Let's look at a few more passages concerning love. "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Gal. 5:14) "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments you shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and any other commandment are summed up in this sentence, 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." (Rom. 13:8-10) The message is very clear from these verses. Under the new covenant we fulfill all of the moral law by loving our neighbor. There is no indication here that we must keep the seventh day sabbath. Keeping a day has nothing to do with loving your neighbor.
Some might say that these Bible passages do not sum up the whole law. They might say it leaves out the part about loving God. This is because those people do not understand the Bible principle. It is a basic prerequisite that one love God before he can love his neighbor. God gives the gift of love to us and it is very obvious that the two objects of love, God and neighbor, are inseparable. It would be superfluous really to add that you must love God. Of course these two great commandments are given elsewhere in the Bible.
To you Adventists I would question your love for your neighbor. Despite admonitions by Paul not to judge someone else concerning items of diet, or days of worship, you must admit that this is the main thrust of all you do in your church related activities. You claim to be keeping the law of God by observing the seventh day sabbath. What happened to the real requirement of God's law about loving your neighbor? It seems you do not have your priorities straight.
Be assured that God does know what He is doing. God does recognize that there will always be people around like the Seventh Day Adventist cult insisting that we keep Jewish laws, including the seventh day sabbath. This concern was so great to God that He immediately raised up a special man to take care of the problems soon after Jesus established the New Covenant. God knew that He would have to fight fire with fire. He picked Saul of Tarsus who of course is better known as Saint Paul.
This man had been raised in the Jewish schools, he was well acquainted with the law of Moses and the scriptures available to him at that time. Most likely he himself was a Pharisee and he had a fairly high position in the established Jewish church of that day. He was a self admitted hater of Christians and had a burning desire to capture and kill as many Christians as possible.
Paul was present with the crowd of Jews who stoned Stephen. He was the main figure in the murder of Stephen and it is important to realize that Paul is recorded in the Bible as being guilty of the blood of this first Christian martyr. "They cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, Lord do not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this he fell asleep. And Saul was consenting to his death." (Acts 7:58-60)
We know and are thankful that Stephen's courageous prayer was heard and answered by God. "Lord do not hold this sin against them." This terrible sin of Paul's was to be reconciled by the blood of Christ, as my sins and yours can be. God had very important plans for Paul despite the fact that he was a vile and vicious sinner. Knowing what each of us knows about ourselves, doesn't that offer tremendous hope?
Paul again had murder in his heart on the road to Damascus but God was to change all that. Jesus appeared as a bright light which blinded Paul. We all know the story of Paul's conversion and how he was conscripted into God's service. Paul was to do all of God's bidding despite knowing His terrible earthly fate. "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." (Acts 9:15-16)
So God chose Paul, a Jew, a learned expert on the law of Moses; and Jewish traditions. He was to use Paul particularly to protect Gentiles from ardent Jews whom He knew would certainly add heavy Jewish burdens to the new Christians. He used a Jew to fight against Jews; He used one well versed in the law to protect against the law.
Paul did not have an easy time of it either. His writings attest to this fact. Witness some of the things Paul suffered and notice how much came directly from his own people, the Jews. Here Paul is actually comparing himself to false apostles who claim to be speaking for Jesus Christ and apparently were Jews. These false apostles were boasting to impress people so Paul insisted that he do a bit of boasting too. "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one --- I am talking like a madman --- with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure." (2 Cor. 11:22-27) These troubles listed by Paul tend to make ours seem very small indeed. A lot of his misery came from his own people, the Jews. They were obviously trying to pervert Christian teaching with the laws of Judaism and Paul was always on the alert for this problem.
Consider some other Bible passages showing how the Jews persecuted Paul. Also keep in mind that this is exactly the way Paul had been treating Christians previously. "And when the meeting at the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts of Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitude, they were filled with jealousy and contradicted what was spoken by Paul, and reviled him. And Paul and Bamabas spoke out boldly, saying, it was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you, since you thrust it from you, . . . we turn to the Gentiles ... and when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of God . . . But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and went to Iconium ... Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue, and so spoke that a great company believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. But the people of the city were divided, some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to molest them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra ... But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium; and having persuaded the people, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead." (Acts 13:42-51 and Acts 14:1-6,19)
The Jews were actually jealous that Paul was preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. They also contradicted what he said and it doesn't take much imagination to realize which doctrines were causing divisions. The Jews were most certainly pushing their laws on the Gentiles and were angry at Paul for protecting the Gentiles against their demands. It is notable here that they were meeting on the sabbath but it must be realized that they were meeting in a synagogue and many Jews had not yet given up the sabbath day. They were not yet Christians. This passage does not support the sabbath day as Adventists would like us to believe.
Now let us consider some of Paul's specific exhortations protecting Gentiles, "Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? . . . One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let everyone be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it in honour of the Lord." (Rom. 14:4-6) It seemed there was some dispute here as to whether some people should be observing special days; almost certainly a question involving the sabbath.
Paul makes it quite clear that one man may prefer a special day; others may have no special day. If there was a clear commandment to keep the seventh day sabbath Paul certainly would have stated it right here. He could not be so negligent as to forget an admonition to keep the sabbath if that is what God really intended. Ellen White and followers would have us believe that if we do not keep the seventh day sabbath we receive the mark of the beast. Are they aware of the words of Paul "Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?" Their judgments don't appear to be very Biblical.
In the same vein consider this passage. "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath." (Col. 2:16) It is very plain from this scripture that Paul is specifically addressing the question of Jewish laws. Included here is the sabbath day and he insists that judgment cannot be passed on someone because of the sabbath. In studying a little further in this passage it becomes obvious that Paul is pointing out all these things were nailed to the cross at the time of Jesus' death when the Old Covenant came to an end.
Concerning this particular passage, Adventists try to draw a distinction between moral law, which is forever binding, and ceremonial law, which included the Jewish rituals. They point out that only the rituals were nailed to the cross. They insist that the sabbath day was not included in the ceremonial rituals but in the moral law. I don't think anyone can really buy that argument.
Another criticism Adventists have about this passage arises, from a mistranslation. In the last quotation the term 'a sabbath' is used indicating a singular form. This translation is taken from the Revised Standard Version. It differs from the King James Version which is preferred by Adventists because its mistranslation suits their purpose nicely. "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of sabbath days." If one looks at this verse in the King James Version it is noted that the word 'days' is in italics. That indicates this word has been added by the translators and was not there in the original text. If that word 'days' is stroked out the meaning of this passage. becomes very clear. Paul is indicating that the sabbath has been nailed to the cross.
