THE DEADLY FALLACY OF SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM By George Whitefield Ridout
Its Fanaticism Exposed Its Absurd Claims Examined Its Methods Investigated Its False Teachings Denounced
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM
Like other cults and fallacies Seventh Day Adventism was conceived in ignorance and born of presumption.
William Miller was reared in the backwoods and received only the poor advantages of a common school. He was a Baptist. He claims that in 1831 he discovered by the prophecies, particularly the Book of Daniel, that he knew the exact year and day the end of the world would come and Christ would appear. He predicted that the event would happen on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month 1843. He then set it for 1844. The thing did not happen.
One of their number after being with them 28 years said: "It was born in a mistake. The work produced great fanaticism. Out of the movement has grown a whole brood of errors. Their work is largely proselytizing.
Seventh Day Adventism makes its biggest "hit" by its false Sabbath claims. It scares, intimidates, accuses, and condemns all of Christendom (save Seventh Day Adventists) on the score that if people do not keep the Jewish Sabbath they are transgressors of the whole Decalogue, and multitudes of people are carried away by this false and deceptive teaching, totally unaware that Seventh Day Adventism harbors some deadly fallacies.
Let us see what it teaches. Dr. Biederwolf summarizes the Fallacies of Seventh Day Adventism as follows:
1. It teaches that Christ entered into the Holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary in 1844, to make an investigation of the sins of His people, with the purpose of completing His atonement for them and so securing for them the pardon of God.
2. It taught that the door of mercy was then closed to all who at that time were unsaved.
3. It taught that it was a sin to do any work after that time.
4. It teaches that Satan is to be made the scapegoat to bear away the sins of God's people.
5. It teaches that the souls of the dead sleep in the grave until the day of the resurrection and the judgment.
6. It teaches that the wicked are to be finally annihilated.
7. It teaches that the seventh day of the week is to be observed as the Sabbath and not the first day.
PROPHETS AND THE PROPHETESS OF SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM
D. M. Canright who spent twenty-eight years as one of their principal preachers and lecturers has this to say of their leaders:
"William Miller the founder was reared in the backwoods in poverty and received only the poor advantages of a common district school except some general reading. This is the extent of his education.
"Elder White, the leader of the Seventh Day Adventists' party, only secured sufficient education to teach a common district school. He was no student of books. In all my travels with him, I seldom saw him read half an hour in any book. Of the languages of the sciences he knew nothing, and little even of common history. Mrs. White received no school education, except a few weeks when a child. She, like Joanna Southcott, Ann Lee, and Joseph Smith, was wholly illiterate, not knowing the simplest rules of grammar.
"Not one of the leading men in that work ever graduated from college or university, and many are illiterate as Mrs. White herself. Elder J. N. Andrews, Elder Smith, and one or two more, by diligent study and reading out of the school, became well informed men in their line. After Elder White came Elders Butler and Haskell as leaders, neither of them educated men, nor of half the natural talent of Elder White.
"The present leaders are small men also. Such men are poorly prepared to lead out in a great reformation in this educated age. Not a man among them has now, or ever had, a particle of influence in the world, or any office or responsible position in state or nation. How different from the great reformers of the past, who often had extensive influence for good not only with the masses, but with the great men and kings of earth. Hence, whatsoever side we view Adventism, it has none of the marks of a genuine reformation sent of God to bless the world."
Elder A. A. Phelps, for years editor of a First-Day Adventist paper says:
"I watched, and waited, and worked, with patience, meekness and loyalty, in hearty cooperation, and with an earnest desire to see such unity, enterprise, breadth and moral power, as ought to characterize a scriptural and heaven-inspired movement. How slowly and reluctantly I yielded to the conviction -- forced by sad facts and illustrations that I have not even dared to detail -- that I was only throwing away my life in stemming such waves of discord, indolence, looseness, narrowness, dogmatism and spiritual death as I could not overcome."
Some facts about Mrs. White the "great" prophetess of the movement.
1. She claimed the highest inspiration. She devotes 38 pages to vindicate her inspirations.
2. "She was a religious enthusiast, self-deceived, the fits she accepted as the power of God." -- (Canright)
3. She was ignorant of grammar but employed an accomplished writer to polish her style.
4. Some of her writings are largely compilations without giving credit to the authors.
5. Canright who knew her for over twenty years says her visions are merely the result of nervous disease, a complication of hysteria catalepsy and ecstasy.
W. J. Fairfield, M. D., who was brought up a Seventh Day Adventist says: "You are undoubtedly right in ascribing Mrs. White's so-called visions to disease -- no chance to doubt her ("divine") attacks [should be attributed] to her simple hysterical trances."
6. "Her teachings make her people narrow, bigoted and gloomy." They produce doubt and infidelity." On page 597 of her testimonies she says so herself: "I am afraid that I shall become an infidel."
