by Colleen Tinker
(Originally printed in the Fall 2009 MCOI Journal)
I frequently hear the comments: “Adventists today are changing.” “They’re such nice people, and they’re so sincere!” “I did my residency at an Adventist hospital; they believe what I believe except they go to church on Saturday.” “They have a great ‘health message!’”
Perhaps the most disturbing comment, however, is: “Why did you leave?” This question usually is asked with a hint of judgment—a shadow of: “Why divide the body of Christ because you have a personal axe to grind?” In fact, our editorial office at Life Assurance Ministries often receives letters from current Adventists who say in essence, “If you’re unhappy with Adventism, why don’t you just leave quietly and quit talking about the church?”
My response to these kinds of remarks is three-fold. First, no matter how sincere Adventists are nor how effective the organization’s public relations efforts may be, there is only one Adventism; and it is not changing. Second, I left Adventism because I found Jesus, I fell in love with Him, and Adventism is not compatible with His Gospel. Finally, I talk about Adventism because Christians need to be protected from Adventist evangelism and because Adventists need to be evangelized by Christians.
In this article, I will first examine the essential theology of Adventism; and in conclusion, I will look at its impact as a world religion.
What Is Adventism?
Adventism grew out of the Millerite* movement of the 1840s in New England. When Jesus failed to return in 1843 and then in 1844 as William Miller had predicted, the group of people who did not repent of this date-setting and return to their churches coalesced and eventually became the Seventh-day Adventist church. Founded by James White (a former pastor in the Christian Connexion** and a staunch anti-Trinitarian), Joseph Bates (a sea-captain who was instrumental in bringing the seventh-day Sabbath to the group), and Ellen Gould White (James’s wife who received visions and was attributed with having the New Testament gift of prophecy), the fledgling group organized around a doctrine devised to validate the 1844 date—the “investigative judgment.”
The investigative judgment is a complicated doctrine based on a fallacious interpretation of Daniel 8:14. Because Ellen had received visions endorsing Miller’s 1843 and 1844 time prophecies, the group believed she had heard from God and desired to uphold the veracity of her inspiration and of their own preaching. Thus, they reinterpreted the time prophecy, and the result was the “investigative judgment.” This doctrine says, essentially, that Jesus’ Atonement was not finished on the cross. Rather, His blood provided a means of transferring the sins of those who professed Christ into Heaven where they were “kept” until Jesus would complete His Atonement by investigating the Heavenly records of the lives of professed believers.1“And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation–a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people;” White, E. G., The Great Controversy, 1911 ed., p. 421. Also online at http://www. greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc23.html 2“The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement.” White, E.G., Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357.”
They said this investigation—known as the “investigative judgment”—began in 18443White, E.G., The Great Controversy, p. 423. Also online at http://www.greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc24.html when Jesus went into the Most Holy Place in Heaven for the first time. Whereas William Miller had said Jesus would return to earth in 1844 and “cleanse the sanctuary” (as extrapolated from Daniel 8:14, KJV), the early Adventists taught the real meaning of that text was that Jesus began cleansing the sanctuary in Heaven of the sins carried there by Jesus’ blood. In 1844, therefore, Jesus supposedly began checking to see if every sin of those who profess Christ had been confessed. Any sin which a person might have forgotten or neglected to confess specifically would not be forgiven and would be placed back on the offender. Every sin which had been confessed would then be placed on the scapegoat***—Satan, and Satan would bear those sins out of Heaven into the Lake of Fire where he would be punished for them. Thus, they assert, the sanctuary in Heaven would be cleansed.4“For the sins of those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ will at last be rolled back upon the originator of sin, and he must bear their punishment, while those who do not accept salvation through Jesus will suffer the penalty of their own sins.” White, E.G., Early Writings of Ellen G. White, p. 178 5White, E. G., Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, p. 266
The fact is: This doctrine continues to shape Adventism. Satan, not Jesus, is their scapegoat. Although Adventists seldom speak of this fact in public, it is at the heart of their theology. In essence, Adventist soteriology† works this way: Jesus’ blood provides a means for the sins of professed believers to be removed from them and carried into Heaven. Jesus’ blood, therefore, actually defiles Heaven because it carries sins into the presence of God. Heaven, itself, is then cleansed when Satan carries those sins out of Heaven and bears the punishment for them.