It is interesting to note here just one more of the many inconsistencies of Adventists. The sabbath is spoken of in 60 places in the New Testament. In all other 59 places Adventists will admit that this means the seventh day sabbath. But in this sixtieth instance they insist that it refers to the plural form of sabbath days. I must remind you that this is very characteristic of Adventist people and their doctrines. Adventists like the translation 'sabbath days' as they will insist that the other sabbath days were nailed to the cross, but not the seventh day sabbath. This of course is nonsense and a prime example of how a false doctrine is perpetuated by a misinterpreted Bible passage. Any honest Adventist will have to concede that this point is no longer valid for them.
What do you suppose Paul might say to Adventists and others who insist on observance of a seventh day sabbath and other legalism. If he were here today I suspect he would give the same exclamation that he gave to the Galatians. "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to being that by nature are no gods; but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years! I am afraid I have laboured over you in vain". (Gal. 4:8-11) Paul would tell Seventh Day Adventists that he has been wasting his time preaching to them. He is pointing out in this passage that the observance of days is not required in order to serve God. If the seventh day sabbath were still in effect it would have been his solemn duty to make a pronouncement right there saying "Thou shalt still observe the seventh day sabbath". It is unthinkable that Paul would leave something of such importance hanging.
Adventists may say there is no statement in the Bible such as "You don't have to keep the sabbath day holy". However if you go over these three passages just quoted you will notice that this is exactly what Paul has said in different and more forceful words. I do agree that it would have saved everybody a lot of trouble had he stated the sentence in this simple manner. We do know that God works in strange ways. He certainly does leave it open that people can hang onto their delusions if they really want to.
One high ranking Adventist official tried to convince me that I didn't have to believe Ellen White was a true prophet to remain in the Adventist Church. Of course that is nonsense; how can one remain in a church totally dominated by the rules of someone he cannot trust? To make his point he indicated there was another high ranking official who did not believe that Paul was inspired and considered him to be a false prophet. I suspect this poor man was having difficulty with the passages we have just discussed concerning the sabbath day. He preferred to accept Ellen White as a prophet and condemned Paul as a false prophet because his statements contradict those of Ellen White. That poor fellow is to be pitied; he is really holding onto his delusions.
The pressure on Gentile Christians by Jewish Christians was tremendous. They really insisted that the rituals of Judaism be continued. Paul had the following to say about this predicament. "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the race of Christ and turning to a different gospel - not that there is another gospel but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preach to you, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:6-8) He then tells of his conversion and how he had been a zealous Pharisee who persecuted Christians.
Fourteen years later he recounts how he went back to Jerusalem and in secret told the church leaders how he was preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. He indicates that he had to do this secretly because of the presence of 'false brethren'. He then describes a confrontation with Peter, and remember this is at least 20 years after our Lord's death. Peter's actions were still being severely dictated by the Jewish gospel perverters. "But when Peter came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And with him the rest of the Jews acted insincerely . . . but when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, 'if you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentiles to live like Jews'?" Peter was still being influenced by the Old Covenant rule forbidding Jews to associate with Gentiles. He was quite comfortable eating with Gentiles until he was discovered by some fanatic Jews and this caused him to back off. This gave the impression that he was supporting these persistent Jewish beliefs and was in contradiction to the message of the gospel. Paul was so incensed with Peter's behavior that he told him off publicly.
Christians would do well to heed Paul's very serious warning. "For there are many insubordinate men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially the circumcision party; they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for base, gain what they have no right to teach ... therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, instead of giving heed to Jewish myths or to commands of men who reject the truth." (Tit. 1:11-14) We are to be very careful of these deceivers and notably those of the circumcision party. I would have to include Adventists in that group as they insist on Christians following the Jewish seventh day sabbath. I hope my writings are successful in following Paul's commandment, 'therefore rebuke them sharply'.
From what we have studied so far it is almost redundant to consider further Adventist arguments used to promote the seventh day sabbath. However I feel we must continue as some of these arguments are very persuasive especially to young Catholics who are somewhat dissatisfied with what they have been taught. Some of these arguments may also intimidate some Protestants by inducing in them guilt feelings about following the pope.
True to Adventist form, they would like you to believe that worshipping on Sunday is a form of false worship and that it will not be accepted by God. If you don't know any of the other facts this accusation can be very upsetting indeed. It has already been made quite clear that we need not keep any day holy, let alone the seventh day. That in itself takes all the power out of the Adventist theory that the pope changed the sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday. However for the above reasons we will persist and dispose of these Adventist claims.
Adventists delight in insisting that the pope changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There are several things wrong with this message they are trying to give you. For one thing, the Christians who worship on Sunday do not consider it to be the sabbath as we have already seen. No attempt is made to keep it holy. The requirements to keep a day holy ended at the cross. No one really tries to keep that part of the Jewish law even if it is perverted from the seventh day to the first day. This notion however may be fairly prevalent, as the Catholic Church insists that its members attend mass each Sunday under penalty of mortal sin. However this really can't be construed as keeping that day holy.
Also Sunday observance was in effect long before the first pope. We will list some statements concerning this shortly. Most Protestants and even Adventists agree that the office of the papacy did not exist until the installation of Gregory the Great in 590. Only Catholics believe that Peter was the first pope and that notion is easily refuted by the Bible.
Ellen White said, "the first public measure enforcing Sunday observance was the law enacted by Constantine in 321 AD." (Great Controversy p. 502) Adventists must admit that this is quite some time before the first pope. The common clichÚ Adventists will use is that Constantine made a compromise. Heathens would give up their sun god if Christians would switch their holy day from Saturday to Sunday. This I must tell you is nonsense but has great persuasive power over any Catholic who really does not know the history of the sabbath and the Lord's day.
Most Catholics have been told that Christians keep Sunday so they can be distinguished from Jews. This may in part be true, but appears to be somewhat of a lie when confronted with Adventist doctrine concerning the subject. The dissatisfied Catholic then is in deep trouble and ready to swallow the bait. After all, I should know; I did just that!
Let's look at what Ellen White says about the pope changing the sabbath day. "I saw that God had not changed the sabbath for He never changes. But the pope had changed it from the seventh to the first day of the week for he was to change times and laws". (Early Writings p. 33) Here Ellen White states that God never changes and we have discussed before how that really is not true. It also indicates that the pope changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. This is somewhat of a contradiction in that we have seen where, Ellen White says that the Emperor Constantine was the one responsible for the change.
