Recent Posts
Lowell Brueckner

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Roots of Seventh-day Adventism


Miscalculated prophecies and a blow in the head

In eight words, this is the story of the roots of Seventh-day Adventism. It is the second in a series of three articles, in which I am making an attempt to give the reader a basic knowledge of three major cults, all having their origins in the United States. They are the Mormons, or more formally, The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. The second cult is the Seventh Day Adventists and the third sect is the Jehovah Witnesses. I entitled the first article, “The God of Mormonism” and you can read or review it at the following link: .

Let me list a number of characteristics and ideas that these three groups have in common.

1.     The founders had unstable spiritual beginnings that show no evidence of a biblical new birth, therefore they are not born or taught by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that without the new birth it is impossible to “see” the Kingdom of God (Jn.3:3). The apostle Paul tells us that the “natural man”, that is, man alone without the Holy Spirit, cannot understand the things of God (1 Co.2:14). Any person in that position is doomed to be led by his own mind into multiple kinds of error (not to mention the fact that demon spirits will capitalize on the attempt.). You will see all of them making an effort to fit the unspeakable mysteries of God into the natural human mind, and rejecting all that their mind cannot contain. This is the basic problem.
2.       All of the founders of these sects were people exposed to the gospel, but who rejected the established churches of their day. They were anti-church people, who found a new revelation. They taught that the churches were going in the direction of apostasy and could not guide their flock into truth.
3.      The founders were largely ignorant people with no good theological background or training.
4.      You will find that none of them accept or teach salvation that comes purely by the grace of God. They are all “works” oriented.
5.      All of them point to and are highly dependent upon extra-biblical literature and teaching, without which no one can be properly enlightened in their particular views of Christianity, and they emphasize experiences, such as visions and dreams, through which they received light concerning their callings and claims.
6.      Physical and outward things, such as food, days, baptism, and many like things play an important part in their presentation of “salvation”. Authoritarianism plays a huge role in their government and no kind of individualism is accepted. No move is made without the express approval of leadership. A personal relationship with God and the personal leading of God is not tolerated.
7.      They all experienced rapid growth and today number in the millions on a world-wide basis.

William Miller (1782-1849)

In this article we will take up Seventh-day Adventism, a cult which developed at about the same time and in the same area as Mormonism. The Adventists were first known as Millerites, because they were followers of a single man, William Miller (1782-1849).

Miller was taught by his mother until the age of nine, attended the East Poultney District School (New York State), but received no formal theological training. After marriage, he took up farming, rejected his Baptist background and became a Deist.  Later he tried tentatively to regain his Baptist faith with the determination to harmonize the contradictions of his own religious experiences to his own satisfaction. He started to participate in the church.

Miller’s Bible study began to focus on end-time prophecy and concluded that Christ would return between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. His views were largely rejected by his church, but having opportunity to publish them, he soon gained the attention of multitudes, who were called Millerites by the public, but preferred to call themselves “adventists”. March 21, 1844, passed without incident and Miller recalculated to April 18. Again, April 18 passed and October 22 was proposed. People followed him in droves, sold property, alienated themselves from their local churches and waited… all in vain.

Estimates of his followers vary greatly from 50,000 to 500,000. These were all brought to great disappointment, some went back to their Baptist churches, some became Quakers or Shakers, and others were totally disillusioned with Christianity.  Yet diehard Adventists continued, convinced that they were on the right path and God would give light. Various “spiritual” interpretations came forth to explain the failed prophecies, claiming that the 1844 prophecy had true significance. Later, Ellen White had much to teach about this prediction. Today, the Seventh-day Adventist Church numbers around 18 million members, still claiming the legacy of William Miller!

Ellen White

Helen G. White
A number of the Adventists came from the Seventh-day Baptist movement. William Miller was not a Sabbatarian! The two positions began to combine and Ellen (Harmon) White (1827-1915), from the State of Maine, accepted both positions. She had been a follower of Miller.

At nine years of age, Ellen Harmon suffered a serious injury, having been hit in the face by a stone, and was mostly unconscious for three weeks. The recovery was slow and she was in poor health for many years. Her parents were Methodist Episcopalians, who came out of their church and fully accepted the Adventist teachings. So Ellen was 17, when the Great Disappointment occurred. In 1840 already, she heard Miller preach and became terribly frightened, believing that she was lost. Later in a Methodist camp meeting she “fell under the power”. She had dreams of going to heaven, meeting Jesus and finding relief, then she would return to despair, and back and forth she went, provoked by the predictions of William Miller and the blow on her head as a child.

After 1844 she had many visions, which helped form her doctrinal positions. In 1846, she married James White, who accepted her visions, while she accepted his doctrine of the 7th-day Sabbath. They worked together visiting the groups throughout New England who held to the Adventist beliefs. They began to write and organize and a denomination began to form and solidify. Ellen’s influence increased until no one dared question her authority or inspiration. In 1863 the denomination became official.


Ellen White would by “revelation” receive stinging rebukes from the Lord Himself for certain people who opposed her “testimonies”, and she would sometimes deliver those messages to that individual in public. She wrote concerning health issues and advocated vegetarianism. It can easily be proved that she obviously plagiarized the writings of other authors (copied word for word and took credit for the writing). This was largely kept from the rank and file members of the Adventists, but as late as 1982, an Adventist minister exposed what he called “The White Lie”, which dealt with multiple cases of plagiarism. Her revelations from God, actually came from other authors!

