William Miller was an itinerant Baptist preacher credited with the birth of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) movement. He believed Christ would return on 21st March 1843. He was so sure of this that his motivation drove him to start a revival, which swept across America, Africa and Asia. As a result of this drive, 50,000 new converts were added to the Adventists (Your Friends the Adventists, by A.S. Maxwell, p. 85). However, after one year had elapsed with still no sign of Christ’s return, members became worried. Dates were recalculated, another year elapsed and, by this stage, two years after Miller’s initial pronouncement/prophecy of the Lord’s return, many of his supporters simply gave up and left the group.
One can only wonder how many lost their faith altogether due to his bungling and blasphemous prediction!
Miller later acknowledged his error and subsequently died a broken man (The Truth about Seventh Day Adventism, by Walter R. Martin, p. 29-30).
What should have been a total disaster for the Adventists actually produced three breakaway groups. In The Four Major Cults, p. 98, Anthony A. Hoekema describes them as follows: “The group headed by Hiram Edson in western New York State which emphasized the doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary; the group in Washington, New Hampshire, which along with Joseph Bates, advocated the observance of the seventh day; and the group around Portland, Maine, which held that Ellen G. White was a true prophetess, whose visions and works were to be followed by Adventists.”
Based on such a wonderful endorsement and vote of confidence in Ellen White, the “prophetess” (as she would now be referred to) in reality become the “she-pope” of Seventh-day Adventism. For this new religion to really take off, “signs” and “visions” would be needed, and thus, well over 2,000 “dreams” and “visions” in fact were produced!
Ellen G. White
Ellen Harmon was born into a devout Methodist Episcopal church. However, at the age of nine, she was involved in a serious accident that affected her whole life. Ellen would go on to explain her accident: “In company with my twin sister and one of our schoolmates, I was crossing a common in the city of Portland, Maine, when a girl of about thirteen years of age followed us, threatening to strike us… We were running towards home but the girl was following us rapidly, with a stone in her hand. I turned to see how far she was behind me, and as I turned, the stone hit me on my nose. A blinding, stunning sensation overpowered me and I fell senseless. When consciousness again returned, I found myself in a merchant’s store; my garments covered with the blood streaming from my nose, and a large stream of blood on the floor. A kind stranger offered to take me home in his carriage. I knew not how weak I was, and told him I should greatly soil his carriage with my blood, and that I could walk home. I had walked but a few steps when I grew dizzy and faint. My twin sister and my schoolmate carried me home. I have no recollection of anything for some time after the accident. My mother says that I noticed nothing, but lay in a stupid state for three weeks…. As I aroused to consciousness, it seemed to me that I had been asleep. I was not aware of the accident, and knew not of the cause of my sickness….I was shocked at the change in my appearance. Every feature of my face seemed changed….The bones of my nose proved to be broken” (Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, 1860).
“In company with my twin sister and one of our schoolmates, I was crossing a common in the city of Portland, Maine, when a girl of about thirteen years of age followed us, threatening to strike us… We were running towards home but the girl was following us rapidly, with a stone in her hand. I turned to see how far she was behind me, and as I turned, the stone hit me on my nose. A blinding, stunning sensation overpowered me and I fell senseless. When consciousness again returned, I found myself in a merchant’s store; my garments covered with the blood streaming from my nose, and a large stream of blood on the floor. A kind stranger offered to take me home in his carriage. I knew not how weak I was, and told him I should greatly soil his carriage with my blood, and that I could walk home. I had walked but a few steps when I grew dizzy and faint. My twin sister and my schoolmate carried me home. I have no recollection of anything for some time after the accident. My mother says that I noticed nothing, but lay in a stupid state for three weeks… As I aroused to consciousness, it seemed to me that I had been asleep. I was not aware of the accident and knew not of the cause of my sickness…I was shocked at the change in my appearance. Every feature of my face seemed changed…The bones of my nose proved to be broken” (Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, 1860).
When her father finally reached his daughter’s bedside, at first he didn’t recognize her. There can be no doubt that a knock to the head as serious as this could have killed her. However, Ellen was very fortunate, but may have suffered irreversible brain damage (as some doctors now believe); hence, her erratic amount of writings and visions.
Ellen White the ‘prophetess’“
- At the conference a very solemn vision was given me. I saw that some of those present would be food for worms, some subjects for the seven last plagues, and some would be translated to heaven at the second coming of Christ, without seeing death” (Spiritual Gifts, volume 2, p. 208; Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White, 1880 edition, p. 321).
- “At the conference a very solemn vision was given me. I saw that some of those present would be food for worms, some subjects for the seven last plagues, and some would be translated to heaven at the second coming of Christ, without seeing death” (Spiritual Gifts, volume 2, p. 208; Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White, 1880 edition, p. 321).
- “What we have seen and heard of the pestilence, is but the beginning of what we shall see and hear. Soon the dead and dying will be all around us. I saw that some will be so hardened, as to even make sport of the judgements of God. Then the slain of the Lord will be from one end of the earth, to the other; they will not be lamented, gathered, nor buried; but their ill saviour will come up from the face of the whole earth. Those only who have the seal of the living God, will be sheltered from the storm of wrath, that will soon fall on the heads of those who have rejected the truth” (The Present Truth, 1st September 1849, paragraph 10, article titled: Dear Brethren and Sisters).
- “The human family was presented before me, enfeebled. Every generation has been growing weaker, and disease of every form visits the human race. Thousands of poor mortals are dragging out a miserable existence. Some with deformed, sickly bodies, shattered nerves, and gloomy minds. Satan’s power upon the human family increases. If the Lord should not soon come and destroy his power, the earth would soon be depopulated” (Spiritual Gifts, volume 4B, p. 94, and Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 22 April 1862, paragraph 3).
- A pastor’s wife, Lucinda Burdick, claims to have been present when Ellen would once again make a prophecy that would never come to pass: “During the year 1845 I met Miss Ellen G. Harmon several times at my uncle’s house in South Windham, Me. The first of these meetings was in the month of May, when I heard her declare that God had revealed to her that Jesus Christ would return to this earth in June, the next month” (L. Burdick letter).
- Once again, Lucinda Burdick: “During the haying season I again met her in company with James White at the same place, and heard my uncle ask her about the failure of the Lord to appear in June according to her visions. She replied that she had been told in the language of Canaan which she did not understand; but that she had since come to understand that Christ would return in September, at the second growth of grass instead of the first” (L. Burdick letter).
- She would go on to write over 100,000 manuscript pages on topics such as health, education, family, Bible history and practical Christian living. Ellen would travel the globe as an ambassador for the Adventists. Many Adventists to this day believe her writings were inspired, and should be on par with the prophets, Samuel, Jeremiah and John the Baptist (The Advent Review & Herald, 4 October 1928).
Facts and figures about the Seventh-day Adventists:
- Every 32 seconds of each day they baptize a new convert.
- As of 2001, the Adventists were 12 million strong, more than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- Their headquarters are in Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.
- In 1999, they collected $1.6 billion via contributions, donations and tithing.
- They employ nearly 166,000, not including their 13,815 ordained ministers worldwide.
- They claim to be working in 725 languages and over 1,000 dialects.
- They have a large investment in publishing and education. They operate 56 publishing houses and support 549 medical units (696 including 117 nursing homes and retirement centres and 30 orphanages), as well as 5,846 primary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities (with a total enrollment of over a million students).
- Adventist World Radio broadcasts 1,000 hours per week in more than 40 languages from 18 transmitters in 7 international locations and has almost 13 million students enrolled in its more than 110,000 “Sabbath Schools” (SDA website, November 2001).
- The Adventists publishes two of their own ‘bible’ translations.
- We also discover, the following figures and breakdown for Southern Asia in 1997, from one of their own publications:
Unions Churches Membership Population
Bangladesh 69 10,906 122,200,000
Central Philippine 926 161,200 15,259,860
East Indonesia 505 78,511 23,106,330
Myanmar 172 19,290 46,800,000
North Philippine 1,197 214,390 38,490,960
South Philippine 1,423 339,242 19,649,180
Southeast Asia 271 58,087 176,340,000
West Indonesia 531 82,412 181,193,670
Guam-Micronesia Mission 17 3,077 476,000
SDA Church in Sri Lanka 13 3,020 18,700,000
Totals June 30, 1997 5,124 970,135 642,216,000
Source: Studies on Revelation and Inspiration, 1999, p. 220.
Walter Martin shares with his reader, information about this sect, and some of their alleged criminal activity:
“…There has been a number of Adventist leaders and pastors who have been removed from their positions because of supposed or proven improper financial activities, including misappropriations of funds. On the United States federal government level, the IRS, SEC, FBI, and Justice Department have all initiated investigations, and some Seventh-day Adventist conference administrators may even face trial for fraud.” (The Kingdom of the Cults, 2003, p. 536).
