By Elmer Wiebe
Copyright 2007 CULTure Shock Solution Ministries, used by permission. Revised May 1, 2007. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just another denomination?
We are told that Seventh-day Adventism is just another denomination with just a few obscure teachings. In the historical Christianity, the believer’s hope is to experience eternal life with God through their confession of faith in Jesus Christ. If the Seventh-day Adventists are just another denomination, you would expect they would have a similar if not the same hope for the future. Do Adventists anticipate the gift of eternal life and to be bodily resurrected? Upon investigating what the views were from various Adventist sources, I was surprised to discover the following:
Former SDA, Dudly Canright, in his Life of E.G. White… on p162 tells Dr. Kellogg theorized all that was left of a person at death was a record of his life kept in heaven, and at the resurrection a new body of new matter would be formed like the old one and made to think he was the same person. James White who accepted this also asked Ellen for her “light” on it. She said God had shown this to her. When Canright asked “How about Christ’s body which was raised?” she answered, “He dropped it all when he ascended”. Here Jesus’ dropping off His resurrected body, allowed Him to be the Spirit-being, Michael the Archangel, who she recorded as winging his way with her around in heaven, in A Word to the Little Flock, in 1847.
In 1878, Dr. Kellogg advocated the theory that the dead body would never be raised, but that all that was left of a person at death was a record of his life kept in heaven. At the resurrection an entirely new body of new matter would be formed like the old one, and made to think that he was the same person as the old one! Dr. Kellogg influenced Elder James White to advocate this new view. Kellogg presented his new theory before the General Conference, Oct. 8, 1878, and later published it in a book called Soul Resurrection. It met with strong opposition; but Elder White used all his influence for it. He invited Elder J. N. Andrews to a private conference with himself and wife, hoping to win him to his side. But he failed to answer any objections. Then he asked his wife is she had any "light" on the subject. She promptly declared that the Lord had showed her that not a particle of the old body would ever be raised, but that a new body of new material would be formed. Ellen was asked how about Christ's body which was raised. She said he dropped it all when he ascended. As the Lord had settled it, no one dared say no more, though not convinced. Then she went before the conference and made the same positive statements as to what the Lord had "shown" her.
The Adventist "Jesus"
Most Christians are amazed to learn that Seventh-day Adventism teaches that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, but Ellen White said He was Michael, so if they changed this, they’d need to reject her as ‘the spirit of prophecy’ and they’d not be the remnant church! So now they hold He’s both God the Son, and Michael. Dr. Kellogg and Ellen G White both denied the future bodily resurrection of the saints when Jesus Christ comes again. Notice they said that the dead body would not be raised, but rather a new body of new material will be formed. This is not a resurrection, but rather a re-creation. This means that Seventh-day Adventists’ only hope is to have a record of them infused into an entirely different body at the resurrection. This means that they themselves will not be at the resurrection or in heaven. This teaching is not only limited to Adventists, but was passed on to their off-spring, Jehovah’s Witnesses through Charles Taze Russell. This doesn’t reflect the true Christian’s hope.
It makes a great difference who Jesus really is for 2 Corinthians 11:4 says, there’ll be those who teach another Jesus, preach a different gospel and have another spirit. These marks identify cults, who invariably attack the Doctrine of Christ. Early SDA denied His deity saying He’s the archangel. Their Commentary vol 5 p 1129 cites Ellen “The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty”. I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:4; Revelation 15:3; 16:5-7 & 17:14 shows He is Almighty God.
The real Jesus is the God-man Christ Jesus. He was never an Archangel! He’s not God-angel-man. So SDA has a different Jesus.
What does Ellen White say?