Here is a statement by Pamela Starr Dewey in Field Guide website on the Helen White controversy within the Adventist Church today: In spite of the protests of the denomination that their doctrines are all based on the Bible, the reality is that almost all of the most distinctive aspects of the denomination's belief system and practices are squarely based on the writings of Ellen G White. If her credibility is destroyed, there would be many aspects of the SDA faith that would have no basis at all. (Although I have studied Adventism, I found this Field Guide very helpful in giving a concise overview of their history and beliefs.)

A short list of major errors

I took this much space to tell the story of the origins of Adventism, because it is extremely important to know the roots of any spiritual tree. Jesus said, “If the tree is evil, it cannot bring forth good fruit.” What I said concerning the Mormons is also true about the Adventists. Their history proves strongly the need for repentance. Instead of humbly repenting of the prophetic errors of William Miller, Ellen White proudly justified them and from that justification produced doctrines exclusively believed by the Adventists and no one else. Those teachings totally spoil what would seem to be evangelical, concerning salvation and the grace of God, on the surface. It gives a totally different meaning to what they profess to believe. Can truth come out of error? Never! There must be humble repentance from error, instead of proud justification of it. The Adventist roots are totally erroneous and therefore the present fruit from those roots cannot be legitimate. 

Because of the space needed to challenge the Adventists’ doctrinal positions scripturally, in this article, I will simply put their views before you, trusting in the biblical knowledge of the reader to recognize immediately the errors. I will then briefly refute their claims. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me concerning them. For now, let us just make a list of some of the major errors of the Seventh-day Adventists, 18 million strong in today’s world, unwilling to repent and turn from their roots:

1.      Sabbath Keeping. Saturday is to be kept as the day of worship for Christians and to neglect to do so is regarded as disobedience. Mrs. White saw this in a vision in which she was caught up to heaven and a voice said, “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.” They claim that Sunday worship was introduced by Constantine in 320 A.D. I will simply state that the writings of the early fathers, from 70 A.D. to 300 A.D. show clearly that Christians met on the first day of the week, long before Constantine and Romanism.
2.      Soul sleep. Adventists claim that at death the soul sleeps and awaits the resurrection at the last day. Thereby they are stating that a believer, after death, will be unconscious over the centuries and not consciously in heaven in the presence of the Lord. This is obviously an attempt by the devil to discomfort God’s people and can easily be disproved. Apostle Paul taught that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
3.      Christ in being made flesh took on man’s sinful nature. That is a blasphemous and damnable heresy. Christ took on human flesh, yet without sin, states the apostle. The nature of any being, animal or man, will obligate his behavior. To say that Christ had a sinful natures is equal to saying that He was a sinner… that is blasphemy and negates the necessity of a Lamb without spot and blemish to pay, not fur His own sins, but for ours.
4.      We are kept saved by keeping the law. Therefore those who do not keep the Sabbath (on Saturday) will be lost. As always works enter into salvation for all the cultist movements. “By grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast”. This is the entire purpose of the gospel; to provide salvation for us, who are not able to obtain it by keeping the law. Perfection is required in the Kingdom of God and we, at best, are imperfect. For every true believer, mercy triumphs over justice.
5.       Investigative judgment. Beginning on October 22, 1844, Christ entered upon the “judgment phase” of His ministry, whereby He blots out sin. Christ entered the Holy of Holies not at His ascension, but in 1844. It is a complicated attempt to excuse the huge error of William Miller in his third and last prediction of the second coming of Christ. The idea is to try and say that something did actually happen, though there was and is no physical evidence. Let’s simplify the whole matter by just stating that again, this is just mindless heresy.
6.      Satan is the scapegoat for our sins. This is a mistaken doctrine on the sending of the scapegoat into the wilderness (Lev.16). It makes Satan co-redeemer with Christ in stating that Satan had something to do with taking away our sins. We can see that Satan certainly had something to do with this heresy! This discredits Christ and mars the work of salvation. Simply, it’s another Adventist blasphemy.
7.      The mark of the beast in Revelation is Sunday keeping. Ridiculous! Read all that the book of Revelation has to say about the beast and its mark. See if you can find a hint anywhere that it has something to do with worshiping on Sunday. John was worshiping on Sunday, when he received the Revelation. See chapter one: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”. Early church fathers used the same term “Lord’s Day” to speak of the first day of the week, when Christ was raised from the dead, met with His disciples always on that day after the resurrection and when, for that reason, His followers began to meet on that day, as suggested in the book of Acts and the writings of Paul.
8.      There is no eternal hell, but only annihilation for the damned. They will cease to exist. A direct contradiction of Scripture. This is very similar to teaching by the Jehovah Witnesses. No wonder, their founder, Charles Russell, attended Adventists’ meetings. Just one verse from the mouth of the Word of God made flesh Himself: “These will go away into ETERNAL PUNISHMENT, but the righteous in eternal life.” (Mt.25:46).
9.      There are many dietary laws in Adventism and many practice vegetarianism. Pork is forbidden. Jesus turned His disciples totally away from food restrictions and minimized their importance, but you will find among both the Mormons and the Adventists that food and outward religion has a great deal of significance.

And the list could go on and on. We are exposing totally man-made, scripture-twisting teaching. In conclusion, Seventh-day Adventism is a sect, always has been and always will be. 


Post a Comment