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Exposing Adventism - Is the Adventist "gospel" compatible with Christianity?

What the Seventh-day Adventist Church presents as being its "gospel of Christ" (and for that matter the Mormon Church as well since they use the same words!), is totally different from the gospel of Christ presented by the Bible. When Jesus gave the gospel commission, he didn't tell His followers to make up their own gospel! As Paul states emphatically in Galatians, a man-made gospel is no gospel at all! And he has some very strong words of condemnation for anyone tampering with the gospel!

Are the gospel and Seventh-day Adventism's 1844 theology compatible? Absolutely not! The New Testament has two basic things to say about the gospel:

  1. The gospel is about Christ
  2. The gospel is about the fulfillment of the Old Testament
What are the implications of such a gospel?
  1. The gospel is about a finished thing.
    • Jesus was deeply conscious that Moses and the prophets wrote of Him and that His mission was to fulfill the Old Testament (John 5:39).
    • His last words on the cross triumphantly announced, "It is finished" (John 19:30).
    The gospel is the good news of Christ's finished work. If what men preach about is not already finished, it is not gospel. The gospel therefore concerns a finished thing. This is most certainly true.
  2. The gospel is a final thing.
    • In the Old Testament God spoke "through the prophets at many times and in various ways" (Heb 1:1).
    • But when at last He spoke "by His Son", this was His final word to man (Heb 1:2).
    Two New Testament documents specifically emphasize the finality of Christ -- the Gospel of John and Hebrews. The writer to the Hebrews presents Him as superior to the prophets, the angels, Moses or Aaron. He stresses the finality of Christ by repeated use the Greek word hapax, which means once and for all time -- that is, something final and unrepeatable (Heb 7:27).
  3. The gospel is an eschatological thing. The proclamation of the gospel is something which belongs to the last days. It is therefore the clearest evidence that we are living in the last days.
    • Hebrews 9:26 tells us that Christ "has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by sacrifice of Himself". Calvary, was an end-time event.
    • The outpouring of the Spirit to proclaim the gospel took place on the Day of Pentecost. Peter announced that it was the fulfillment of what Joel had prophesied would take place in the last days (Acts 2:16).
    • The New Testament repeatedly declares that the last days have arrived (Acts 2:16, 17; Heb 1:1,2; 9:26; 1 Pet 1:20).
    That the gospel is an eschatological thing follows from the fact that it is a final thing. Anyone who grasps that the gospel is God's final word, beyond which there is no more to be said or experienced, waits for Christ to come from heaven as the next great event in God's program.
  4. The gospel is an all-sufficient thing. In the gospel of Christ crucified and risen from the dead, God has given a final revelation of Himself.
    • All that we can know about God is revealed in the incarnate Word. Christ in the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth is the truth (John 14:6) -- the truth about God, the truth about the past (election) and the truth about the future (eschatology).
    The gospel gives us all that God and the future have to give us. It is a denial of the gospel to talk about a future sealing or a future gift of the Spirit as if there were something above and beyond hearing the gospel. All that God can possibly give us is contained in the gospel and is to be accepted by faith now!
  5. The gospel is a clear and certain thing. This cannot be said about the Old Testament revelation, which was given through the prophets in many and fragmentary ways. Here the mystery of God's plan remains veiled in enigmatic symbols and visions.
    • When God at last speaks in His Son, the mystery is unveiled and God's secret is out (Rom 16:25, 26; Eph 3:4,5).
    The gospel is not a dark mystery. It is not a hidden thing. Look at the clear witness of John 3:16.
  6. The gospel is a decisive thing. Because the gospel is a final thing, an eschatological thing, an all-sufficient thing, and a clear and certain thing:
    • it is by its very nature the final testing truth which God brings to every soul. By the word of the gospel which goes forth in these last days, God judges people (John 3:18, 19; Rev 14:6, 7).
    • Those who obey the gospel are constituted children of God. They are sealed with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption (Eph 1:13, 14).
    • They are given eternal life (John 5:24).
    • Those who disobey the gospel are condemned already. The wrath of God remains on them (John 3:18,36).
    • This means that the final judgment is present in the preaching of the gospel (John 3:18, 19; 5:24; 9:39; 12:31).
    • God does not require any further judgment to determine who are the children of God. By the sacrifice of Christ "once for all" they have been "made perfect forever" (Heb 10:10, 14).
    • They are already judged (justified), sealed and have eternal life. The Lord knows His sheep (John 10:14).
    • He knows those who belong to Him (2 Tim 2:19).
    • The gospel, therefore, is the reality of the pre-advent judgment. Just as the believer waits for no experience beyond the gospel except the public revelation of the Lord of the gospel, so he waits for no judgment except the public judgment on the last day (1 Cor 4:5, 2 Cor 5:10).
    Since by faith he already passes its acquitting verdict, the judgment day holds no terrors for him. The gospel is therefore a finished thing, a final thing, a complete thing, an eschatological thing, an all-sufficient thing, and a decisive thing. This is most certainly true.
The date 1844 and the teaching on the two-phased ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary are the nerve center of Adventism. From this understanding of 1844 comes a plethora of unique Seventh-day Adventist teachings such as the investigative judgment, the two apartments or ministrations in the heavenly sanctuary, the remnant church, the special sealing and blotting out of sins, the latter rain, close of probation and the Spirit of Prophecy.

Adventism is now in crisis because these "pillars of the faith" are being subjected to intense discussion and reevaluation. Everything we do and teach must be brought under the judgment of the gospel. If we ourselves are judged by the gospel (John 3:18, 19), then surely all our teachings must be subject to the searching scrutiny of the gospel. Everything out of harmony with this final thing, this all-sufficient thing, and this clear and certain thing is to be rejected no matter how much it has been venerated by tradition.

The Seventh-day Adventist "gospel" fails the test.
 
 
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Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.