“Christ desires His hearers to understand that it is impossible for men to secure the salvation of the soul after death. “Son," Abraham is represented as answering, "remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you can not; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." Thus Christ represented the hopelessness of looking for a second probation. This life is the only time given to man in which to prepare for eternity.”1
“Death entered the world because of transgression. But Christ gave his life that man should have another trial. He did not die on the cross to abolish the law of God, but to secure for man a second probation. He did not die to make sin an immortal attribute: he died to secure the right to destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. He suffered the full penalty of a broken law for the whole world. This he did, not that men might continue in transgression, but that they might return to their loyalty and keep God's commandments, and his law as the apple of their eye.”2
“It is because He [Christ] has borne the punishment in His own body on the cross that man has a second probation. He may, if he will, return this loyalty. But, if he refuses to obey the commands of God, if he rejects the warnings and messages God sends, choosing rather the words of fallacy spoken by those who echo the word of the Deceiver, he is willingly ignorant, and the condemnation of God is upon him. He chooses disobedience because obedience means lifting the cross and practicing self-denial, and following Christ in the path of obedience.”3
“But He who came to our world to seek and to save that which was lost has pledged His own life that men might have a second probation. He has pity, and compassion, and love that are without a parallel; and He has made every provision in behalf of men that none need perish. The divine Son of God came into our world, its Light and Life, to encompass the whole world and to attract and unite to Himself every human being who is under Satan's discipline and rule. He invites them, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:28, 29). Thus He unites with Himself by a new inspiration of grace all who will come unto Him. He puts upon them His seal, His sign of obedience and loyalty to His holy Sabbath.4
“God's Word declares, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." But God does not desire the death of any one. When Adam's sin had forfeited eternal life, at infinite cost God provided for the race a second probation. He "so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Should not those to whom the light of truth for this time has come, place themselves in close connection with God, using their capabilities to advance the work of soul-saving? Should not the one who possesses an understanding of the Scriptures impart the knowledge given him to those who know not the truth? Upon every believer in present truth rests the responsibility of working for sinners. God points them to their special work,--the proclamation of the Third Angel's Message. They are to show their appreciation of God's great gift by consecrating themselves to the work for which Christ gave His life. They are to be stewards of the grace of God, dispensing to others the blessings bestowed on them. He who has found comfort in the Word of God is to share this comfort with others. Thus only can be continue to receive comfort.”5
“We can understand the value of the human soul only as we realize the greatness of the sacrifice made for its redemption. The word of God declares that we are not our own, that we are bought with a price. It is at an immense cost that we have been placed upon vantage ground, where we can find liberty from the bondage of sin wrought by the fall in Eden. Adam's sin plunged the race into hopeless misery; but by the sacrifice of the Son of God, a second probation was granted to man. In the plan of redemption a way of escape is provided for all who will avail themselves of it. God knew that it was impossible for man to overcome in his own strength, and he has provided help for him. How thankful we should be that a way is open for us, by which we can have access to the Father; that the gates are left ajar, so that beams of light from the glory within may shine upon those who will receive them!”6
“At an infinite cost to heaven we have been given a second probation. Then should not God be in all our thoughts? Should not His will control our actions?”7
“He who does nothing until he feels especially compelled to do something for God, will never do anything, God has given his word, and is this not sufficient? Can you not hear his voice in his word? If you will use God's appointed means, and diligently search the Scriptures, having a determined purpose to obey the truth, you will know the doctrine whether it be of God; but God will never work a miracle to compel you to see his truth. God, in giving his only begotten Son to die on Calvary's cross, has made it possible for all men to be saved. Christ died for a ruined world, and through the merit of Christ, God has elected that man should have a second trial, a second probation, a second test as to whether he will keep the commandments of God, or walk in the path of transgression, as did Adam. Through an infinite sacrifice, God has made it possible that