Now keeping in mind the time sequence of Constantine's Sunday law of 321, and the appearance of the first pope in 590, let us consider the following statements indicating the existence of Sunday observance long before either of these two events.
It is obvious from the historical statements that Sunday observance occurred long before Constantine or the first pope.
Adventists really like to throw this one at Catholics. If you study with them you will be bored to death with this quote from the Coverts Catechism of Catholics Doctrine, 1957 edition, p. 50.
Question: Which is the sabbath day'?
Answer: Saturday is the sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the (Roman) Catholic
Church transferred this solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
Here Adventists indicate that Catholics admit to changing the sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday.
You can't imagine how many times I have heard this little song and dance during my brainwashing. It certainly served its purpose in convincing me to keep the seventh day sabbath. At this point I can't consider it anymore than meaningless propaganda used by Adventists. It really doesn't make any difference to me what the Catholic Church has claimed in the past. Adventists of course consider the change from Saturday to Sunday as the mark of apostasy.
The apostle John said: I was in the spirit on the Lord's day". (Rev. 1:10) Adventists insist that he meant Saturday and not Sunday. There is really no good proof to decide which day he was talking about. However if John was keeping the seventh day sabbath all those years why didn't he just refer to it as the sabbath day, as it had always been called previously in the Bible, rather than using a new term the Lord's day.
Adventists insist that Paul and the other apostles kept the seventh day. Other Christians will insist they kept the first day. There are good partial arguments for each side and I personally feel that this specific question cannot be settled with one hundred percent certainty. Suffice it to say that there is no evidence that they kept either day holy.
For Adventists who do keep the seventh day sabbath there are some secondary gains which I should mention. It is a good day to catch up on your sleep and once slept out you can put in the rest of the day with gossip. In fact many Adventists go to church for the sole purpose of gossiping and socializing. Others go to perform in front of the congregation as it gives them a sense of power and makes them feel very important. Others attend to point out all the good things they have done for God in the past week; rarely mentioning what God has done for them. To be fair though, many Adventists do go to church to fellowship with God.
By keeping the seventh day sabbath an Adventist can almost totally withdraw from the responsibilities of 'the world'. With the excuse of keeping the sabbath it is possible to get out of almost any chore which might turn up on Saturday. Certainly no work can be done to help a neighbor. Non Adventist members of the family will just have to respect your sabbath day. I certainly got out of a lot of work which I should have done to help my parents and others on Saturday by using this excuse. After all, how dare they ask me to work on my sabbath day? One can even get out of attending Saturday weddings.
Adventists can also find employment where they might have to work on Saturday. If they want to, they can justify working on Saturday, as almost any job can be looked on as a necessary function which must be carried on despite it being the sabbath day. On the other hand if one does not want to work on Saturday, a confrontation can be set up with the hopes of being fired. Then the poor victim can scream persecution and look like a martyr. This reinforces the belief that Adventists will be forced by the rest of us to work on Saturday at sometime in the future and observe Sunday as their day of rest. This shows how the delusions become self perpetuating.
Rules concerning sabbath observance were really quite strict. Cooking was not allowed on the sabbath day. "On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread (manna), ... and Moses said to them, this is what the Lord has commanded; tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay by, be kept till morning." (Ex. 16:22,23) The consequences of breaking the sabbath were plain. "While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses ... and the Lord said to Moses, the man shall be put to death, all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp. And all the congregation brought him outside the camp, and stoned him to death with stones as the Lord commanded Moses." (Num. 15:32-36) "'Thus saith the Lord; take, heed for the sake of your lives, and do not bear burden on the sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the sabbath or do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy." (Jer. 17:21,22)
There is also the idea of how far one may travel on the sabbath day. "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olive, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away." (Acts 1:12) Looking at a map of Jerusalem, Mount Olive is very close indeed.
Do you know any Adventists who keep the seventh day sabbath? Do they actually keep it holy? Do they follow any of the rules set down in the Old Testament as to how one should keep the sabbath holy? The answer to all these questions is a resounding no! Consider this rule, "Six days shall work be done, on the seventh day you shall have a holy sabbath of solemn rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death; you shall kindle no fire in all your habitations on the sabbath day." I don't know of any Adventist who follows this simple rule of kindling no fire in his house on the sabbath day. Many that I know actually start a fire in their fireplace on the sabbath day. Others certainly cook on the sabbath day although they try to keep that down to a minimum, as if minimum is what is required in following the law. I don't think any of them shut off the main switch of their furnace so it cannot go on and off automatically over the sabbath day. They are all guilty of not following this simple requirement. How do you think they do following all the other requirements?
Nor have I heard of any Adventist being put to death for not following the rules of the sabbath day. If they insist on keeping the sabbath day and following its rules, why don't they do so as prescribed in the Bible? I tried to keep the sabbath for quite sometime; I actually felt I was doing a reasonable job. It became rather painfully obvious to me that Adventists, including myself at that time, were spending most of the sabbath hours either sleeping, catching up from a tiring week, or visiting around the countryside gossiping.
Surely God does not respect Adventists for keeping His sabbath in this way. It seems a farce and outright mockery of God. Is there any Adventist out there today who feels he is doing any better job than the Jews who were so often severely chided by God for not keeping His sabbath day as He had prescribed? This is something very serious to think about.
I am quite certain that any Adventist will be able to justify his actions concerning the sabbath day and may even be able to soothe his own conscience. Jesus is well aware that all of us are quite adept at justifying what we do. "But wisdom is justified of her children." (Mt. 11:19 K.J.V.) It took me a long time to understand the meaning of these words and they certainly apply well to the above situation.
Considering all these rules to be kept strictly in observance of a sabbath day, I really can't think of any Adventist who should still be alive. They have all broken these rules of the sabbath, including myself when I was trying to 'keep the sabbath'. If we are really to fulfill that law, all Adventists would have been put to death by this time and their church would certainly be extinct. I must say that during three years at the Adventist Church, not once did I witness a stoning because someone failed to keep the sabbath day holy.
Adventists certainly are not the only people who observe the seventh day sabbath. Seventh Day Baptists have been following that law for many years before Adventists. Why didn't they just join the Seventh Day Baptists? I guess the answer is rather self-evident, Adventists couldn't pawn off their false prophet on these people. The World Church of God also keeps the seventh day sabbath. Their hero of course is Herbert W. Armstrong and this cult wields considerable power and prestige. I wonder who might take over after Armstrong dies? I doubt his followers could be absorbed into the Adventist Church.
