The Meaning of the Adventist Movement
Today the Seventh-day Adventist movement is being inundated by false teachers within its midst proclaiming every wind of false doctrine. The heresy of Graham Maxwell's "moral influence" view of the atonement is the one of the most prevalent of these false doctrines being advocated by many teachers, pastors, and administrators. Another group of false teachers is advocating the "final generation theology" which claims that the final generation of believers living at the time of Christ's second coming will be absolutely as sinless as Adam before the Fall. A third large group is the liberal segment that is mostly found in the academia of the Adventist universities which is advocating billions of years of theistic evolution, feminism, homosexuality as a genetic inheritance, and doctrinal pluralism.
However, the Seventh-day Adventist movement in its truest evangelical expression as God intends this movement to be is a "restoration" movement rather than an "innovation" movement. Just look at the true essence of Adventism:
1.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the everlasting gospel of the vicarious atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
John 3:14-18 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the promised "Seed of the Woman" who has fulfilled all the righteous demands of God's Law for us so that in Him all repentant sinners who put their faith in His blood are accounted sinless and righteous in His merciful reckoning even unto the coming of the Lord. The justification of repentant believers is by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ alone as revealed in the Bible alone. The repentant believer in Christ will always confess that he needs the covering of Christ's imputed righteousness even unto the Last Day when Christ comes again.
2.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the apostolic teaching that the "hour of God's judgment" has come. All the world is being called out of the kingdom of Satan, called spiritual Babylon, and being invited to receive the seal of God's justification and acceptance through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Those repentant believers who receive the "seal of God" are filled with the Holy Spirit and will acknowledge the Law of God, the Ten Commandments including the Sabbath commandment, as their moral guide in sanctified holy living. The message of the "Three Angels of Revelation 14" is the same message that the apostolic church proclaimed. Adventism has been raised up in the providence of God to restore this apostolic "judgment hour" message that our Lord Jesus Christ as our High Priest has entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary as the one Mediator between God and Man to plead His blood for all repentant sinners who put their faith in Him. The saving message of Adventism is the apostolic call to repentance towards God and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. The gift of God is the forgiveness of sin and eternal life by God's unmerited grace alone for all who believe.
3.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the "Third Use of the Law" as a moral guide for the Christian believer which is so important in this lawless diabolical age in which we live.
4.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the "Second Use of the Law" as a "schoolmaster" to continually convict us of our sinful nature and our need to be continually led to Christ to continually be justified by faith in His sinless life and atoning death on Calvary.
5.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the glorious truth of the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of Christ as the blessed hope of the believer rather than the Grecian view of an "immortal soul" which lives on after death.
6.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and His unique incarnation as fully God and fully man. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are revealed to us in God's word as the three eternal persons of the triune God of the bible. The Lord Jesus Christ is the One through whom God created and redeemed the world.
7.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the harmony yet distinction of the Law and the Gospel and as such is a necessary bulwark against the prevailing error of antinomian Dispensationalism which is sweeping the evangelical Christian world today and foolishly focusing on the Zionist events in the middle east, a rebuilding of the Levitical temple, and a "secrete rapture" of the church.
8.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the seventh day Sabbath commandment of the Decalogue as a memorial to Christ's having created the universe approximately six thousand years ago in six literal days. The Sabbath is God's emphatic "No!!" to the abomination of Darwinian evolutionism.
9.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the Biblical truth of the literal fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as the origin of sin and suffering and death. This truth is denied by all forms of Darwinism including so-called "theistic" evolution and "progressive creationism".
10.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the existence of a real fallen angel named Lucifer who became Satan along with one third of the angelic host.
11.) Adventism affirms and proclaims a literal world-wide flood which destroyed the lawless unbelieving antediluvian world and the saving of Noah and his family by God's unmerited grace.
12.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the message of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus this message is a warning and a witness that God is about to destroy all the unbelieving world and that all who refuse to repent, believe the gospel of Christ, and allow Christ to begin write His Law upon their hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit will be lost eternally.
13.) Adventism affirms and proclaims that God will totally and eternally annihilate sin, Satan, and all unrepentant sinners at the end of the millennium at the final judgment rather than punish sinners in an eternally burning fire in unending pain and suffering throughout eternity.