Red = Adventists
Black = Biblical Christianity
“The Lord has shown me that Satan was once an honoured angel in heaven, next to Jesus Christ” (E. G. White’s, Vision Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1 p. 17).
In Micah 5:2 we read the following: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
This prophetic verse speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it clearly states that the Messiah is eternal. Angels were created by God. Therefore, Jesus cannot be in the same league as angels.
This heretical teaching is identical to what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach, and by advocating this blasphemous belief, Jesus is downgraded to the person of an angel.
According to the SDA, Christ will have to move into the second apartment in the heavenly tabernacle to perform further work prior to His Second Coming. This is just what the Catholic Church believes, a grave and heretical doctrine indeed!
But the Scriptures state:
“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself (Hebrews 7:26-27) …But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).
The writer of Hebrews clearly affirms that Christ offered one sacrifice for sins, which the Father accepted. Never again would this be needed (1 Pet. 3:18).
That the soul sleeps upon death soul sleep. Hell is replaced with total annihilation (White, The Great Controversy, p. 477- 478).
Please see the following verses that affirm Hell is a real and conscious existence (Eze. 32: 19-32; Dan. 12:2; Matt. 3:12; 25:46; Mark 9:44-49; Luke 16:23, 24; 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 14:10, 11; 20:10).
Therefore if the sinner is unwilling to receive Jesus’ free gift of salvation (Acts 16:31), then God’s perfect justice is accomplished (Ps. 76:10), and the unrepentant sinner is solely to blame for his/her eternal abode in Hellfire (Deut. 32:3-5).
That the Jewish Sabbath [Saturday] must be kept by Christians (Messenger to the Remnant, p. 34).
The early church met on Sunday, the first day of the Jewish week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2) and this custom was and is practised throughout the world to this day.
That all believers should be vegetarians (Ellen G. White, p. 17).
All dietary laws are abolished in the New Testament (Acts 10:9-15).
Ellen would call on her dead husband [necromancy] (Letter 17, 1881).
Communicating with the dead is strictly prohibited in Scripture (Lev. 19:31; 20:27; Deut. 18:11 & 1 Sam. 28:3).
Ellen White was a brain-damaged woman; hence, why so many of her “prophecies” never came to pass and why so much of what she taught is clearly discredited by the Scripture. Elders in her church should have treated her with sympathy and should never have allowed her to have any position of authority.
Her husband, James White, not only rejected the Trinity and Jesus’ deity, but according to some was also a Freemason. Therefore, can any real child of God who may have accidentally found their way into the SDA honestly put their hand on their heart and convince themselves that they are really honouring God by remaining in this legalistic, grace-denying organization?
I remember debating with a charismatic about whether or not the Jewish apostolic sign gifts of the Holy Spirit were for today, and he told me that God needed to tell us what to do. I responded that as a Bible-believing Christian, we already know more than enough! For example, we know that Jesus is the only Saviour of the world who has paid for our sins, we know that we are to evangelize the world, we know that He is with us for ever, we know He’s returning for us soon, we know that He will judge the living and the dead, etc., etc., etc. So, with all this knowledge, I wondered what else he wished to know!
No real satisfactory answer was given to me. I said to him, in conclusion, that the reason why so many charismatics wish to know “what to do” is because they don’t bother to read and study the Bible. That Book has all the answers that any genuine child of God would or ever could wish to know.
The point I am trying to make is that some people want to feel important. They read the great Biblical stories of how God instructed prophets, such as Moses who led His people into the Promised Land or Paul who was commissioned to build upon the foundation of Jesus’ Church, and they too want that type of commission. Who wouldn’t? However, if God needs to continue speaking to us and giving us fresh revelations, then the New Testament writers, under the Holy Spirit’s infallible command, failed to equip us with all that we need throughout the Church era. And we know this is not the case (1 Corinthians 1:6-8; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Jude 3).
One final footnote: In essence, the SDA is an Old Covenant-style organization. They are still trying to live under the law and expect their members to do so too. They have no real understanding of grace and, therefore, they will forever be in bondage to their system and to their Adamic natures.
Only when they are born again and set free from this obsolete way of life will they truly know the Lord Jesus and have the peace and joy that so tragically eludes them.
- G. Gruss, Cults and the Occult
- R. Smith, Second Warning
- R. Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults
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