Throughout the history of the Adventist Church there has been considerable antagonism caused by the public judgments pronounced by Adventists against other Christian denominations. This has served to drive a wedge between Adventists and other Christians. Adventists like us to believe that they are being persecuted by these other groups. I would suggest to them that they have sown the seeds for this and they are now reaping the fruit. Rather than persecution, I would suggest it is a feeling of revulsion on the part of others resulting from past accusations and antagonisms by Adventists. To set a position as being incredible, fanatic, and idiotic, and then have others ignore you really cannot be classified as persecution.
It seems that I have always been impressed by Billy Graham's preaching. During the time period that I was an Adventist I was still able to watch his TV evangelistic meetings. As I was 'keeping' the seventh day sabbath I always seemed to be a little irritated at his regular closing line. He always signed off with "And be sure to go to church next Sunday". I couldn't understand how an intelligent man like Billy Graham had not been able to see 'the truth' about the seventh day sabbath. I had been informed by church members that top officials had in the past discussed this subject with Billy Graham; and he really didn't seem to be either for or against it.
Since I was a Billy Graham supporter I felt that perhaps a little note included with my donation might get some action. In fact I was naive enough to ask him to sign off with something like, "And be sure to go to church this weekend or on Saturday or Sunday". I must say that I was more than a little disappointed that he or one of his colleagues did not write back and try to defend their position. It seemed all I got was thank yous for my continued support.
On looking back on it now I am very happy that things happened that way. It is just another example of God answering prayers in ways that we do not want at the time and don't expect. Had Billy Graham or his associates started a dialogue to try and convince me of the error of the Seventh Day sabbath, I know that I would have reacted defensively and gotten in even deeper. This would have biased me further and may have postponed or prevented my being freed. There was no way Billy Graham could produce all the evidence all together such as I am doing here. Any partial argument he may have provided would have backfired. So Billy Graham, whether it was an oversight or a deliberate policy not to answer to this subject, I thank you.
I realize that Seventh Day Adventists have no faith in the words of a former Adventist like myself. They would be no more persuaded by me than they were by another hated Adventist who 'apostatized'. D. M. Canright was a contemporary of Ellen White. He held high positions in the Adventist Church. Adventists insist that when he left the church he died a lonely, lost old man. They have actually judged him and passed his sentence.
I suppose their burning hatred arises from the fact that he wrote a 418 page book (Seventh-day Adventism RENOUNCED) exposing the unscriptural positions held by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He had to get out of the Adventist Church and he also felt that he should warn others. I have purposely not read his work as I did not want to bias my own book. The following passage is gleaned from another critic and I include it here as it says a lot and is self explanatory. On reading this passage I could really see myself but on a much smaller scale. I can really empathize with this courageous man.
"After keeping the Seventh Day for twenty-eight years; after having persuaded more than a thousand others to keep it; after having read my Bible through, verse by verse, more than twenty times; after having scrutinized to the best of my ability every text, line and word in the whole Bible having the remotest bearing upon the Sabbath question; after having looked up all these, both in the original and in many translations; after having searched in lexicons, concordances, commentaries and dictionaries; after having read armfuls of books on both sides of the question; after having read every line in all the early church fathers upon this point; after having written several works in favor of the Seventh Day, which were satisfactory to my brethren; after having debated the question more than a dozen times, after seeing the fruits of keeping it; and after weighing all the evidence in the fear of God, and of the judgment day, I am fully settled in my own mind and conscience that the evidence is against the keeping of the Seventh day".
In summary then, Christians need not keep the seventh day sabbath and in fact don't have to keep any day holy. Christians by tradition generally worship on Sunday because Christ rose on Sunday, appeared to His disciples on Sunday, and the Christian Church was born on a Sunday, the day of Pentecost. Adventists, and any others are quite entitled to worship on Saturday if they prefer. However they do not have the right to pervert the gospel of Christ, insisting that all Christians worship on Saturday under threat of receiving the mark of the beast. Adventists will most likely be held responsible for their perversion of the gospel.
In closing this chapter I feel it is appropriate to recall Paul's words. "For there are many insubordinate men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially the circumcision party; they must be silenced, ... they have no right to teach ... Therefore rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith, instead of giving heed to Jewish myths or to commands of men who reject the truth." (Tit. 1:10-14)
Some Rotten Adventist Practices ˝
To say that some Adventist practices are unethical or downright immoral is really putting it quite mildly. Adventists take great delight in making fun of other denominations. They joke about card parties held by other churches and particularly make fun of Catholics with their bingo games. Hot cross buns denote a heathen flavor to them. Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, and Santa Claus are outright paganism. Early morning sunrise service at Easter is considered to be a heathen practice. Wearing a cross around one's neck and even wedding rings are considered disgraceful. They have numerous ways of building themselves up by scorning others and putting them down.
In this chapter I would like other Christians to become aware of some of the things Adventists do which can be classified as nothing less than disgraceful.
First I must mention a local practice which I am quite sure occurs in all Adventist churches. They pride themselves in community work and in some instances do give considerable help. However one must realize that their primary goal is to drag the poor victim into their church despite the fact that they claim they are practicing 'disinterested benevolence'.
Many of those who do community work spend considerable energy in patting themselves on the back. During their worship services, there is ample time allotted for one to make the other church members aware of his good works for that week. This is done with considerable pride and often with the intention of making other members feel guilty so they can get out there and get some work done also - and 'hasten' Jesus' second coming!
In this local church, community service is carried on in the church basement. Unsuspecting folks from other denominations donate large amounts of clothing to be distributed to the poor by these Adventist workers of good. At the moment, the lady who runs the operation gets first choice of all incoming goods. She jealously guards all articles until they have been picked over and then the other workers and the rest of the church members may make their selection, depending on their place in the pecking order of the congregation. Even the well to do members of the church may clothe themselves and their children from the clothing stores which were intended for the poor. This attitude in fact is what made these people rich in the first place possibly.
I am aware of two fairly large suppliers of clothing in this town. One is a shirt manufacturer who gives second-line products to the Adventist Church. Another is a clothing boutique which donates considerable material. Recently one church member made a drive about 80 miles round trip with a trunk full of new shirts. A friend was offered first choice of the valuable items. Whatever happens to be left over, in fact the cast offs of the congregation, are handed out to the poor with considerable ceremony.