Today, perhaps because there is no biblical support for the classic doctrine of the investigative judgment, many Adventists interpret God’s review of the Heavenly records as being for the purpose of vindicating God’s character to the watching universe. This modified view has no more biblical support than does the original doctrine; and in some ways, it is more sinister—it promotes the idea that God must prove Himself to be fair in the face of Satan’s supposed accusations that God was unfair to humans. This notion of God needing to prove Himself is embedded in Ellen White’s original writing about the investigative judgment,6White, E.G., The Great Controversy, p 498. Also online at http://www. greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc29.html and over the past few decades, Adventist theologians—including the late Jack Provonsha and Graham Maxwell (both of whom taught on the faculty of religion at Loma Linda University)—have focused on this facet of the doctrine and have made humanity’s vindication of God’s character the focal point of the judgment.7For a deeper look at the essence of the modern “vindication of God” interpretation of the investigative judgment, see “New, Improved! Investigative Judgment” by Colleen Tinker in Proclamation! magazine, vol. 6, March/April, 2005, p. 6, available online at http://lifeassuranceministries.org/Proclamation2005_MarApr.pdf
The classic investigative judgment, however, is still official Adventist doctrine. The Adventists’ Fundamental Beliefs No. 24 states in part:
The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent.8Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #24: “Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary”, p. 347-348. Also online at http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html [emphasis mine]
In summary, this unique doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church assumes there is an as-yet-unresolved conflict between Jesus and Satan in which the fairness and the character of God are on trial. This assumed conflict is being resolved by means of the investigative judgment in which Jesus is finding out which of the earth’s professed believers are worthy of salvation.
Implications Of Soul Sleep
Since the doctrine of the investigative judgment requires Christ to investigate the lives of every believer, beginning in 1844 and ending just before the “Time of Trouble,” the common Christian belief that the spirits of the righteous dead are in Heaven with Jesus (2 Cor. 5:1-10; Phil 1:22-23) and those of the unsaved are being held for judgment (2 Peter 2:9) had to be revised. The Adventist doctrine of “soul sleep,” shared by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, accommodates their doctrine of judgment.
As stated in their Fundamental Beliefs No. 7, Adventists believe:
… each [person] is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil.9Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #7: “The Nature of Man”, p. 91. Also online at http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html [emphasis mine]
The phrase “an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit” is code for the Adventist belief that no part of a human survives death except in the memory of God. They teach the “spirit” of man is merely his “breath.” It is breath, not a conscious essence of a person, which they say returns to God.
In Seventh-day Adventists Believe is this statement:
But in the Bible neither the Hebrew nor the Greek term for spirit (ruach and pneuma, respectively) refers to an intelligent entity capable of a conscious existence apart from the body. Rather, these terms refer to the “breath”—the spark of life essential to individual existence, the life principle that animates animals and human beings … Solomon’s statement that the spirit (ruach) returns to God who gave it indicates that what returns to God is simply the life principle that He imparted. There is no indication that the spirit or breath, was a conscious entity separate from the body. This ruach can be equated with the “breath of life” that God breathed into the first human being to animate his lifeless body (cf. Gen.:2:7).10Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 392, par. 2 and 4
Adventists teach that believing:
“the dead are conscious has prepared many Christians to accept spiritualism. If the dead are alive and in the presence of God, why could they not return to earth as ministering spirits?”11Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 393, par. 2
This soul-sleep doctrine leads to the belief the resurrection is actually a re-creation of the person out of the memory of God. In other words, there is no ontological connection between the person who was alive and the person who is resurrected.
Because of their disbelief in the Biblical doctrine of a literal spirit which is separate from the body, and which can know and worship God (John 4:24), Adventists have no clear understanding of the new birth. They see the “new birth” as the Holy Spirit giving us the power to “become victorious”.12Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 105, par. 1 They do not understand humans as having a literal, immaterial spirit which is born dead in sin but which is brought to life by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Col. 2:13). Rather, they see the Holy Spirit as informing the mind and giving people the power to keep the commandments (but see Rom. 3:20). They do not understand that the new birth literally results in God transferring us from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col. 1:13).