14.) Adventism as a true child of the Reformation affirms and proclaims that the papacy is the second beast of Revelation 13 and that the truth of the gospel is an ongoing rebuke to the abominable errors of Roman Catholicism — the intercession of the saints and Mary, transubstantiation, purgatory, priestly absolution, infant baptism, eternal suffering of the lost in hell fire, Sunday sacredness, the immortality of the soul, and most importantly justification by the infused righteousness of the Holy Spirit rather than by the imputed righteousness of Christ's sinless life and atoning death on the cross.
15.) Adventism affirms and proclaims the non-immortality of the soul and thus is a rebuke to modern day Spiritualism which seeks to contact and communicate with the dead.
16.) Adventism affirms and proclaims adult baptism by immersion for all repentant sinners who put their faith in the atoning death of Christ on the cross. Infant baptism by sprinkling is rejected as unbiblical.
17.) Adventism affirms and proclaims that the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper are symbolic of the body and blood of our Lord. The bread and wine are a remembrance of the Lord's atoning death on the cross and proclaim the gospel of the forgiveness of sin until He comes again.
18.) And finally Adventism affirms and proclaims that the Bible alone is the final authority in all matters of doctrine and faith.
If the gospel of justification by faith alone had been embraced whole-heartedly in 1888 and then when re-proclaimed in the 1970's, the good news about the imputed righteousness of Christ would have carried the day even unto the Last Day.
As it is today, the church members are shocked as they are beginning to understand that the following so-called "Adventist Doctrinal Distinctives" are not actually taught in the Bible:
Distinctive #1. Literal foot washing before observing the Lord's Supper.
Correction: (The first century apostolic church understood that the Lord and the apostle Paul were speaking in metaphor to "wash one another's feet"— meaning to serve one another in humility.)
Distinctive #2. The Lord's Supper should only be practiced once every quarter.
Correction: (The first century apostolic church observed the Lord's Supper every Sabbath when they assembled for fellowship.)
Distinctive #3. Mandatory tithe paying as a test of fellowship and church membership.
Correction: (Mandatory tithing was never imposed upon the believers by the apostles. Fee-will offerings were collected to meet the needs of the church)
Distinctive #4. The "investigative judgment" beginning in AD.1844.
Correction: (The apostles taught that the judgment and time of the end of the world had arrived in their day and that the world was being judged for life or death through its acceptance or rejection of Christ as Savior and Lord. "Being justified by faith" is to have the verdict of the final judgment in the present.)
Distinctive #5. The antitypical Day of Atonement began in 1844.
Correction: (The antitypical Day of Atonement began at Christ's ascension and enthronement in heaven as our High Priest and King.)
Distinctive #6. Christ entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in AD.1844.
Correction: (Our Lord as our great High Priest entered into the most holy place in heaven at His ascension to begin the antitypical Day of Atonement.)
Distinctive #7. All post-apostolic era date setting like 1844 and 538-1798.
Correction: (The "time prophecies" of the New Testament apocalyptic portions of the Bible are symbolic metaphor and not to be interpreted as literal time periods. The "1260 days" are a metaphor for the entire Christian era, not a literal 1260 years from AD 538 to 1798. . As our Lord's messianic ministry encompassed a literal 3 and 1/2 years, so the Church age believers would "prophesy" in the "wilderness" for a metaphorical period of "3 and 1/2 years or "1260 days". The apocalyptic metaphor also is borrowed from the literal 3 and 1/2 years that Elijah was in the wilderness fleeing from Jezebel.)
Distinctive #8. The "three angles messages of Revelation 14" began to sound in AD.1844.
Correction: (The three angels of Revelation 14 symbolize the full proclamation of the everlasting gospel which began to be proclaimed at Pentecost.)
Distinctive #9. The United States of America is the "lamb-like beast" of Revelation 13.
Correction: ("The lamb-like beast" of Revelation 13 represents the Papal antichrist power which would arise to ascendancy after the fall (deadly wound) of the pagan Roman Empire. Thus the first "beast" of Revelation 13 represents pagan Rome prior to its fall. The "false prophet" represents the papal pontiff of Rome who heals the wounded beast by taking the pagan gods with their pagan doctrines and deceptively incorporates them into the doctrines of Christianity. The "image to the beast" represents the establishment of the Vatican which takes over the "throne of the beast" as the successor to pagan Rome. Uriah Smith's analysis of the books of Daniel and Revelation was imperfect.)