Adventists used to refer to this community service work as the 'Dorcas'. This name no doubt was to honour the good works of a lady spoken of in Acts 9. This lady, Dorcas, "Was full of good works and acts of charity". She died and the apostle Peter prayed over her and raised her from the dead. Anyway to refer to this practice in the Adventist Church as 'Dorcas' is really quite an insult to the original saint. It is quite fitting that the name has been changed to community services. Adventists of course will be outraged when this becomes public knowledge and I will collect even more enemies. However, as stated elsewhere my purpose really is to "Expose the powers of darkness". You can rest assured that none of our material goods will ever again be donated to the Adventist Church to be dispensed to the poor.
Adventist pastors make considerable ceremony of visiting families in the congregation quite often. Like ministers of other denominations they take considerable license in showing up at any inconvenient time without warning and expecting to be entertained. If an Adventist pastor visits a non-Adventist home he will instruct anyone who happens to accompany him not to call him pastor in front of the people being visited.
During the visit to a home the pastor will usually suggest a group prayer. This in itself is quite fine but they seem to use this tactic as a weapon. If some non-Adventist relative happens to be present in the home, he will be expected to take part in the prayer of course. Despite being rather revulsed by the Adventist cult, they are there visiting their Adventist relatives. How could they be such a rat as to refuse to take part in prayer? After all the pastor is just going to say prayers for them too, and maybe chide them a bit publicly for not believing as they do.
While I was an Adventist this trick was pulled on me several times in my home. During a visit by one high ranking church official my father appeared to be slated for intimidation by this maneuver. Needless to say the minister was rather startled by our refusal, to' allow him to pray for us.
If you visit an Adventist home don't expect much in the way of hospitality. You certainly won't be offered a beer or a drink of tea or coffee. If you are 'lucky' enough to be asked to stay for a meal you certainly can't expect to be served any meat. But that is okay. You'll get a chance to sample some fake meats made from soy beans and of course you will be expected to compliment your hostess. Perhaps you might even be convinced to become a vegetarian and then you can buy the product from the Adventist manufacturer and support their missions. You might be told that it is less expensive than meat, but considering the ingredients you will find it very expensive indeed. You will also be told that it goes further and that is quite true as nobody will eat much of it.
Whenever Adventists hold evangelistic meetings they produce an all out advertising campaign. The sponsors of these meetings are never indicated in the advertising material. They fear that if their denominational name appears, people will not come to hear what they have to say. This certainly is true and Adventists will use some very outdated reasons for justifying their deceptive advertising.
The meetings which I first attended were entitled "Dead Men Do Tell Tales". You must admit that this would arouse considerable curiosity and almost guarantees a good turn out. In fact some attendees were extremely angry the first night when they found out that it was related to religion. This type of gimmick of course was intended for people interested in spiritualism and the occult. This type of deceptive behavior is very antagonistic to other denominations and sets the Adventists up to be 'persecuted'.
A lot of the cults will rather aggressively place literature in your hand in public places or even visit you at home to share their propaganda sheets with you. Adventists are a little 'smarter' than that. You will usually end up paying for their propaganda. They have professional travelling literature salesmen known as colporteurs. These people visit schools, libraries, doctor's offices, and homes, selling Adventist literature. Their biggest seller of course is the ten or twelve volume set called the Bible Stories by Arthur Maxwell. These books are simplified versions of Ellen White's interpretations of the Bible and packed with errors to be digested by your children. The main seller for adults consists of books written by Ellen White and with sixty nine books, that is considerable material to choose from. Other selections are souped up renditions of Ellen White's original materials. People actually pay Adventists for these books so that they can brainwash themselves. I hate to admit it, but I did just that!
Concerning people like colporteurs, we do have some instructions in the Bible. "After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come." (Lk. 1O:1) Adventists do not follow this rule of two by two. After all that would mean splitting the money fifty-fifty and that just would not be efficient enough.
We have been treated by stories in the Adventist Church of examples of young defenseless ladies who would solicit almost any neighborhood by themselves. Boasting is made of the young lady knocking on a door to be greeted by some macho, heavily into the beer. Then she praises God for protecting her. God does not expect this type of behavior from anyone. He is not in the business of setting up situations which can lead to rape or worse. He even sent the men out in pairs.
There is no end to the pleas for money coming from the pulpit of the Adventist Church. So that you will have lots of chance to give, the collection plate is passed twice each meeting. Other churches are only half guilty of this as they pass it only once. We all would do well to learn a lesson from the practice of Jehovah's Witnesses who apparently hang the collection box at the back of the church. The giver then can either do his alms before men or in secret.
One doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventist Church is footwashing. This always precedes communion. They insist that since Jesus did it at the Last Supper, He had set an example that we should follow. In reading this occurrence in the Bible, it is obvious that Jesus is trying to teach a principle. He wants to point out that He who would be greatest among us would be the person who is willing to serve others the most.
When taking part in this practice the first couple of times, it is really quite impressive. However when one gets to know the members of the church and how one man violently hates another man, it is rather disgusting to see them washing one another's feet and harboring the hatred in their hearts. The practice becomes even more disgusting when the dirty water from the washed feet is dumped down the kitchen sink where they prepare the food and wash dishes for the church dinners! And they want you to be impressed that they are teaching health principles.
The practice of lngathering is another loathsome ritual carried out by Adventists. This is an annual money drive soliciting businesses and begging money door to door for 'God's cause'. A pamphlet is produced showing a hungry child on the cover to give you the idea that all of your donations will be going to provide some relief for the suffering. However if you study the pamphlet carefully you will notice that it also goes to support Adventist schools. Some of their colleges will boast such important courses as canoe making, guitar, and basket weaving. In effect the donations go to provide propaganda to non-Adventists so they can be educated in the ways of Ellen White.
Mrs. White certainly was quite happy with the Ingathering project. "The flow of funds into the treasury has been increased by ingathering campaigns". (Counsels on Stewardship p. 190) Not only other Christians are solicited but atheists and members of non Christian religions have a chance to give to Adventists 'charity work'.
Adventists apparently feel that everyone should donate to God's work whether they believe in Him or not. I don't think God ever intended Christians to beg money from unbelievers to support His work. There is no precedent for this practice in the Bible. Adventists justify this behavior by some rather strange explanations. They insist that it is not really the money they are after, but contact with the people so 'the message' can be given. I would suggest a message can always be better given when there is no plea for money. Adventists will also tell you that at least once a year, lonely people get a chance to talk to somebody. Unfortunately these lonely folks are often the biggest victims and pay dearly for this little chat.
