Founder: Ellen G. White
Date Founded: 1863 (According to General Conference of S.D.A.'s)
Writings of Ellen White:
1. The Great Controversy
2. The Desire of Ages
3. Patriarch and Prophets
4. Steps to Christ
5. My Testimonies
Other Major Writings:
1. Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh Day Adventists
2. Questions on Doctrine (700 page book)
1. “Bible Readings for the Home Circle”
2. “Life and Health”–national journal
3. “Signs of the Times”–deals with prophecy
4. “These Times”–deals with morals of individual
5. “Liberty”–deals with religious freedom
6. “The Children's Bible Story”–10 volume set
Radio Program: The Voice of Prophecy
Television Program: Faith for Today
Publishing Houses: There are 5 in the U.S., & over 50 worldwide. The 2 largest in the U.S. are:
1. Southern Publishing in Nashville, Tennessee
2. Review and Herald Publishing Company in Washington, D.C.
Home Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Early History and Its Leaders:
1. William Miller (1782-1849): Although William Miller was not an S.D.A., the history of the cult grew from his teachings. Miller was born in Pittsfield, Mass. He was raised in a deeply religious family, but he soon became a skeptic and rejected the divinity of the scriptures. After some time in the army and later a period in which he was a farmer, he was converted to Christianity and for the next two years after his conversion, he studied scripture with only the help of a concordance. This began in 1816.
In 1818, Miller came to the conclusion that Christ would return to earth between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. Obviously, ignorant of Scriptures such as Matthew 24:36, which says, “of that day or hour knoweth no man,” Matthew 24:44, “in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh,” Matthew 24:42, Matthew 25:13, Mark 13:33, and Acts 1:7,-Miller and his followers suffered a great disappointment at the failure of Christ's return.
One of Miller's followers, Samuel S. Snow, began a “Seventh-month movement.” He convinced all the people that the period was to end in October of 1844 instead of March. As the time came closer, excitement again grew only to again be disappointed. Many, as did Miller, gave up the Advent faith. William Miller, was never a S.D.A. and stated that he had no confidence in any “theories” that grew out of his Millerite movement.
How Miller Calculated His Date:
· In Daniel 9:24-27-prophecy of 70 weeks from the commandment to build Jerusalem, till Christ is cut off.
· In Daniel 8:14-2,300 days till sanctuary cleansed.
With these two scriptures, the following data was calculated:
1. The cleansing of sanctuary meant Christ's return to earth.
2. The 2,300 evenings and mornings meant 2,300 years.
3. The starting point for the 70 weeks was given in Ezra 7:11-16 at 457 BC
4. Again, in Daniel 9, one day equals one year, therefore 70 weeks=490 days=490 years.
5. Finally, the 2,300 years start time as the 70 weeks.
· 457 BC-starting point date. 490 years-AD, as Daniel told.
· 457 BC+2,300 years=1843 AD (You get this by remembering that the years are dated till Christ's birth as BC, then start again after AD: 2,300-457=1843).
2. Hiram Edson: On October 23, 1844, the morning after the great disappointment, a group of Millerites met and prayed at the home of Hiram Edson of Port Gibson, N.Y. After prayer and breakfast, Edson and a young student of O.R.L. Crosier started across a field to go comfort others of their clan when a vision (Galatians 1:8-9) came upon Edson, “heaven opened and I saw Christ enter into the holy of holies.” In the light of this vision they now realized that there was a heavenly sanctuary that corresponds to the earthly temple and that Christ's ministry in heaven had two phases. Instead of coming to earth, Christ moved from one part of the heavenly sanitary to the holy of holies. Crosier later rejected this view.
3. Joseph Bates: Joseph Bates from Fair Haven, Mass., became convinced that the keeping of the Sabbath was God's seal upon HIS children. The Sabbath, Bates argued, was to be kept and observed by Christians on the seventh day of the week as ordained in Eden and confirmed at Mt. Sinai. His scriptural mis-conclusions came from these texts:
· Revelation 14:6-12–Believing the Pope to be the beast, Bates concluded that the mark of the beast would be on those who worship on Sunday (1st day of week).
· Revelation 7–7th says Sabbath keepers were sealed by God and there were only 144,000 of them. (Today there is said to be 1,500,000 Adventists).
4. Ellen G. White: As in many religious cults there is always a predominant figure, and Ellen White is the one for S.D.A. Over a period of 23 years, she had according to her husband, over 200 visions, and as she grew older these visions became dreams. Almost every aspect of the belief and activity of the S.D.A.'s was encouraged or inspired by the visions or word from Ellen White, till her death in 1915.
Born Ellen G. Harman, she married elder James White on August 30, 1846. As a young child while going home from school, she was hit in the face by a rock thrown by another girl. She was unconscious for three weeks, with a broken nose and disfigured face. A doctor stated that the shock to her nervous system and complications to her illness continued for years resulting in epilepsy and constant fainting spells. A Seventh-Day Adventist doctor, William Russell, wrote from his Battle Creek, Michigan office that “her visions were resulting of a diseased organization of her brain and nervous system.” Dr. Fairfield, another Adventist, also stated, “her visions were hysterical trances.” Nevertheless, Regardless of the Doctor's diagnosis on her, she collected many followers to the new found “spirit of prophecy.”
The following are some of her most important “VISIONS”:
1. The first vision in 1844, she saw Jesus leading a group of Adventists along a lighted pathway to the city of God.
2. The second vision told her she was to encounter much unbelief and harassment.
3. In 1845, she had a vision of Christ entering into the holy of holes to confirm Edson's vision.
4. In 1847, she was taken into the holy of holies where she saw a halo around the Sabbath commandment.
Mrs. White's writings and visions have come under a great deal of attack and criticism and rightfully so. Although she was a dedicated lady, the following proofs show her not only human, but definitely not “God inspired.”
1. She herself admitted she was wrong in her writing of Testimonies.
2. An ex-Adventist, Dudley M. Canright proved conclusively that she used plagiarism in many of her writings.
3. In his book, S.D.A. Renounced and the Life of Mrs. E. G. White, Canright opens to the public numerous errors and contradictions in both areas.
4. Mrs. White stated that S.D.A.s were not to purchase life insurance (Testimonies Volume 1, pg. 549), yet today many do.
5. She gave a vision about not eating red meat, yet she ate meat all of her life.
Is S.D.A to be considered a cult?
1. Walter Martin and D.G. Barnhouse after much probing came to the conclusion that S.D.A.s are not a cult.
2. Christian leaders like Talbot; DeHaan; John Rice; Hoekema, A; VanBaalen, etc. say they are a cult.
3. In Hoekema's book, The Four Major Cults, he classifies a cult as one who fits into the five following areas:
a. Extra-Biblical authority
b. Denial of justification by grace alone
c. Devaluation of Christ
d. Only group saved
e. Group's central in eschatology
4. Unfortunately, not all S.D.A.s agree with the general teaching of the General Assembly, so you must deal with the individual.
Founder: Ellen G. White