Adventism is a modern denomination founded on the mistaken belief that Jesus would return in 1844. He didn’t so the pioneers and Mrs White came up with Daniel 8.14 and the Investigative Judgment as a rationalisation for their error. The trouble is there is not a thread of evidence that the cleansed temple of Daniel 8.14 has any connection whatsoever to the heavenly temple. In any case the cleansing of the temple was pre-figured in Jesus’ expulsion of the money-changers and realised by His death on the cross. Adventist leaders would do well to note both. The Investigative Judgment is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. Nor is the continuation of the Mosaic law into the new testament anywhere supported in the Bible as a feature of Kingdom life. What is featured is Christ come in the flesh of the Believer – the trinity indwelling human beings and the new creation appearing as the lives of Jesus’ people.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
Most scholars and leaders know these foundational doctrines are a fantasy. But don’t expect those whose careers, salaries and pensions depend on the charade to regale the masses with the vanity of these beliefs. Adventism, at best is the perpetuation of a colossal mistake and at worst a lie. Since these assumptions find no support in the Bible institutional Adventism has capped off the process of self-delusion and taken the logical step of producing its own Clear Word Bible.
If you wanted to do a non-believer a good turn, you would not introduce them to Christianity through the Adventist branch of the church for the simple reason that that Adventism is barely Christian. Repeatedly Ellen White denied the Bible gospel of salvation by grace and transformation by the indwelling spirit of Jesus and promoted her own guilt inducing version of works and uncertainty as salvation. Lack of confidence in one’s salvation was to her a virtue, since one perfected character through fear, particularly fear of not being ready.
Yet Adventists need not be the dumbest of the Christian denominations. The Bible speaks for itself and Holy Spirit speaks continually, witnessing spirit and truth into the hearts of all whose interest in following Jesus is greater than the need to have a special identity and a proprietary perspective on our relationship with God. What is for certain is that no one ever multiplies Christ’s life via the law. No group – even those who embrace Holy Spirit and His gifts – is capable of reproducing the Kingdom of God when tied to the law as a culture and chained to Moses even by one commandment.
Adventists live in the real grace of Jesus. Droplets of His life have seeped through. But culturally, they have no grace other than the pseudo-grace they have cobbled together from the fig-leaf of the Sabbath. Sabbath-keeping creates the illusion of keeping the many facets of the law. They have no real Holy Spirit other than what they can squeeze out of their health message as a faint energising of the body. Even in their Sabbath they have none of the deep rest that is ours in the Sabbath who is Christ our rest. Christ is our Sabbath. Adventists invert this to make Sabbath their Christ.
‘For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience’ Heb 4.8-11 NIV. Here obedience is portrayed as not living from a legal Sabbath because Father has given us His Son as the Sabbath of God.
The gospel of Adventism disconnects us from the achievements of Father, Son and Holy Spirit with its own suppositions and bizarre assemblage of scriptures joined as a chain of deceit and dishonesty to form a denomination of the misguided. Sure, you can be a Christian as an Adventist as long as you abandon its doctrines and inherent presumption of offering salvation through Adventism and the law instead of through Christ.
Who would have thought that there would ever be ‘a crap gospel.’ Yet we have one in Adventism. Paul was prophetic when he wrote, ‘Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ’ Phil 3.8 KJV. This religion puts Christ on the shelf and embraces dung. Adventism is not about Christ. It’s about the law, performance and attempted self-justification. Having negated the cross, the Spirit and the incarnation it cannot be said to be Christian.
The hope for Adventism is that some of the youth live in the blessing of ignorance of the specious doctrinal foundations of their faith; they have learned to absorb themselves in Jesus and His life. Adventism does not close the door on salvation but it does slam it shut on incarnated spirit and life.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
The real open door for the Adventist church is the same as it is for much of the Christian church as a whole – understanding the new covenant. Living in it and learning to treat anything that is not Christ as rubbish and as religious junk. At its base Adventist teaching is a load of nonsense and its system and culture a deception. The coming of the Holy Spirit and charismatic gifts cannot fix Adventism because Adventism is a tare. Jesus did not plant it. It is a cunningly devised fable of infernal subtlety and exquisite delusion. Jesus will no more revive and save Adventism than He will resurrect our lives in Adam. But all are made alive in Christ. He will bring Adventists new life when they embrace the Christ of God - As persons and sons and daughters of God.