A very repulsive practice to squeeze even more money out of the poor Adventist people is the con game called 'Investment'. This farce was heavily endorsed by Ellen White and all members of the church are urged to participate. This gimmick consists of setting apart some project to be under the special blessing of God and to give part or all of the proceeds from that to the Adventist Church. People end up putting their heart and soul into minor projects which involve a great deal of energy. Each tries to outdo the other and stories of accomplishments are heard in testimonials very frequently.
They really expect God to bless a specific project so that He can reap the benefits. Many miraculous stories are related. An investment corn patch will grow fantastically as compared to the poor farmer's own crop and those of his neighbors. Rain falls on the investment cucumber patch but the neighbors' gardens wither up in the sun. People begin to wonder if God is really serious when He says things like, "For He makes the sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust." (Matt. 5:45)
The idea of Investment is really another cleverly disguised deception to lead one away from true priorities. As Christians, our whole life, and all that we attempt should be invested in God's hands! We should expect His blessing on everything we do and return our offerings to Him with a cheerful heart. This idea of picking out one little comer of one's life and dedicating it to God is just another diversionary tactic to make us lose sight of the concept of putting all in God's hands.
In this chapter considerable sarcasm has been used so that you can become better acquainted with Adventists. Everything related here is true. Certainly some incidents are too private and personal to be exposed here. It just would not be fair to the persons involved.
The Adventist school system is really something else. Ellen White has indicated that wherever as few as six pupils are present, a private school should be started. This is done in communities where enough money can be leached from the members. Their own schools serve several important functions.
First it provides jobs for their people. And needless to say, an Adventist teacher is a specific requirement; outsiders just will not do. Adventists with higher education have a chance to get a job as a professor in their own colleges. Jobs are kept within the church community and therefore the wealth is kept at home in the church.
Little Adventist children are spared contact with the 'terrible world'. They can be protected from outside influences until they graduate from college and even stay in the system after that if they so desire. This attitude is a blatant contradiction to the teachings of Christ. "I do not pray that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one." (Jn. 17:15) Jesus spoke this prayer on behalf of His disciples and I think that includes Adventist children. How can their kids be prepared to face the real world under the artificial circumstances of the Adventist school system?
One of the major functions of the Adventist school system is to thoroughly indoctrinate the children in the ways of Ellen White. After all, if they hear this from childhood, they will probably remain pretty much captive. And with all the ridiculous teachings from the mouth of Ellen White, the Adventist Church will need all the staunch supporters it can muster.
It is really heartbreaking to see poor Adventist families scraping to make ends meet and sending a great deal of their money off to support their child attending an Adventist institution. When one realizes that pastors children get forty per cent off their expenses for the first child and something like sixty per cent off expenses for any children after the first, the reality of it all becomes infuriating. Adventist pastors make a pretty good living; just notice the lifestyle of one you know. It is the poor people of the congregation who get milked dry to support the ministers' kids at reduced rates.
I am not sure what kind of tax break Adventists get for supporting their own schools. I suppose tuition is not tax deductible. However no school can be supported wholly through tuition and some of the funds must come from the church in general. These monies I would suspect are tax deductible. If that is the case then it means that you and I are supporting the private Adventist school system through our taxes. I do hope those income tax fellows have not left any loopholes there. I do not want any of my taxes supporting Ellen White, a false prophet.
The Adventist school system really, produces some genuine pearls. Let's just consider some of the practices of the local congregation's recent pastor. This man is a camera buff and visits the big city quite often for supplies. One day when accompanied by a friend he could not find a parking spot on a busy city street. He was well practiced in this sort of dilemma and simply solved the problem by double parking and putting up the hood of his car. He then nonchalantly went about his business and when finished appropriately 'repaired' his car.
Adventists of course are not to attend 'worldly functions'. This pastor often visited the horse races and justified his behavior by indicating that his purpose there was just to photograph some horses. After all, they are God's creatures. One day the church held a picnic at a public park. The admission price to the park was one dollar. This pastor happens to be the owner of a press photography card which he uses to gain free admission to many events including the horse races I mentioned above. This he does despite the fact that he is not employed by any publisher but is in fact the pastor of a church. Rather than pay the one dollar admission for the picnic at this park he craftily produced his press card and was granted admission free.
This pastor was born in Poland and therefore English was not his native tongue. One day while driving through a busy city he missed his off ramp and automatically said "Oh shit". His apology to his travelling companion, was, "Oh excuse please". He had learned to 'swear' in English.
All this behavior was witnessed by a young man, a friend of the pastor. This young man of course was expected to stay in the church and support it forever. When the pastor became aware the youth was becoming disillusioned with the church and was going to leave his advice was really somewhat classical. "Don't you know that you will lose your inheritance if you don't stay in the church. Look at how well I am doing. Why don't you just go along with things and don't rock the boat. You are foolish to give up all these wonderful goodies just for the sake of declaring that Ellen White is a false prophet, and leaving the church." This minister by his words and actions actually helped the young man escape the church. I welcome the chance here to thank him publicly.
Even a pastor is allowed 'a sin here and there' I agree. I have pointed out these specific examples though, to indicate the behavior of Adventists. Remember that these people believe they will reach a sinless state before Jesus can return. It looks like we are in for a long wait! But the Bible suggests otherwise.
I must say a word here to those people I victimized while I was a Seventh Day Adventist. My parents and close relatives did not need the added stress of our being caught in this mess. Their patience and secret prayers have not been in vain. They can now rejoice that we are free from Seventh Day Adventism. But our prayers must continue for other loved ones who are still trapped.
Colleagues, patients, and other friends whom I tried to indoctrinate, will forgive me I do trust. They will realize that I felt I was doing what I believed was right. I am concerned though that maybe all the damage might not be covered ... hence one strong motive for this book.
It will be more difficult for our children to forgive. The restrictions they suffered and the fun of life they were denied are not easy to forget. After all, it is a pretty mean trick to be forbidden to play with your friends on Saturday. Imagine all the sports events, fishing trips and ice cream cones that were missed in God's name. I hope they realize things could be worse. But for the grace of God, we would still be trapped. I believe that they learned from the uncomfortable experience too. The real worry is that they might hold this against God. Realizing that we are now free under God, and being thankful for that, I am confident that they can forgive in their own good time.
