By Peter Kurtis

The following are questions we may ask Seventh Day Adventists concerning their doctrines. While we intend no malice, Jesus said, "the truth will make you free". May this article help impart Bible Truth, and bring to Light further knowledge of Scriptural Evidence.

Concerning Israel

Is present day Jewish Israel God’s people? Adventists do not believe so. Seventh-Day Adventists believe they have replaced the Jews as Israel. Consider the following prophecies about ancient Israel and ask how they can apply to Adventists.

The Land of Palestine will be given back to Israel forever (Genesis 15:18; Deuteronomy 30:110, 19,20; Jeremiah 32:31-34; Ezekiel 36:19-24; 3 7:21-28). Now all Jerusalem was given back to Israel in 1967—Luke 21:24. When did Adventists have the land and Jerusalem before?

Israel shall be brought back to their land from among the nations in the latter days following God's scattering of Israel for disobedience to His law and commandments (Hosea 5:15; Jeremiah 31:I0; Ezekiel 28:25; 36:21-38; 39:25-29; John 11:52; Isaiah 11:10-10). When were Adventists scattered for breaking the commandments of God?

Israel will not be two nations any more (Ezekiel 37:19-28). When were Adventists two nations?

Israel will mourn for Jesus whom they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10). How did Adventists pierce Jesus 1900 years ago?

One King, the lord Jesus Christ, will rule in Israel's midst forever (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:22,24). How does this fit the Adventist claim to equal rulership with Christ?

God said His tabernacle and sanctuary will be in the midst of Israel forever (Isaiah 60:13; Ezekiel 11:16; 37:25-28). How will this apply to Adventists who (supposedly) have gone to heaven? The above verses talk about a kingdom in the natural land of Israel and in the midst of the people of Israel on earth!

The Apostle Paul presents the greatest challenge to Seventh-Day Adventists in Romans chapter 11. He says in, verse 1, "I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew." If Paul is not talking about Jewish Israelites, then when have Adventists killed the prophets and pulled down God’s altars, verse 3? When has God given Adventists a "spirit of Slumber", and blindness, verse 8:25? When have Adventists fallen from grace, cast off by God, and been enemies of the Gospel, verses 11, 15-28??? And when will Adventists be grafted back into their old olive tree from whence they were broken off, verse 24? Here Paul is speaking of ‘natural’ Israel which is in the land today, as the prophets foretold. Many Israelites are in fact awaiting for their Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ) whom they do not know.

Adventists teach that they will go to heaven for a 1000 years while Satan (as they understand him) remains on earth. They quote I Thess 4:16-1 7; John 14:1-3; Revelation 7:9, 10 in support of this. When we examine these passages however, we find no ‘heaven-going’ for the saints.

The Apostle Paul says, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in (the) clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thess 4:17). Now where will the Lord reign from? Gabriel said to Mary before Jesus' birth, Luke I:30-33: "the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob (the Jews) for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Gabriel promised that Jesus will reign from Jerusalem, over David’s restored throne.

Jacob in the Bible represents the Jewish people. How does this teaching of heaven-going relate to what Jesus said, "No man hath ascended up to heaven but he which came down from heaven..."? And again, Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10). And again in Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."

Satan Bound to The Earth

Adventists teach that their Satan will be bound to the earth for 1000 years, Rev. 20:1-7. If Christ is to come back to reign on earth in this period, how can Satan be in control of the earth? Observe the context of these verses:

I) Satan is bound!

2) Christ reigns with the saints: "they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years". And of this period Isaiah 2:2-4, says, "...all nations shall flow unto it" (that is Jerusalem).

3) This is the first resurrection of the dead. This plainly shows that Christ will reign on earth for 1000 years. Let us note the flow of thought here: "And he laid hold on... Satan, and bound him a thousand years,.. that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled" (Revelation 20:2-4), "...and they (the believers) lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

Here the Adventists wrest Jeremiah 4:23-27, seeking to show that the earth will be without inhabitants. Yet, if one reads the whole chapter it is seen to speak of Babylon taking possession of Judah and Jerusalem,

The Earth to be Destroyed?

Adventists teach that the earth will be destroyed. If this is so, how can the following scriptures make sense? God said, "But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord." Numbers 14:21. "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s but the earth hath he given to the children of men." (Psalm 115:16). "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." (Genesis 8:22). "God is not the Author of confusion" (I Corinthians 14:33). While Armageddon will bring world wide destruction, Zechariah chapter 14 tells us that "everyone that is left of all nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts".

Jesus and God

Adventists teach that Jesus is God, who in Genesis 1:1 "created the heaven and earth" Using the same word ‘God’, which in original Hebrew is Elohim, how was Moses ‘god’ to Pharaoh in Exodus 7:1? Why were Angels called God (Genesis 32:24-30; Hosea 12:3-4; Judges 6:22; 13:6-21). Why were Men of Israel referred to as ‘Gods’, quoted by Jesus, John I0:30-36 who quoted Psalm 82:1-7.

The Heavenly Sanctuary

Adventists say that, "In 1844 Christ entered into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary just as the earthly priest entered the most holy place (into God’s Presence) in the earthly sanctuary on the Day of Atonement..." At this time Jesus supposedly atoned for the sins of the Church and began the "Investigative Judgement" (Leviticus 16; 23:26-32). Quoted from Adventist Bible Commentary.

1) Did Christ not enter the presence of the Father until 1844? If so, what does the Bible mean? " his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Hebrews 9:24 cp. Hebrews 7:27), "For Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:"(Hebrews 9:24). Was God’s Presence in the Second compartment in heaven as it was in the earthly sanctuary?

When Jesus died, the curtain separating the two compartments, the holy place and the most holy place, was torn in two, therefore doing away with the two compartment tabernacle system of worship on earth. The Bible says, "But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;" Was the "right hand of God" in another compartment in heaven? If Adventists are right, Jesus entered in twice. Was the apostle Paul wrong? If you read Hebrews chapter seven to chapter ten, see if you can find a two compartment system in heaven.

The Key to understanding what the true tabernacle system represented lies in the following from Hebrews 9:8-14: "...the first tabernacle was... a figure for the time then present ... But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands.... but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us..." (that is, at his resurrection, not in 1844). A ‘figure’ is a representation of the actual, not the thing itself.

The following Bible references show how the earthly temple pointed to Christ. The two compartment system was destroyed, since the earthly ‘veil’ was torn in two pieces opening the way into ‘God’s presence’ through Christ’s flesh crucified. The fixtures in the tabernacle all represented Jesus Christ in some way. Jesus was the ‘entrance’ into the court and the ‘door’ into the tabernacle—Jesus said, "I am the door:" (John 10:9). Jesus was the ‘brazen Altar’—"We have an altar (Christ), whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle." (Hebrews 13:10). Christ was the ‘Laver’—"That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the Church) with the washing of water by the Word," (John 1:1; Ephesians 5:26). Jesus is the ‘lampstand’—Jesus said, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). Jesus is the ‘Shewbread’—Jesus said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:25-36). Jesus is the ‘incense altar’—Jesus hears our prayers and mediates for us before the Father in heaven. "He is the mediator of a better covenant." (Hebrews 8:6). Jesus is the torn ‘veil’—"which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh," (Hebrews I0:I0-22). Jesus is our "mercy seat" (propitiation) Romans 3:25. The ‘Ark’ says Jeremiah "shall not be brought to mind" (Jeremiah 3:16). There is no need to have an earthly system in heaven because Christ will come back to earth to reign for a thousand years setting up his temple as a house of prayer for all nations. Read Zechariah 14:I6-2; Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48.

2) Adventists believe that in 1844 Jesus had to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary. quoting Daniel 8:14. The word here, "cleanse", is "Nitsadaq" and means "Justify, vindicate, avenge". (See Strong’s Concordance) What indeed needs cleansing in heaven when God cannot even look on sin (Habakkuk I:13).

3) Adventists believe, "Judgement began in 1844", if so, what do we do with the judgement at his Second Coming? 2 Timothy 4:1 says, "...the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom." Also read, Daniel 12:2; John 12:48; 1 Corinthians 4:4-5. Are we going to be judged twice?

The Sabbath

Seventh Day Adventists believe that Saturday is the true Sabbath which God gave to man; it was to be kept from the days of Adam. According to Deuteronomy 5:2-4 this is not so. the passage shows that this covenant (Sabbath Included) was "not made with the fathers of Israel", that is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It was given as a sign to remind Israel that God brought them out of Egypt (Exodus 16:23,29; 31:13-18).

Adventists divide the ‘Moral and Ceremonial’ Laws into two groups. So why were there other Sabbaths kept accompanied with sacrifices? (Leviticus 23:5-8,36,39; John 19:31). Both groups were known as the ‘Covenant of the Lord’ (Exodus 34:27,28; Deuteronomy 4; 1 Kings 8:9,21). Both were part of the Law of God which Paul says was to be done away (Hebrews 8:6-13). Here the word ‘Testament’ is the same as ‘Covenant’. Jesus lifted the Law to a spiritual level (Matthew 22:36-40; 5:21,22,27,28) and Paul says, "the Letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Corinthians 3:6).

If the Sabbath law is binding on Gentile believers, why is it termed, "the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones—a ministration of condemnation" (2 Corinthians 3:3-14)? Do Adventists stone Sabbath-breakers to death as the law demands (31:13)?

The priests worked twice as hard on the Sabbath. Where was their rest (Leviticus, 8:35-36)? And are Christians not the "royal priesthood", ministering seven days a week (1 Peter 2:5,9)?

The Mosaic Law could not Justify or bring Salvation. Paul says, "But that no man is Justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith," (Galatians 3:11,19). Hence, the New Testament Sabbath is centered in Christ. Jesus broke the custom of the Jewish Sabbath by healing the sick and allowing his disciples to pluck grain (Matthew 12:I-9,10-14). How does Jesus answer the religious leaders for breaking the Sabbath custom? "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he had broken the sabbath" (John 5:17-18). Paul warns "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days." Believers met on both days, Saturday or Sunday, as it was convenient (Acts 16:13 and Acts 20:7). This clearly shows that there was no special day.

Adventists often claim that Sunday worship was started by Constantine in 321 A.D. Constantine indeed, may have declared Sunday a day of worship, however, earlier Christians state that they met on Sunday 200 years before this time. Ignatius said, as early as 100 A.D., "Those who were concerned with old things ... no longer keeping sabbaths, but living according to the Lord’s day." (Jesus was raised on the first day of the week—Sunday). Justin Martyr records in 140 A.D. "Sunday is the day on which we all hold Our common assembly." Nowhere in the New Testament is the Jewish Sabbath enjoined for the Gentile believers to keep as it was under the Law of Moses— Not by the Lord Jesus Christ or his Apostles.

God warned that many would try to enter His "Spiritual rest" and would not be able to. "For he spake in a certain place of the Seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the Seventh day from all his works ... For if Jesus (Joshua) had given them (Israel) rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief " (Hebrews 4:4-11). It was Jesus Christ who said:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls"

This rest will be realized in the Kingdom of God when the saints will be given the divine nature— 2 Peter 1:4.

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