2 - Seventh-day Adventism in a Nutshell (3-2018)
The Disappointment: It is October 23, 1844 and Jesus had not returned yesterday to destroy earth by fire as William Miller and the other Adventists had predicted. The Sunday-worshiping, pork-eating, immortal-soul believing Adventists had suffered their second wrong guess in a year (3 total). Most churches had laughed at them for date-setting and Miller had called the other churches “fallen Babylon.” Now most of the Adventists, including William Miller, had given up trying to guess the date of Jesus’ return and had decided to go back to their former churches.
The Insistent: A small group refused to admit that they had been wrong about October 22, 1844. They asked themselves, “What about Daniel 8:14? ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed’? Something must be wrong with Miller’s interpretation.” They re-affirmed that the 2300 “days” were 2300 prophetic years and that Miller’s calculations ending in 1844 were correct. Next, they re-affirmed that Miller’s connection of cleansing to the Day of Atonement on October 22 that year was also correct.
The Heavenly Sanctuary: “Where did we go wrong?” they asked themselves. To their great delight, a fellow believer told the group that Christ was not coming back yet but had only moved from the Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary into the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary just as the high priest had done in Leviticus 16 on the Day of Atonement. This small group then decided that Miller had been wrong about the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 – it was not the earth itself, but the God’s dwelling place in heaven that began being cleansed on October 22, 1844. Jesus had defiled it by transferring the atoned sins of believers there and now He needed to cleanse it from the defilement He caused.
SOUL SLEEP / Annihilationism: God slowly began sending more “truth” and one doctrine after another changed. If Christ had only begun to investigate the records of professed believers in 1844, then the doctrine of the immortality of the soul must be wrong because nobody could be in heaven yet! Therefore, they decided that, at death, the soul ceases to exist until the resurrection. Therefore, the doctrine of the immortality of the soul must be wrong.
The Sabbath: By 1849 the group had adopted the seventh-day Sabbath doctrine aided by confirming visions from Ellen Gould Harmon (White). They concluded that God had given all mankind every seventh day, every Saturday, as a memorial that He was the Creator and that the creation seventh-day had not been lost on the calendar since Adam. They had become Seventh-day Adventists.
The Spirit of Prophecy: They soon interpreted Revelation 12:17 and 19:10 as descriptions of themselves as the only true last-day remnant church which kept all ten of the commandments and also had the Spirit of Prophecy through Ellen White. This meant that all other churches which did not agree with them were now “fallen Babylon.” Ellen White guided the church as a prophet until her death in 1915. She wrote many books and also taught SDAs to observe the old covenant food laws and strict dress codes. SDA theology must agree with her interpretation.
Prophecy: Roman Catholicism is blamed for changing the Sabbath to Sunday and was defined as the little horn of Daniel and the Babylonian beast of Revelation. Other Sunday-worshiping churches were defined as the daughters of fallen Babylon. The “1260 years,” “42 months,” and “3 ½ times” of Daniel and Revelation were interpreted as A. D. 538 to 1798 which ended when Roman Catholicism was wounded to death in France after it had killed the two witnesses of the Old and New Testaments.
The United States of America: All three will be revived just before Christ returns. The Seventh-day Adventist church will be God’s instrument in the revival of the Old and New Testaments by teaching the truth in the last days. The United States government will restore the Roman Catholic Church in the last days when its Sunday-worshiping Protestants will enforce national Sunday-observance laws.
The Great Controversy: God and Satan are locked in a great controversy. Satan has charged God with unrighteousness because His Law cannot be obeyed. God will prove that He is righteous by demonstrating that many Seventh-day Adventists will stand before Him without a mediator immediately before Jesus’ return.
The Last Days: As the second coming approaches, Jesus will finish investigating the record of all those who professed faith since Adam and will make His final decision to determine who is qualified to be saved. He will cleanse the defiled sanctuary in heaven which He had defiled (c.f. the little horn) by transferring sin to it. He will close the books in the Most Holy Place, will stop mediating as a priest and will be in the process of returning. In the meantime, the United States government, in alliance with the apostate Roman Catholic Church and apostate Protestants, will set a date for Seventh-day Adventists to be put to death because the last day devastation is blamed on them. At the last moment, Jesus will return, destroy all non-Seventh-day Adventists who have the mark of the beast (Sunday worshipers) and take his remnant church to heaven.
The Millennium: For 1000 years the earth will lay desolate enjoying its Sabbath millennial rest. At the end of the 1000 years, all of the wicked dead will be recreated for resurrection and then judged before finally being cast into the lake of fire to be soon burned out of existence.
And only the Seventh-day Adventists will live happily ever after.