Ellen White and Witchcraft ˝
When Ellen White was a very young girl a new 'science' was being developed. This discipline, known as Phrenology, involved determining one's character and personality by examining his skull. This theory was based on the belief that the brain is actually made up of several different organs, about thirty-seven in number, which were individually responsible for a person's traits. The passions and the lower functions were apparently located in the back of the head. We have already seen a passage from Ellen White's pen indicating that wigs worn over the back of the head and even hair pinned up in that area would cause baldness and finally insanity.
The patient would actually submit to having his skull examined by the Phrenologist. I have often heard the term, "You should have your head read". I was never aware of its true meaning until now.
Ellen White actually took her two sons to be examined by a Phrenologist for a fairly handsome sum of five dollars apiece. This represented a good deal of money in those days.
All of this fascinating material is available in the book by Ronald Numbers called "Prophetess of Health; Ellen G. White". The point I want to make here is that this type of reading of someone's head is really the same as palm reading which is available from any fortune teller at a county fair. God has very harsh words concerning this type of behavior. The warnings about His people consulting seers and fortunetellers is very stem indeed. "There shall not be found among you anyone who bums his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an ogre or a sorcerer or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord; and because of the abominable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you.' (Deut. 18:10-12) God groups fortunetellers and spiritualists with those heathens who burn their children as an offering to their god. The penalty for those who practiced witchcraft was quite clear. "You shall not permit a sorceress to live." (Ex. 22:18)
By consulting a Phrenologist, Ellen White is in effect doing the same as consulting a fortuneteller or a palm reader. She is guilty of going against God's counsel in these matters. By the way Ellen White also had her head read after getting two favorable reports about her sons. I'm sure you can guess the diagnosis and doubtless Mrs. White was very unhappy with the verdict. Yes, she was diagnosed as being hysterical!
Ellen White's Defenders ˝
Even I have to admit that some of Ellen White's writings are beautiful. After reading one of her good books like "Desire of Ages", a very well done book on the life of Christ, it is hard to imagine that she could write the collection of garbage that has been exposed in my book. It is easier to understand however once it is realized that she has copied most of her 'beautiful' works. In fact this is what really gives Ellen White away as a false prophet. She could not separate the good works of her contemporaries from the nonsense.
Her book "The Great Controversy" was the first of her writings that I read. This very long book does a superb job of exposing the atrocious history of the Catholic Church and the pope. As a Catholic, all this new information made me very angry and set me up nicely to become a victim of the Seventh Day Adventists. The emotionalism became overwhelming and I certainly was recruited during a very difficult period of my life. During my early months with the Adventists I experienced a deep depression; I was unable to practice medicine for three months. This most painful period of my life turned out to be one of my best learning experiences. In many ways it was really a blessing in disguise and has enabled me to have more insight into other people's problems, making me much more competent at helping them.
Had Ellen White written as a common author there would really be no problem. But she is considered to be a prophet of God according to the Adventist Church - 'their prophet'. This means that anything an Adventist reads from her pen is a direct message from God. Her explanation of each Bible passage forever closes the door to the Adventist as to the true meaning of that Bible passage. Her word is final. Most Adventists don't read the Bible; like the rest of us they are lazy and besides they have a prophet who has explained everything for them. There is no need to open the Bible and think for themselves.
Many defenders of Ellen White will use her philosophy about her own writings. They will claim her writings to be a 'lesser light leading to a greater light' - the Bible. For most Adventists this is absolutely false for these reasons I have just mentioned. With 69 books by Ellen White herself, and the barrage of other Adventist reading material, it is almost impossible to devote any time to the Bible itself.
I have had some Adventists tell me that they cannot understand the Bible and therefore need Ellen White's explanations. I would say to those people that perhaps God doesn't expect you to understand everything in the Bible. Maybe the discovery of little bits of Bible meaning each time you read it is to be a joy for you too. God can't work on your mind with a Bible passage if you have already settled on someone else's meaning.
Unlike Ellen White's books, this writing is not inspired. I am sure there is considerable error in my beliefs and how I have tried to express them on paper. However, even an Adventist would have to admit that my logic and common sense are both good. Common sense is a commodity totally lacking with Ellen White.
Several other critics of Ellen White have caused great activity among Adventist theologians. Energetic attempts have been made in the past to answer criticism and have met with varying degrees of success. Some other critics did not have my advantage of being an insider and living as an Adventist for sometime. They cannot understand the practical consequences of erroneous Adventist beliefs as I do. This makes my writings rather different, many criticisms I have exposed in this book I believe to be original.
Despite a few errors here and there, I don't think the Adventist hierarchy can produce a reasonable response to most of my arguments. Ellen White's words speak for themself and she has said enough for any jury to hang her.
Some defenders will say that Ellen White indicated that people like myself would come along. Ellen White has talked about every subject imaginable and she certainly was not foolish enough to neglect this one. There was a considerable number of skeptics in the Adventist Church at the time of Ellen White who needed to be chided regularly by her remarks. She knew that many people would be able to see through her nonsense and she was not very ingratiating towards them. Consider these words meant particularly for people like me. "As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angels message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition Men of talent and pleasing address who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When sabbath keepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports, and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them." (Great Controversy p. 533) Any Adventist can quote you many similar passages from Ellen White indicating that her exposers are tools of Satan. The reader of this book will have to decide who was really under the direction of Satan. Several Adventists have already told me their verdict. I do hope they will consider all the evidence I have produced here.
During my striving against Ellen White's philosophy I have often been told; "Just speak about Jesus Christ and forget Ellen White. This is very good advice but in the Adventist Church there is no possible way to forget about Ellen White. The Bible studies are dominated by her interpretations; sermons contain several of her quotes, and Adventist literature is punctuated by her sayings. Ellen White becomes a way of life to the Adventist. Unfortunately her teachings contradict God's word and it isn't very easy to 'just forget her'. You can't teach Jesus Christ and Ellen White!
Some Adventists who have really been threatened by my exposure of Ellen White have had to resort to the ultimate defense. "He's crazy. He's always causing trouble, don't listen to him." It is surprising how effective this argument can be. When one respects the person giving this argument and knows little about the agitator, it is very easy advice to accept. This type of person is about to be plunged into the horrors of Seventh Day Adventism. He faces only two possibilities; either a long and painful struggle out of the cult, or a blissful state of delusion and self-righteousness. The latter enables him to intimidate other would be victims and satisfy his appetite for power by attacking true Christians from every other denomination.
As an Adventist, I myself went through both of these processes. Fortunately the counterfeit security offered by Adventism could not satisfy my emotional needs for long. It is this basic need and yearning for the peace of God, that has been implanted in us all, that finally made it possible for me to be freed from the Adventist cult. "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". God certainly kept that promise to me.
Many Adventists will say that Ellen White brought them to Jesus Christ. Because of this, they would defend her to the bitter end. This is the type of mentality which leads to mass suicide as we have recently witnessed under the direction of another false, prophet, Jim Jones. I have already shown in another chapter where it is quite conceivable that Adventists are setting themselves up for mass suicide in the future. They leave themselves no way out of Ellen White's doctrines. This is not an impossible event; I know several who would probably die for Ellen White as they would consider this equivalent to being martyred for God.
To those that insist that Ellen White lead them to Christ, I would offer this thought. If you were truly searching for God, and you probably were, you would have found Him just as easily if you had never heard of Ellen White. As things are now, you must contend with all the stumbling blocks that have been scattered by Ellen White. Since you are following a false prophet, your prognosis is not very hopeful. Ellen White's most avid defenders must include Adventist pastors and employees of her estate. These people are not about to give up their livelihood by admitting she is a false prophet. Likewise, Adventist teachers must stand by her. After all, it would be rather difficult to get a teaching job elsewhere; their security would disappear.
Consider all the books to be produced and sold to her victims in future. Despite being dead 65 years, the managers of her estate are endlessly coming up with new editions and even new books from her massive writings. They plan on cashing in on the bonanza as long as it lasts. Vast sums of money are involved and they are not going to give that up!
Other Adventists will say "Ellen White is dead, why don't you leave her alone? Why don't you just take the good stuff she has written and forget about the garbage?" I think I have already answered this objection. If Ellen White is a true prophet, and you believe that, you are not allowed to leave the 'garbage'. You must believe everything she says as being just as authoritative as any passage from the Bible. You cannot pick and choose what you like and what you wish to ignore. This in fact, is what most Adventists end up doing in an attempt to have their cake and eat it too. Studying the behavior of any Adventist will betray the fact that he does not really believe she is a true prophet, deep down in his heart.
Becoming rather frantic, some Adventists will say that I am tearing down something very near and dear to the hearts of many people. They challenge me by asking what I can provide instead. The Bible and its gospel message should be quite sufficient for anyone. Yes, I suppose many people would be tempted to turn their backs on God if they find out their idol is a false prophet. Certainly this is very unfortunate but the blame for this must be laid at the feet of the false prophet. I do not accept the responsibility for this drastic reaction. At least these people will not lead others into the Adventist trap. And besides, we must have enough faith that God will provide reconciliation. In fact we can rest assured that He will, if the person was sincere in the first place.
The other classical defense of Ellen White is the idea that anyone who renounces her teachings commits a sin against the Holy Spirit. I must admit that this has been an extremely effective tool to intimidate by guilt those who are questioning Ellen White. However in a state of panic, this ploy is drastically overused and soon becomes obvious to the intended victim. It certainly has no effect if the candidate is studying his Bible.
Adventists believe that they are the reincarnation of Elijah. They believe they have a comparable mission prior to the second advent, to the mission of John the Baptist just before Jesus first advent. In fact many Adventists try to copy John the Baptist. The closest they can come to this is by becoming vegetarian. We have already seen that this is based on a misunderstanding of the Bible. Adventists defend Ellen White on the grounds that she is taking part in the fulfillment of prophecy of Elijah and John the Baptist. This is a source of much of their conceit and self-righteousness.
Seventh Day Adventism cannot survive without Ellen White. Once an Adventist realizes that she is a false prophet, other Adventist doctrines go one by one. I must admit that the most difficult doctrines to shake are the sabbath and the idea of unclean meats. The topic of unclean meats I have not discussed specifically because it would be a repeat of much of what was said about meat and alcohol.
There are a lot of extremely intelligent people who consider Ellen White a true prophet and the thought of reading a book such as this would be unbearable for them. This defense mechanism is very strong indeed and is one that I cannot hope to overcome. I can write the book and produce all the evidence but there is no way I can force these people to read it. Only a genuine miracle from God can cover that situation. There are some people whom I want desperately to read this book. Please pray with me that this miracle will happen and that they will be freed from the yoke of Seventh Day Adventism.
Some may say, "You have destroyed our faith in Seventh Day Adventism; where can we go now? All those other churches have so much error too." If you have been proselytized from another denomination, perhaps your original church doesn't appear so horrible now in comparison, despite your knowing all its shortcomings. Realizing how you have been duped, it may now be quite possible for you to feel quite comfortable in your original church home. Failing this I'm sure you can find a denomination which is close to most of your beliefs. However, one must be realistic and recognize that no church has all the truth -- that will come on schedule in God's own good time.
To My Friends ˝
This book I believe has been very successful in discrediting Ellen White as a prophet of God. I believe that anyone who reads it will be protected from joining the Adventist Church unless he has already been severely brainwashed. I also hope that it will free many sincere people who are now suffering the yoke of Seventh Day Adventism. The beginnings of this book have already set several Adventists free long before I made the decision to produce a book. I am thankful to God for that and have been greatly encouraged by these results so far.
It is not easy to pour one's guts out on paper for the world to see. I do not relish the idea of my friends being made more aware of my stupid mistakes. However if only a few learn from my blunders, that will be consolation enough.
Many people who know me might well remark to themselves how my writings are a bunch of nonsense to them. Many will say "I know him, he is a bigger sinner than I am." For those who do not know me personally, let me state that I agree with this observation. Like the apostle Paul, I must admit to being a chief of sinners.
One of the heaviest burdens for any Christian is the worry that he might be a stumbling block for others. The only reason for so much disbelief in the world today is the repulsive feelings produced in a non believer as he observes the behavior of a professed Christian. It is a fact of life that all Christians will at sometime be stumbling blocks for others.
This must be counter-balanced with the hope that a believer can offer to the skeptic. If we do not have the hope of eternal life offered by Jesus Christ, then what is the purpose of this life? Is our philosophy to be "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die"?
To qualify for eternal life and the peace offered by Jesus Christ one must be a saint. Please do not let this, term 'saint' frighten you. There is really only one difference between a saint and one who is lost. Both are sinners. But a saint has his sins covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. God will happily accept Jesus' sacrifice as total payment for all of your sins. To qualify as a saint, all you need to do is believe. What do you have to lose?
After realizing how good God has been to you, a thankful heart will then change your life and instill in you love for your neighbor; and your enemy. This is God's plan. It is so simple that many people cannot accept it. Many feet they have to do something fantastic or pay their way in order to obtain any of God's gifts. This is the devil's greatest deception.