men shall practise holiness in this life. Those who would ascertain their election for the future life may ascertain it by their attitude of obedience to the commandments of God. Strong emotions, strong impulses, or desires, for heaven, when listening to a description of the charms of a future life, will no prove that you are elected to sit down with Jesus Christ upon his throne. If you would know the mystery of godliness, you should follow that which has been revealed. The conditions of eternal life have been plainly stated. Jesus says: "If ye love me, keep my commandments. . . . He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. . . . If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." Here are the conditions upon which every soul may be elected to eternal life. Your obedience to God's commandments will prove that you are predestinated to a glorious inheritance. You are elected to be labourers together with God, to work in harmony with Christ, to wear his yoke, to lift his burden, and to follow in his footsteps. You have been provided with means whereby you may ascertain what to do to make your calling and election sure. Search the Scriptures, and you will find that not a son or daughter of Adam is elected to be saved in disobedience to God's commandments.”8
“Christ declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Christ alone can bridge the gulf that sin has made between earth and heaven, and make it possible to reach fallen man with the overtures of mercy. But through the merits of Christ, man has been given a second probation, that he may be tested and proved by another trial to see whether he will be obedient to all the commandments of God, and be brought back in freedom from sin, with his loyalty proved, to have a right to the tree of life, and to enter in through the gates into the city.”9
“Christ became our substitute and surety. He took the case of fallen man upon himself. He became the Redeemer, the Intercessor. When death was proclaimed as the penalty of sin, he offered to give his life for the life of the world, in order that man might have a second probation, and that individually he might enjoy the privileges that would come to us through this divine provision, and receive power to form a character after the divine image. But God has a day in which he will judge the world by that Man whom he hath ordained. All judgment is given into the hands of the Son. Christ has engaged to become the sinner's surety, but he does not engage to lessen or detract from the obligation to the divine law. Should Christ change the law in any particular, the demands of Satan would be fulfilled, and God and Christ and the universe would be brought under bondage to his claims. Christ is the star of hope. He is the one to contest the claims of Satan; he is the seed of the woman that shall bruise the serpent's head. He overcome Satan in heaven, and cast him out because of his rebellion and apostasy.”10
“I have a message for your daughters: You are not feeding upon the bread which came down from heaven, but upon husks. All the praise and glory you receive from human beings is of no value. Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Christ, the Sent of God, gave His life a sacrifice that the world might have a second probation in which to return to their loyalty to God. When Christ was threatened by His foes, He said, "My kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). It is not My mission to recognize caste and human theories, or to establish political interests. My kingdom is not to be set up by the power of human armies or the sword. If My kingdom were of this world, then would My soldiers fight. No human power can weaken or overthrow My kingdom through the enemies of God."”11
“There is not the least excuse for the church to be dwarfed and crippled. Our religious experience needs to be of a higher order, that we may see the greatness of the hope presented to us in the gospel. Christ offered Himself as a willing sacrifice in our behalf. He stooped from His high command in heaven to rescue man from the slavery of sin. The Son of God gave up His honour and glory and tasted the bitterness of death that man might be a partaker of the divine nature. He died that everyone might have a second probation, another chance to choose God as their Leader. He has made every provision that men and women may have an experimental knowledge of the character and work of their Redeemer.”12
“For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich. What kind of riches? It was not the riches of this earth, but it was the eternal riches, the knowledge of God communicated through Jesus Christ. He consents to become man's substitute and surety; He engages to bear the penalty of the debt which man had incurred by transgression. It is He that loved us, and so loved us that He offered His life as a living sacrifice to bear the sins of a guilty world, that man should have a second probation, that man should be tested and proved and tried to see whether he will stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel or whether he will choose to stand under the banner of the prince of darkness.”13