THE ABSURD CLAIMS OF SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM EXAMINED
1. They claim that all who keep the first day of the week, Sunday, bear the mark of the beast," that is, they bow to the Pope of Rome. This is a foolish unhistorical claim that it was the Pope of Rome who changed the Sabbath. Canright shows that the Catholic doctrine of the change of the Sabbath is this: The Apostles by instruction of Jesus Christ changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday to commemorate the Resurrection of Christ and the descent of the Holy Ghost, both of which occurred on Sunday. The change was made by the Apostles themselves. Catholics never teach that the change of the day was "made by the church two or three hundred years after Christ."
Archbishop Ireland in 1914 said: "The Apostles and early Christians instituted the Sunday as a day of special prayer in honor of the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit." The Roman Catholics do not claim that the Pope changed the Sabbath.
2. Seventh Day Adventism teaches a defective Atonement. They say that they "dissent from the view that the atonement was made upon the cross as is generally held." They hold that Christ did not complete an atonement upon the cross for our sins, that our sins are not yet blotted out, but that this will take place when Christ comes again and that eventually Satan will be made the Scapegoat to bear away our sins." Absurd!
What does the Bible say?
Heb. 9:28. "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." "And when he had himself purged away our sins sat down on the right of the majesty on high." -- Heb. 1:3.
3. Seventh Day Adventism makes the absurd claim that in 1844 Christ entered the Holy of Holies in the heavenly sanctuary, that He is cleansing it and when the cleansing is finished His Second Coming will occur. They say that He is investigating the sins of His people in order to secure their pardon. Further, they say that when Christ entered the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 the day of pardon ceased and no more sinners could be pardoned. Mrs. White said in 1849, that the angel bade her to avail for sinners as used to be but "I looked but could not see it, for the time of their salvation is passed."
Millerites disappointed in Christ not coming in 1843 put it a year ahead to 1844. Then they decided that it was not to earth He was to come at that time, but He entered the heavenly sanctuary, and in consequence the door of mercy was closed to all who were at that time unsaved. They had to open the door eventually in order to make way for their propaganda.
When Christ finally emerges from the heavenly sanctuary with the sins of His people which He took from off the sanctuary He will lay these on the Devil who will bear them away into the wilderness. Could anything be more grotesque, outrageous to common sense and a greater travesty of the word of God! Truly the Adventists could put out that sign: "All kinds of turning and twisting done here."
4. Seventh Day Adventism teaches Soul Sleeping and Annihilation. They teach the state of death "is one of silence, inactivity and entire unconsciousness." They teach that the doctrine of Immortality of the soul is of pagan origin, that the dead remain unconscious in the grave until the resurrection; that the millennium is a period of a thousand years in which the earth is waste and void, that the first resurrection of the righteous dead just precedes the millennium, that the saints opened the thousand years in heaven examining the records of the wicked and preparing their judgment, that at the end of the thousand years the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, then the wicked are raised to receive their punishment and are annihilated.
Let it be remembered that the most mischief wrought by Seventh Day Adventists is not solely on the Sabbath question, but the peril of the thing lies deeper. It is a propaganda for a lot of the most grotesque, absurd, and dangerous teachings on Christ, The Atonement, Immortality, Future Life and the Bible.
Canright who spent 28 years with them calls it a "Yoke of bondage." "A system of Popery. one-man power. "Their ministers are mere Lecturers repeating the same old sermons over and over." "Their theory compels them to be narrow and uncharitable." "Their workers are largely proselytizing. "Sunday breakers who fish, sport and hunt are encouraged by them." They always side with those who would destroy the Christian and American Sabbath. Think of "Christians" going to Congress and taking sides with heathen people, Saloon keepers, Dancers, Gamblers, etc., who try to kill every bill that seeks to preserve the Sabbath.
What about the Christian Sabbath? Many sincere people ask us the question, Who authorized the change from the Jewish Sabbath to the first day of the week -- the Lord's Day?
1. The Pope did not do it. This has already been refuted by Roman Catholic Authorities themselves. Constantine, in 321 A. D. legalized the Christian Sunday, but changed nothing. He made legal what had been observed for over 200 years.
2. The First Day of the week -- Sunday -- was made the Christian Sabbath.
(a) In commemoration of the Resurrection and Pentecost.
(b) By the practice of the Apostles and the Early Church -- meeting on that day for worship, the day became the Christian Day of Worship -- The Lord's Day. The New Testament, The Apostles, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origin, Cyprian, and a host of Early Church Worthies have all testified to the First Day of the week as The Lord's Day.
Finally, if it be asked, Where did Jesus authorize or command the keeping of Sunday instead of the Sabbath? our reply would be than no where in the New Testament can it be shown that Jesus told us to keep the Sabbath. It may appear strange that Jesus commands the keeping of all of the other commandments, but never the Fourth. Was this not in anticipation of the New Sabbath which the Christians were to keep -- to commemorate the two greatest events of the Christian Church: The resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost?