I was given this link this morning to read, “The Shut Door – A Case Study”, while reading I took notes to document my concerns. After reading this case study I am even more concerned and grieved about the Seventh Day Adventist church. I thought I would share the link with you as well as my notes of concern. I am sure there are things that I missed; I just notated what was glaringly obvious to me. Feel free make any notations of concern that I may have missed in the comment section. To make this easier to understand my words will be in red, A Case Study will be in green and scripture in bold black italics.
1.First and foremost, God’s word is not up for private interpretation. This is where error creeps in, everyone wants the bible to mean what they want it to mean, it doesn’t work that way. We use scripture to interpret scripture, referring to other parts of scripture to help us understand and give us the proper meaning with the help of the Holy Spirit teaching us what God intended in His word. God doesn’t have a million different ways we can interpret His word, He has one way. When everyone interprets it in their own way adding their own opinion’s they are essentially creating a God of their own. Much like the golden calf. God speaks to us through His Son, through His word, the bible.
Hebrews 1:1-2 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
God used the fathers and prophets to speak in times past, we now have the written word that is complete, there is no more need for prophets to speak because the canon of scripture is closed and cannot be added to. People claiming to be modern day apostles and prophets are not speaking for God.
2.“But not even God will force love or compliance.” (from essential attitude of truth seekers paragraph)
When we look at God as forcing us into a love relationship we miss the mark – God shapes our will, He sets love and desire for Him in our hearts so that there is no force involved. (“Free will is assumed from passages that teach human responsibility.” Bob Dewaay ) Please refer to “Free Will or the Bondage of the Will: Definitions are Critical by Bob Dewaay; Critical Issues Commentary Issue Number 92 January/February 2006 (cicministry.org). This is a much more complex discussion than I can discuss in this response.
Romans 9:16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
Psalm 135:6 Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
3.“Nor will He impose His presuppositions on another. He is willing to “reason” (Isa. 1:8) with men and women regarding the soundness of His will and the validity of their presuppositions. By the “weight of evidence” honest, humble people have gladly acknowledged the trustworthiness of their Creator Friend.” (from essential attitude of truth seeks paragraph)
First let me address the word presuppositions, which means assumptions prior to or beforehand, God doesn’t make presuppositions because He doesn’t have to assume anything. He is GOD, He is omniscient or He has complete, infinite, unlimited knowledge, God knows all things from the beginning to the end. The next issue I have in this quote is that God doesn’t reason with anyone, God’s will is not up for debate or questioning as to why He wills a thing, remember the verse I quoted from Psalm above, whatever the Lord pleases He does? Man’s will works in conjunction with what God has already pre-determined before the foundation of the world. I also wanted to add that I have no idea what Isaiah 1:8 has to do with what they are trying to say in this paragraph.
Isaiah 46:9-10 “Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
God shows us the total depravity of all mankind – man with no hope of redemption outside of Christ Jesus and his great mercy. Then He shows us His great love and mercy.
Genesis 8:21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Romans 3:10-18 (which is a quotation from Psalm 14), where we read, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They have all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used that is, in my flesh deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known; there is no fear of God before their eyes.” And the same thought is expressed later in
Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me dwelleth no good thing.”
4.In response to Ellen and the Millerites assigning certain times and dates to the return of Christ. Many over the centuries have made predictions about Christs return, claiming special knowledge from Him and all have been found to be liars and frauds. How can I make such an accusation? Because God’s word gives His exact response as to when Christ will return and He hasn’t returned yet!
Mark 13:32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (So with that being stated why even make all these predictions?)
5.“With each successive vision, Ellen White laid down another brick in a coherent, integrated theological foundation. In this April 3 vision, the relationship was cemented between the sanctuary and the seventh-day Sabbath (the “shut door” and the Sabbath).” (From Sabbath in the sanctuary vision paragraph)
Here we see Ellen laying a foundation, the foundation of the beliefs of the SDA, adding to the gospel of Jesus Christ her 7th day Sabbath condition. All revealed to her through visions she claimed were from God. This shows us that the foundation of the SDA is not built upon Christ but this is a new foundation, apparently the foundation already laid by Christ for the New Testament Church, was not good enough for them.
6.““I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They had not rejected the light upon it.”(Quote from Ellen White) Here again, she applied the principle of rejection: Because the world was full of people who had not been introduced to the Sabbath truth, a vast mission field was waiting to be taught and warned.” (this is from the same paragraph Sabbath in the sanctuary)
You see the focus here is not on Christ and His gospel but on Ellen’s Sabbath truth. She called it the clear light of truth, the Sabbath truth. A vast mission field of people that had rejected, not Jesus Christ, but the Sabbath truth. This Sabbath truth is required according to the SDA and Ellen for salvation.
7.“The Lord has shown me in vision, that Jesus rose up, and shut the door, and entered the Holy of Holies, at the 7th month 1844.” (this is from the same paragraph as #’s 7-8)
Fist of all this is not in scripture!! Nowhere in scripture are we told this and this is contradictory to what scripture tells us about Jesus. If Jesus got up and shut the door and entered the Holy of Holies then where did he offer the sacrifice for sin after he ascended into heaven? Where had he been all that time?
Hebrews 10:11-13 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.( Also refer to Hebrews 12:1-3)
Ellen also points out, in the same paragraph as 7-9, that the time of trouble when Michael stands up was yet future and would take place only after Jesus had finished His work in the Most Holy Place. Did Jesus not finish his work on the cross, and did he not apply the blood sacrifice when he ascended into heaven? So what is she talking about here? Just more proof that her information is not coming from the God of the bible because God will not contradict what he has already written in the bible.
8.(from the paragraph seal of God’s vision) We see in this paragraph that there is a worldwide spreading of the Sabbath truth/sanctuary doctrine. So am I to assume that God no longer wants us to carry out the great commission that Jesus laid out for us to do? This is not the spreading of the gospel, this is something new that Ellen claims God told her to do, spread the Sabbath truth, sanctuary doctrine, not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
9. “Paul’s warning about “strong delusion” and “believe the lie” (2 Thess. 2:11, 12) applied to those ministers who were attacking the Sabbath and sanctuary truths.” (from open door paragraph)
These verses in Thessalonians are about those who reject Jesus Christ and His way of salvation by grace through faith. Ellen would like to believe they are about rejecting her Sabbath and sanctuary truths.
10.“ Ellen White’s article in Present Truth, September 1849, provided another example of the brick upon brick process by which she was helping to establish the rising foundation of a coherent, integrated theology. “ (from Present truth paragraph)
Here we see Ellen White again laying bricks for the foundation of the SDA and their beliefs. The foundation of the Lord’s church had already been laid with no need to be re- built.
Ephesians 2:19-21 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,
Christ has already laid the foundation and built his church. So whose church is this that Ellen White, the cornerstone of the SDA, is building a foundation for?
One of the other points made in the same paragraph was that “Character determines ones future”, No God has already determined our future.
11.“Whenever one role-plays, seeking to respond to the same challenges and conditions that young Ellen White faced, her responsibility to clarify earlier writings made in haste becomes clear and expected. Those few deletions or changes were not made to change positions but to clarify them—so that misunderstandings could be avoided. What else would a responsible author do, even a prophet?
A true prophet of God would not have to do this because they are always 100% correct because their message is from God. This is the biblical requirement of a true prophet, and God is never wrong or contradictory.
Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.”) see also Deuteronomy 18:20 and www.letusreason.org/latrain23.htm
12.“God did not ask them to launch out before He had made them ready. Without question, Ellen White’s vision-messages and tenacity of spirit became the leading force in melding this small group into a world movement—all done within an amazingly short period of time.” (from the last paragraph)
“Each successive vision revealed additional building material in the development of an integrated, consistent theological system that eventually became the “present” and distinctive truths of Seventh-day Adventists.” (from the summary)
This paragraph shows us that the SDA church was founded upon the visions and writings of Ellen White, she is the cornerstone of this movement, she built the foundation and claimed her visions and writings came from the Lord. However her visions and writings don’t line up with scripture. The Lord’s church was established on the first Pentecost after Christ ascended, so why the need for Mrs. White to start a new church with a new foundation? Church’s today that do not adhere to the teachings of the Lord’s church, the New Testament church teachings handed down by Jesus Christ to his apostles and spread throughout the world are not considered the Lords churches. The Lords church preaches the same gospel by grace through faith that Jesus taught his Apostles and then passed down, we are not to accept a gospel contrary to that gospel. Any gospel other than the one handed down through the Apostles of Jesus is a false gospel as well as any gospel that adds to grace.
1 Corinthians 15:1-5 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
Galations 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
In closing I would like to point out that from just this case study alone we see plenty of error. We see denial of the omniscience of God as well as the denial of God’s sovereignty. We see that a person’s visions and writings are being used as the foundation for this church. And most dangerous of all we see the SDA and Mrs. White adding conditions of sabbath keeping to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is all this enough to label them a cult? I don’t know, but it is sure enough to tell us that the SDA can’t be the Lord’s church because it doesn’t follow the teachings of the bible but the teachings of a person. Sabbath keeping can’t save you, only salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ can produce salvation from sin and a new birth with no other conditions added. Obedience to Christ is not a work and is not to be added as a requirement to salvation, but a response to the free gift of salvation. Out of great mercy and love that God bestowed upon us, wretched totally depraved sinners we respond to Him by being obedient because we love Him.