Seventh Day Adventist Origins & Salvation





I HISTORY: four key players in the development of the SDA movement

1a William Miller: Unorthodox doctrine 

1b In the New England area, there had been a rise of those who were particularly interested in future events – called Adventists and represented many different denominations

1c Though poorly organized they were united around one central idea – the end times were near and the Lord’s Coming was near

2c This may not seem unusual to us in the present, but in that day the church in America was not particularly interested in prophetic things due to the dominance of Amillennial doctrine

3c It was at this time that the pre-trib. and pre-millennial view of Scripture was being rediscovered after 1400 years of church history – God was at work

2b What was needed was a catalyst to get it started and that catalyst was William Miller Unorthodox doctrine and itching ears

1c NY farmer and part-time soldier, he became saved from deism in the 1810's and devoted himself to the study of scripture by himself, tuning out the many confusing voices of his day

2c Miller came to the conclusion that 2300 days (Dan. 8:14) were actually 2300 years thus dating the Lord’s Coming to March 21, 1843

3c In 1831, he published his ideas in Adventist publican, "Signs of the Times" and developed a great following from all denominations

4c Many quit jobs, sold all possessions to spend remaining time worship in order to prepare themselves for the March 21, 1843

5c When the Lord did not return, he recalculated determined that the date of 1844

3b Miller repented on his error but the damage was done – reminder of Js. 3:1

2a Hiram Edson: (They were iching ears looking to follow fables – 2 Tim. 4:3)

1b Follower of Miller, the day after the "The Great Disappointment," saw a vision while walking through a cornfield.

2b Miller was right on the March 21, 1844 day, but mistaken where it easy to take place

3b The sanctuary mentioned was a heavenly sanctuary where Christ went to cleanse the sins of Believer – a central doctrine of the SDA movement (2 Tim. 4:3)

3a Joseph Bates: he preached that the Sabbath was the day of worship since it is included in the Ten commandments

4a Ellen G. White Elevating a central figure and add to the Scriptures

1b Born Ellen Gould Harmon in 1827, she and her parents were under the influence of the Adventist and were eventually expelled from the Methodist Church

2b She married Adventist James White in 1846 a leader in the movement and began to have visions, often caught up to heaven, as the Apostle John, slowly at first, the visions were accepted as truth

3b She later became a profuse writer, writing 65 volumes

1c The volumes as time went on, began to gain prominence to the point they have almost equaled or surpassed the Scriptures in Authority

2c As the SDA's Questions on Doctrines states "the Holy Spirit opened to her mind important events and called her to give certain instruct ions for these days... we as a denomination accept them as inspired counsels from the Lord."


1a Numerically (2004)

1b 530,378 increase in membership in 2004 or about 5% annually

2b 1994 - 37,719,000 churches and in 2004 – 57,850,000 churches

3b Membership from 1994-2004 increased form 7,062,210 to 13,408,554

4b 205 Countries including the USSR

5b A new church member every 43 seconds and a new church every 8.3 hours

2a Financially: per member giving is higher than most protestant denominations

3a Outreach (2004)

1b Over 5,327 Schools

2b Colleges and Universities - 135: Andrews University (Mich.) & Loma-Linda(Ca.)

3b Over 471 Hospitals and clinics

4b Over 56 printing presses

5b Radio and Television


1a Introduced: they so resemble true Christianity that it is hard for many to tell the difference

1b Inspiration and authority of Scripture

2b Deity of Christ and the Virgin Birth

3b Trinity

4b Resurrection of Christ and His Return

5b Miracles of the Bible

6b Creation account of the Bible

7b Salvation by grace through faith

2a Inspected:

1b Salvation begins with grace

1c They believe man is lost, heading for hell, and can not save himself and apart from the grace of God and the work of the Spirit he can not be saved

2c Though this on the surface appears to be identical to what we believe further inquiry is needed to gain a full understanding

2b Salvation continues with works

1c Once an individual receives salvation he finds himself on a probationary period in which he must now prove to God he is worthy of this salvation and maintain it

1d 2300 years after the event spoken of in Daniel 8:14 Christ would leave His Father’s side to cleanse the “heavenly” temple (Rev.11:19; 14:15-17)

2d Christ is presently completing his atoning work through investigative judgment in the Holy of Holies – true believer’s sins are not yet blotted out and will not be until Christ has fully investigated the lives of all believers and thus cleansed the temple

3d. Having cleansed the temple, Christ will bind the sins of the Saints to Satan, the author of sin and he will become the scapegoat of Leviticus 16 – he will bear the sins of all believers until he is annihilated at the end of the Millennium

2c To be found worthy, all believers must keep the moral law of God

1d Worshipping on the Sabbath

2d Tithing

3d Ten Commandments

4d Witnessing

5d Healthy living

3a Investigated

1b Moral living is necessary (Heb 10:38-39; Col 2:6; James 2:14; Phil 2:12)

1c Ignore the immediate context
Heb. 10:38 is speaking of unbelievers as indicated by verse 39, “But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”

Phil 2:12 is addressing our living out what God is doing as reflected in verse 13,for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”(NKJV)

2c Ignore the overall context 

Rom 3:24, “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

Gal 2:16, “"knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

Heb 10:14-15, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. “

Eph 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

2b Jesus cleansing work in heavenly temple

1c Christ’s work on the cross is finished (Heb. 10:12; Jn. 19:28-30)

2c Christ is the one who bore the sins of the world (John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:21)

3c The believer is now no longer under the condemnation of sin (Rom 5:8-11; Heb. 10:18-19)

4c The scapegoat of Lev.16 did not bear sin but only symbolized the removal of sin through sacrifice and Satan is not annihilated at the end of 1000 years (Rev. 20)

4a Implications

1b Question #1: are they really unsaved or just a variation of the Armenian slant of theology?

1c Point #1: The Armenian position holds that we are saved by grace at salvation and continue to be saved if we do not sin too gravely

1d If an Armenian sins he must appeal once again to the grace of God to remove his sins – over and over

2d SDA position seems different – by keeping of the laws of God they prove themselves worthy to be accepted into the Kingdom

2c Point #2: The Armenian position sees Christ taking away our sins but the SDA view is that Satan is taking upon himself the sins of the World until he is annihilated in the Everlasting Lake of Fire – the work of salvation is not completed until after the 1000 years.

2b Question #2:; are they a cult

1c Teach unorthodox doctrine – starting with Millers idea that the Lord’s return could be known

2c They branched from the fatih – most of the early members were a part of Bible believing denominations before joining

3c They elevate the teachings of a central person – Miller then Ellen G. White – they have itching ears and seek those who will scratch them

4c They added to Scriptures – writings of Ellen G. White

5c They recruit unstable souls – yes

6c They deceptive in their presentation – yes

7c They promote another gospel – yes