“This was the position of the human race after man divorced himself from God by transgression. Then he was no longer entitled to a breath of air, a ray of sunshine, or a particle of food. And the reason why man was not annihilated was because God so loved him that He made the gift of His dear Son that He should suffer the penalty of his transgression. Christ proposed to become man's surety and substitute, that man, through matchless grace, should have another trial--a second probation--having the experience of Adam and Eve as a warning not to transgress God's law as they did. And inasmuch as man enjoys the blessings of God in the gift of the sunshine and the gift of food, there must be on the part of man a bowing before God in thankful acknowledgement that all things come of God. Whatever is rendered back to Him is only His own who has given it.”14
“Christ gave His life to redeem humanity, and He calls upon men and women to make every sacrifice in their power to glorify God by placing light in contrast with darkness. Christ gave His life as a sacrifice, not to destroy God's law, not to create a lower standard, but to maintain justice, and to give man a second probation. No one can keep God's commandments except in Christ's power. He bore in His body the sins of all mankind, and He imputes His righteousness to every believing child.”15
“The apostle Paul looking down to our day, declares, "It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." And again, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting, and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." These words plainly set forth our duty. Every year is shortening our probation, and bringing us nearer the coming of our Lord. We should now put forth every energy to prepare for the great event. This life at the longest is represented as a vapour, which soon passes away. Its treasures, its honours, and its joys are transitory and uncertain. If we live for God and the immortal future, we shall secure all that is worth the having.”16
As the reader can see from the sixteen references, this is the hope and gift (if you can call it that) that Ellen G White and Seventh-day Adventists have in receiving a second probation from the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross. Is this what He died for? The true Christian Church knows nothing of a second probation (conditional), but rather a pardon (free) unto eternal life. The difference is one still speaks of continual bondage, while the other speaks of instant liberty! See John 8:31 – 36; Romans 8:2; Galatians 4:22 – 31; 5:1.
For the Seventh-day Adventist, what is done in us is as integral to salvation as what was done for us. However, in Protestant evangelicalism, what is done for us is salvation. What is done in us is the lifetime work of the Holy Spirit. Nothing done in us is an integral part of salvation. For Protestants, it is a benefit of having been completely saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.
GALATIANS 1:6-9 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.
To teach and receive a false gospel is a destructive consequence of alienation from the promises of God for both the hearer and teacher. Let us pay extra attention to our message when sharing the gospel with people so we will not convey false doctrine even in the slightest sense leaving the hearer with a false hope.
1. Christ's Object Lessons, p. 263, par 3 Chapter Title: A Great Gulf Fixed
2. Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, p. 32, par 1; Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 134, par 1 Chapter Title: God's High Standard ; The Faith I Live By, p. 179, par 5 Chapter Title: Here And Hereafter
3. This Day with God, p. 87, par 1 Chapter Title: Choosing and Doing
4. Manuscript 104, Sept. 28, 1897, "Condemned by the Jews." The Upward Look, p. 285, par 5 Chapter Title: Two Spirits in the World
5. The Signs of the Times, February 24, 1904, par 7 Article Title: The Narrow Way "Freely Ye Have Received, Freely Give."; The Upward Look, p. 379, par 5 Chapter Title: Stewards of God's Grace
6. Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 15, par 3 Chapter Title: Our Reasonable Service; The Signs of the Times, August 10, 1915, par 12 Article Title: Satan and Our Appetites
7. Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, October 15, 1900, par 10 Article Title: Ye Are Not Your Own; The Youth's Instructor, November 8, 1900, par 10 Article Title: Ye Are Not Your Own
8. Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, September 28, 1897, par 4 Article Title: Preach the Word
9. The Signs of the Times, April 11, 1895, par 4 Article Title: Revelation of God through Christ
10. The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1896, par 4 Article Title: The Test of Loyalty
11. Manuscript Releases Volume Eleven, p. 341, par 1 Chapter Title: Attending and Acting in Theatrical Performances
12. Manuscript Releases Volume Twenty-one, p. 402, par 2 Chapter Title: Call to a Higher Standard
13. Sermons and Talks Volume One, p. 250, par 3 Chapter Title: Seeking Heavenly Treasures
14. The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 814, par 1 Chapter Title: Danger of False Ideas on Justification by Faith
15. Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, May 7, 1901, par 1 Article Title: The Great Standard of Righteousness
16. Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 28, 1882, par 2 Article Title: Where Are We Drifting?