Distinctive #10. Spiritual gifts such as the visions and dreams of Ellen White are inerrant, and are to be considered as a continuing authority along with the Bible to be used to determine doctrine and are of equal inspiration with the Bible.
Correction: (Ellen White never considered her writings to be thus.)
Distinctive #11. 1-0 / 1A0 pacifism which forbids the use of deadly force to defend ourselves, our families, or our country in a just war.
Correction: (Total pacifism is not taught in the New Testament. The "Sermon on the Mount" must be understood in the context of the Roman rule of Israel and Jerusalem at the time of Christ.)
Distinctive #12. The clean/unclean Levitical food laws are mandatorially binding upon Christians.
Correction: (The Levitical food laws were never mandated and imposed upon the Christian believers by the apostles of the first century.)
Distinctive #13. Wine in the New Testament is grape juice only.
Correction: (The New Testament forbids drunkenness but does not forbid the use of alcoholic wine as a food beverage.)
Distinctive #14. No jewelry wearing for Christians.
Correction: (The New Testament encourages modesty in women's attire but it does not forbid the use of jewelry.)
Distinctive #15. There is a "close of probation" for the believer in Christ before Christ comes.
Correction: (The intercession of Christ's imputed righteousness continues for the repentant believer until Christ comes again. Probation closes only for the unbelieving world just before the "seven last plagues" commence.)
Distinctive #16. There is a period of time called the "time of Jacob's trouble" just before Christ comes again when the intercession of Christ's imputed merit will no longer be necessary for the remnant "perfected" believers.
Correction: (Christ never stops His intercession for the believer, because the believer will need the imputed righteousness of Christ until He comes in the clouds of heaven.)
Distinctive #17. There is a "blotting out of sin" as a special or "final atonement" for the people of God which is different than the daily forgiveness of sins.
Correction: (The term "blotting out of sin" and the term "forgiveness" are used interchangeably in the Bible.)
Distinctive #18. The "latter rain" is a special second blessing of the Holy Spirit which restores the character of God's people to the original innocence of Adam before the fall.
Correction: (All repentant baptized believers in Christ receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in both "former and latter rain" measure and begin the daily life-long battle with sin and begin to daily grow in holiness and sanctification until the Last Day at our Lord's second coming. Repentant believers in Christ will need the forgiveness of sin until the end of time.)
Distinctive #19. Sinless perfection for the "final generation" before Christ comes.
Correction: (While all true Christians are seeking to walk in holiness, obedience to the holy Law of God and a sanctified life, sinless perfection for the Christian community comes at translation.)
Distinctive #20. The "Last Days", the "time of the end" began in AD.1798.
Correction: (The "Last Days" and the "time of the end" began with the gospel proclamation in the apostolic era.)
Distinctive # 21. There will be a special group of Christians called the "144,000" who keep the Law of God perfectly and reach sinless perfection prior to the second coming of our Lord .
Correction: (John's apocalypse in Revelation 7 and 14 depicts spiritual Israel in symbolic language as the "twelve tribes of Israel" and calls the Christian church the "144,000". This symbolism represents all true believers in Christ from Adam unto the final Day at the coming of Christ. All repentant sinners who trust in the merits of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, are members of spiritual Israel, the 144,000. There are no special groups in the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ alone has provide atonement for sin and He alone is the sinless One. All repentant sinners who trust in His sinless life and atoning death are justified by faith alone in His propitiation of sin at Calvary and have His perfection imputed and reckoned to them.)
These reforms in Adventist teaching are absolutely necessary in order for a true revival of primitive godliness to take place among the advent people. Then and only then will the people of God in other folds begin to take the Seventh-day Adventist denomination seriously and join this God-ordained movement to restore the bible and only the bible as the rule of faith.
Seventh-day Adventism is not a cult. The essence of the Adventist movement is true historic Protestant Christianity.
Seventh-day Adventism, as God intends it to be, is God's final warning to all the world to repent and be justified by Christ's unmerited "grace alone" through "faith alone" in the sinless life and atoning death of "Christ alone" as revealed in the "Bible alone".
This is the true Adventism which the Lord Jesus Christ intended for the movement to be. Christ's purpose for raising up this movement was for Adventism to be the foremost voice in all the world to uplift the sinless, crucified, and risen Savior to all the world. It is time for the Seventh-day Adventist movement to finish the Protestant Reformation and become all that the Lord intended this movement to be:Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Solo Christo, Sola Fide.
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