Moreover, they believe that as a man, Jesus was exactly as we are. While they insist He was fully God as well as fully man, they teach He inherited fallen flesh from His mother—yet He never sinned.13Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 56, par. 4 This belief is closely linked with their perception of what sin is according to Adventist understanding. Because of their disbelief in a literal, immaterial spirit, they perceive sin to be transmitted genetically. In other words, “sin” is linked to the body, since Adventists believe that the body and spirit are indivisible. Therefore, overcoming sin essentially is coming to the point of perfectly keeping the 10 Commandments by somehow accessing enough divine power from the Holy Spirit to resist temptation successfully.
Adventists teach that Jesus was our example by showing us it is possible for us—just as He did—to keep the law perfectly. In their book Seventh-day Adventists Believe, they state:
To set the example as to how people should live, Christ must live a sinless life as a human being. As the second Adam, He dispelled the myth that humans cannot obey God’s law and have victory over sin. He demonstrated that it is possible for humanity to be faithful to God’s will.14Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 58, par.
Because Adventists do not believe humans possess an immaterial spirit which separates from the body at physical death and goes to the Lord Jesus, they do not understand the natural condition of man is literal spiritual death. Moreover, they fail to understand that Jesus’ sinlessness was not primarily a physical and mental feat accomplished by a focused will. Jesus was, in fact, the only human ever born who was spiritually alive from conception and not dead in sin. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, sin had no claim on Him. He was conceived with spiritual life; never was He in the domain of darkness (Col 1:13).
Soul sleep is not merely a doctrine of what Adventists believe happens at death. It is a doctrine that eclipses the new birth and denies the existence of the human spirit, thus also denying the immaterial spirit of Jesus the Man. His innate spiritual life is misunderstood, and Adventists understand their own righteousness in terms of physical and mental obedience to the law—obedience made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit giving them the ability to resist temptation (but see Gal. 5:3). Because of this erroneous soul sleep doctrine, Adventists have no clear understanding of salvation being effected by the new birth (as described in John 3:3-5), and they have no clear concept of natural depravity as being the result of being literally spiritually dead (cf. Eph. 2:5, Col. 2:13-14).
Keeping the seventh-day Sabbath is the most visible “marker” of Seventh-day Adventism. While other denominations also worship on the seventh day, Adventists have made keeping the Sabbath an issue not only of obedience, but also of salvation. Although many contemporary Adventists claim that the Sabbath is not necessary for salvation, and although they state that people from all walks of life will be saved, nevertheless they deeply fear they will lose their salvation if they give up the Sabbath.
Ellen White established keeping the seventh-day Sabbath as the final mark dividing true believers from the lost and called it “the seal of the living God:”
The enemies of God’s law, from the ministers down to the least among them, have a new conception of truth and duty. Too late they see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. Too late they see the true nature of their spurious sabbath and the sandy foundation upon which they have been building. They find that they have been fighting against God.15White, E.G. The Great Controversy, p. 640 Also online at http://www.greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc40.html [empasis mine]
She describes the final judgment when God announces the day and hour of Jesus’ return and the pronouncement of the blessing for Sabbath-keepers:
The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people. Like peals of loudest thunder His words roll through the earth. The Israel of God stand listening, with their eyes fixed upward. Their countenances are lighted up with His glory, and shine as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked cannot look upon them. And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honored God by keeping His Sabbath holy, there is a mighty shout of victory.16White, E.G. The Great Controversy, p. 640 Also online at http://www.greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc40.html [emphasis mine]
Not only does Ellen White establish keeping the Sabbath as “the seal of the living God” and the mark that identifies those who will be saved, but she identifies worship on Sunday as being “the mark of the beast:”
The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.17White, E.G. The Great Controversy, p. 605. Also online at: http://www.greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/ gc38.html [empasis mine]
In summary, Ellen White established keeping the seventh-day Sabbath as the issue which determines who will be saved or lost. She calls it “the seal of God,” and she identifies worshiping on Sunday as “the mark of the beast.” She even admonishes parents to prevent their children from playing either inside or outside on the Sabbath. If they do allow them to play, she says, God will regard the parents as Sabbath-breakers.18White, E, G, Review and Herald, 1854-09-19. Online at http:// www.egwtext.WhiteEstate.org/cgi-bin/egw2html?C=8961758 &K=215200091610922092
Adventist Fundamental Beliefs No. 20 calls keeping the Sabbath:
… a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God’s kingdom. The Sabbath is God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people.19Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #20: “The Sabbath”, p. 281; online at http://www.adventist.org/ beliefs/fundamental/index.html. [emphasis mine]
The Bible, however, never calls keeping the Sabbath “the seal of God” but rather identifies the deposit of the Holy Spirit within man as being God’s seal (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30). Moreover, this deposit is never called “a token of our allegiance” to a new covenant, nor is it a “God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant.” The New Testament contains no command to keep the Sabbath day holy (see Romans 14:5; Acts 15).
Adventists’ insistence upon Sabbath observance is a modern form of the Galatian heresy. They add Sabbath-keeping to the Gospel as a requirement for salvation. Although they say those who have not yet been taught the importance of keeping the Sabbath may be saved, nevertheless, they say if they stop keeping the Sabbath once they have known it, they lose their salvation.
Ellen White wrote:
Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters. ‘Thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting. I asked who this company were. [sic] The angel said, “These are they who have once kept the Sabbath, and have given it up.”20White, E.G., Early Writings (1882), p. 36, par. 2; retrieved from http://www.egwtext.whiteestate.org/cgi-bin/egw2html?C=19921496&K=214458091610921848
In spite of many Adventists’ protests that keeping the Sabbath is not necessary for their salvation, nevertheless they will not give it up for fear they will be lost and find themselves howling in agony when Jesus returns.
Because of its carefully orchestrated proselytizing program, Adventism today is growing rapidly worldwide. At the end of 2007, the number of baptized members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was 15,660,347.21Membership statistics retrieved from http://www.adventiststatistics.org/view_Summary.asp?FieldID=G10001&Year=2007&submit=Change #Top This membership is distributed around the globe, but the greatest growth and largest numbers of members are not in North America where the organization began. The greatest current growth is in the Inter-American Division (2,957,485 members), the South American Division (2,617,706), the East-Central Africa Division (2,376,903 members), and the South African/Indian Ocean Division (2,187,125 members). In 2007 alone, the organization acquired 1,040,642 new members worldwide and officially lost only 341,109 members. This growth rate means that by the beginning of 2010, Adventist membership will number around 18,000,000 people.
At the end of 2007, the Adventist church owned 168 hospitals and sanitariums worldwide (including the famed Loma Linda University Medical Center, home of the denomination’s medical and dental schools), 433 clinics and dispensaries, 62 publishing houses producing literature in 362 different languages; 7,442 schools, and a total income of $2,668,006,564.00.
According to the religious statistical web site Adherents. com, Adventism is the twelfth largest religious body in the world—exceeding even the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Moreover, it is the sixth most ubiquitous international religious body. In other words, it is the sixth most likely religious body to have a church or congregation near you in most countries in the world. The only organizations which exceed Adventists in ubiquity are the Catholic Church, Sunni Islam, the Baha’i Faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.22http://www.adherents.com/adh_rb.html
Adventist “evangelism” is conducted in many ways. Typically, Adventist programs do not reveal they are Seventh-day Adventists. Their “Prophecy” and “Revelation” seminars are held around the world, and their advertising does not reveal their Adventist affiliation. They offer multiple online and correspondence Bible courses, and they produce multiple magazines designed to introduce Adventist practices and beliefs without revealing clearly that they are, indeed, Adventist. Some of their most successful means of attracting people’s interest include their medical work and various cooking schools and lifestyle seminars.
There are many Adventist ministries. Some are owned by the church, and others are independently owned but are supportive of and evangelize for the Adventist church. Nevertheless, they are Adventist in spite of their lack of public acknowledgement. Included among these organizations are the well-known radio program The Voice of Prophecy and the television programs Amazing Facts and It Is Written. Also in this category are The Quiet Hour, Generation of Youth for Christ, Weimar Institute (a health conditioning center), and many others.
Adventist publications include Signs of the Times, Ministry Magazine, Liberty, Renewed and Ready, Vibrant Life, Winner, and Women of Spirit. Also included in the list of Adventist publications is The Clear Word, a Bible paraphrase with Adventist doctrines written into the text without citations. The Clear Word is published by Autumn House Publishing, a subsidiary of the Adventist publishing house Review and Herald Publishing. It is advertised and sold by Adventist Book Centers as well as by many Christian booksellers.
Because of Adventism’s beliefs that only they have the full “truth” and that Sabbath-keeping is an integral part of the Gospel, the denomination has an unspoken but powerful mandate to proselytize other Christians. Their primary effort in evangelism is not converting unbelievers, but rather, they concentrate on stealing believers to become Adventists.
What Every Christian Needs To Know
Adventism has a powerful and active public relations machine. Why does it seem they easily and frequently alter their public statements to sound acceptable to evangelicals? Moreover, they use the same words other Christians use, but they have redefined what those terms mean. When Christians talk to Adventists, the Christians are usually fooled by the Adventists’ use of these Christian words, think the Adventists understand the Gospel, and are saved.
The reality is, however, most Adventists can use the common phrases “saved by grace” and “Jesus is all I need”, but they never understand those phrases in the true, historic Biblical sense. They say those words with their lips; but in their hearts, they believe the investigative judgment, keeping the Sabbath, and believing in soul sleep are mandatory components of the Gospel.
Summarily, this is what Christians need to know: No matter what an Adventist claims to believe—whether one sounds like a historical Adventist, an evangelical, or a liberal Christian— all Adventists agree on four basic beliefs which they believe are necessary for their salvation but are absolutely contrary to the historic Christian faith. These beliefs form the underlying definitions for all their Christian-sounding words. They are:
1. A belief in the eternal significance and necessity of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath;
2. A belief in soul-sleep which denies the existence of the human spirit and has grave implications for the nature of man, of Christ, of sin, and of salvation;
3. A belief in an ongoing judgment in which God is on trial and humans help to vindicate Him before the watching universe by honoring the law;
4. A belief in the significance of Ellen White whom the Adventists call “a continuing and authoritative source of truth.”23Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed.2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #18: “The Gift of Prophecy”, p. 247; online at http://www.adventist. org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html.
These four beliefs are completely incompatible with the Bible and the Christian faith; and yet, they shape and define every Adventist’s world view and perception of the Bible. They read the Bible through Ellen White lenses, and they often have no idea they are not reading, hearing or understanding the Gospel. Adventism is a dangerous deception; it masquerades as true Christianity; it uses Christian words and phrases, but it does not teach the Gospel by which we are saved. (See 1 Cor. 15:1-4 for the Apostle Paul’s presentation of the Gospel that saves).
Christians need to understand that Adventists always interact with Christians with an unspoken intention to proselytize them. They believe that proselytizing fulfills their mandate to preach the Gospel. Christians also need to understand that Adventists need to hear the true Gospel (Rom. 1:2-4). They are in bondage to a dark deception, and they are hungry for real hope.
The veil of spiritual deception keeps Adventists from understanding the Bible (2 Cor. 4:4). The most powerful thing we can do is to pray for them and to seek opportunities to engage them in inductive Bible study. They have learned to study the Bible deductively, using a proof-text method to prove their own beliefs. They have never learned to read and study the Bible contextually, and engaging them in book-by-book inductive study is the best way to help them see the truth.
In conclusion, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a rapidly growing organization masquerading as an evangelical Christian movement. It teaches a different gospel, it honors a false prophetess, it holds unbiblical beliefs about death and the nature of man and Christ, and it teaches there is an ongoing judgment in which God’s character is on trial and humans exonerate him to the watching universe. It attempts to sound evangelical, but its hidden-from-the-public foundation is unbiblical, and that foundation shapes everything they believe. Adventism must be understood and exposed in order to protect the Christian community from its proselytizing efforts. Finally, Adventists themselves are hungry for the Gospel. We must understand their deception in order to minister to them as God brings opportunities.
*Millerite = “… followers of the teachings of William Miller who, in 1833, first shared publicly his belief in the coming Second Advent of Jesus Christ in roughly the year 1843.” (Wikipedia)
**Christian Connexion = “… movement which began in several places during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and were secessions from three different religious denominations … Several leaders of the movement questioned whether the concept of the Trinity was Biblical and came to believe that it was not.” (Wikipedia)
***Scapegoat = “But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.” (Lev. 16:10, NIV, emphasis added) The O.T. scapegoat foreshadowed the One Who ultimately and completely would make atonement for our sins: Jesus Christ.
†Soteriology = “the doctrine of salvation, especially the Christian doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ.” (Encarta Dictionary).
Colleen Tinker is editor of Proclamation! magazine produced by Life Assurance Ministries (LAM). Colleen and Richard, her husband and president of LAM, and their two sons left Adventism for the sake of the Lord Jesus in 1998. For the past ten years, they have led a local weekly Bible study: Former Adventist Fellowship. They also host FormerAdventist.com, LifeAssuranceMinistries.org, SeventhdayCult.com, and BibleStudiesforAdventists.com
Magazines/books available from LifeAssuranceMinistries.org
Proclamation! magazine published by Life Assurance Ministries (available bimonthly or online)
Books by Dale Ratzlaff , former Adventist pastor and founder of Life Assurance Ministries
Sabbath in Christ
Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists
Truth about Adventist “Truth”
Truth Led Me Out
|↑1||“And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation–a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people;” White, E. G., The Great Controversy, 1911 ed., p. 421. Also online at http://www. greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc23.html|
|↑2||“The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement.” White, E.G., Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357.”|
|↑3||White, E.G., The Great Controversy, p. 423. Also online at http://www.greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc24.html|
|↑4||“For the sins of those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ will at last be rolled back upon the originator of sin, and he must bear their punishment, while those who do not accept salvation through Jesus will suffer the penalty of their own sins.” White, E.G., Early Writings of Ellen G. White, p. 178|
|↑5||White, E. G., Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, p. 266|
|↑6||White, E.G., The Great Controversy, p 498. Also online at http://www. greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc29.html|
|↑7||For a deeper look at the essence of the modern “vindication of God” interpretation of the investigative judgment, see “New, Improved! Investigative Judgment” by Colleen Tinker in Proclamation! magazine, vol. 6, March/April, 2005, p. 6, available online at http://lifeassuranceministries.org/Proclamation2005_MarApr.pdf|
|↑8||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #24: “Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary”, p. 347-348. Also online at http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html|
|↑9||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #7: “The Nature of Man”, p. 91. Also online at http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html|
|↑10||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 392, par. 2 and 4|
|↑11||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 393, par. 2|
|↑12||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 105, par. 1|
|↑13||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 56, par. 4|
|↑14||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #26: “Death and Resurrection”, p. 58, par.|
|↑15, ↑16||White, E.G. The Great Controversy, p. 640 Also online at http://www.greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/gc40.html|
|↑17||White, E.G. The Great Controversy, p. 605. Also online at: http://www.greatcontroversy.org/books/gc/ gc38.html|
|↑18||White, E, G, Review and Herald, 1854-09-19. Online at http:// www.egwtext.WhiteEstate.org/cgi-bin/egw2html?C=8961758 &K=215200091610922092|
|↑19||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed. 2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #20: “The Sabbath”, p. 281; online at http://www.adventist.org/ beliefs/fundamental/index.html.|
|↑20||White, E.G., Early Writings (1882), p. 36, par. 2; retrieved from http://www.egwtext.whiteestate.org/cgi-bin/egw2html?C=19921496&K=214458091610921848|
|↑21||Membership statistics retrieved from http://www.adventiststatistics.org/view_Summary.asp?FieldID=G10001&Year=2007&submit=Change #Top|
|↑23||Seventh-day Adventists Believe, ed.2, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 2005, #18: “The Gift of Prophecy”, p. 247; online at http://www.adventist. org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html.|
There are some serious considerations, some of the more important ones were addressed by Colleen in this article, regarding Seventh-day Adventism. I would really suggest email Collen Tinker at email@example.com and visiting her ministry website (listed in the article along with others) LifeAssuranceMinistries.org and Proclamation! Magazine.