Religious Groups That Are Cultic

The Christian Mark of the Beast Survival Manual Copyright © 2014 by Erik K. Olinger All rights reserved.

READERS: This is a rough-draft of the manuscript.  It is unedited and contains errors that will be corrected at the final release.


Religious Groups That Are Cultic


But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping (NIV 2Pe. 2:1-3).

There is no shortage of religious groups that have unusual beliefs that are contrary to the Bible. These religious groups are considered cults to the larger evangelical world. Although some would say that there are no Christian cults, but rather Satanic cults, Christian themed cults can be identified easily if they espouse doctrines that are in conflict with the Christian Bible. They usually have tell-tale signs and characteristic traits in common, perversely denying or altering core Christian beliefs. A quick-reference partial listing of some ways one can identify a Christian cult are as follows:

  1. They may teach that they alone have the “truth” and salvation.

  2. They may devalue the deity of Christ.

  3. They may deny the triune of God and the personality of the Holy Spirit.

  4. Usually they are spurred by a charismatic leader who may be infallible and who has an extra-scriptural source of revelation.

  5. They usually deny justification by grace alone, adding saved by works to the salvation equation (traditionally grace through faith equals salvation).

  6. They place emphasis on beliefs the Bible does not.

  7. They minimize the severity of punishment for the wicked.

  8. They may deny the validity of the Bible, and they may revise and reinterpret what the Bible teaches.

  9. Many of the cults appear to entice membership with a policy regarding living a healthy lifestyle. They ban drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and they may require members to have a vegetarian diet.

The Bible the Ultimate Authority

A cultist often does not have the idea that he or she is in a cult. They trust the leader and the message, and often do not examine the differences in doctrine for themselves. This makes it difficult to reach the person. When determining if a group is a cult, the Bible alone is the only way to measure this matter. Usually if a group’s beliefs are in disagreement with the Bible, the writings of the cult are held higher than the Word. The Bible has to be the ultimate authority, and the cultist has to understand this to make any attempt to break free from a dangerous group. In this chapter, four cults will be compared to Scripture. These are just four of dozens and dozens of the active cults. The four groups that this chapter examines are:

  1. The Seventh-day Adventists.

  2. The Latter-day Saints.

  3. The Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  4. The Christian Scientists.

Seventh-day Adventism

Seventh-day Adventism was founded by a Mrs. Ellen G. White after the Millerite movement of 1843. Adventism has its roots in this movement that was endorsed by the SDA prophetess, Ellen White. The Millerite movement culminated in an incorrect and failed prediction of Christ’s return. A farmer name Mr. Miller studied his Bible and with it predicted that Christ would return in 1843. He used a proof-texting method to connect various verses throughout the Bible together to determine a date. When Christ did not return in 1843, Miller checked his prediction and discovered that he made an error by one year. He changed his date to October 22, 1844. 1844 arrived and Christ did not return and many unhappy Millerites left the movement. Mrs. White began endorsing, after the failed predictions had passed, that William Miller was guided by God and had a “perfect chain of truth1” in his predictions. Many Millerites transferred to Ellen White’s new-found Adventist movement, although Mr. Miller did not join the Adventists. That failed prediction was the foundation and emergence of Seventh-day Adventism, a pivotal part of the church that will be discussed further in this chapter. The failed predictions became known by the Adventists as “Our Great Disappointment.”

Ellen White Adventist Authority

The SDA church is a classic example of a group with an extra-scriptural source of authority. The church began to consider Ellen White a prophetess at some point during her ministry. Ellen White’s books, writings, and teachings are considered inspired to this day by the Adventists as a “continuing and authoritative source of truth.2” If asking an Adventist where he or she gets his or her source of authority, he or she will probably quickly respond, “the Bible alone.” The only way to learn the beliefs the Adventists have though, is through Ellen White’s teachings.

The Remnant and Spirit of Prophecy

Seventh-day Adventists do not consider themselves in the same class as the more evident cults. They believe they are the last true church and God’s remnant. They apply the word “remnant” (KJV Rev. 12:17) or “offspring” (NIV Rev. 12:17) to the Seventh-day Adventist church body. They infer that they are the people of God who keep the commands and remain faithful to Jesus (Rev. 14:12). They use “Spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10) as a term they apply to and avow is exhibited in Mrs. Ellen White. All other denominations are labeled “fallen Babylon,” and they consider protestantism the false prophet of the book of Revelation.

The Spirit of Prophecy

The above aforementioned claims are disputable and beset with inaccuracy and deception. If reading the Bible alone, one would never be able to conclude that Mrs. White is referenced in it, nor that the Spirit of prophecy is a person (it actually appears to be a reference to the Holy Spirit). If reading Revelation 12:17, 14:12, and 19:10, one could not readily conclude that there is only one true end-times denomination. A former Adventist named Dirk Anderson researched the SDA church claims, and his findings shed light about the Spirit of prophecy. They are shared here in part. Noteworthy is that the Spirit of God is called many different names in the Bible, all having the prefix “Spirit of…” For the Adventist, only one of the over twenty-nine various names for the Spirit of God, is not attributed to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of prophecy to the Adventist is a reference to their prophetess Ellen White, not the Spirit of God. The following paragraph is taken from the notes section of Mr. Anderson’s study,

The Spirit of God is called by many names in the Bible. In all cases it would be blasphemy to ascribe these names to any human: Spirit of Wisdom – Isa. 11:2; Spirit of Understanding – Isa. 11:2; Spirit of Counsel – Isa. 11:2; Spirit of Power – Isa. 11:2; Spirit of Knowledge – Isa. 11:2; Spirit of the Fear of the Lord – Isa. 11:2; Spirit of Judgment – Isa. 28:6; Spirit of the Lord – Micah 2:7; Spirit of Grace – Zech. 12:10; Spirit of Supplications – Zech. 12:10; Spirit of God – Matt. 3:16; Spirit of Your Father – Matt. 10:20; Spirit of Truth – John 14:17; Spirit of Jesus – Acts 16:7; Spirit of Holiness – Rom. 1:4; Spirit of Life – Rom. 8:2; Spirit of Christ – Rom. 8:9; Spirit of Adoption – Rom. 8:15; Spirit of the Living God – 2 Cor. 3:3; Spirit of His Son – Gal. 4:6; Spirit of Promise – Eph. 1:13; Spirit of Wisdom – Eph. 1:17; Spirit of Revelation – Eph. 1:17; Spirit of Jesus Christ – Phil. 1:19; Spirit of Power – 2 Tim. 1:7; Spirit of Love – 2 Tim. 1:7; Spirit of Grace – Heb. 10:29; Spirit of Glory – 1 Pet. 4:14; Spirit of Prophecy – Rev. 19:10. A pattern can be seen here. The Bible uses “Spirit of …” to describe the attributes of God and His Spirit. Thus, the “Spirit of Prophecy” refers to the Spirit of God, not to any human or any human’s writings.3

Mr. Anderson identified the Greek word from which “Testimony” in Revelation 12:17 is translated. Revelation 12:17 reads, “those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus,” and is the verse that Adventists link with the “Spirit of prophecy” of Revelation 19:10,

5. Is the “Testimony of Jesus” really Ellen White’s writings?? [Sic] In Revelation 12:17, the word, “Testimony” (Greek marturia) comes from a root word which, in its various Greek forms, means “testifying,” “testimony,” “witness,” and “martyr.”

The phrase “Of Jesus” could be understood in two ways:

  • The testimony came from Jesus. This stresses Jesus as the source of the testimony.
  • The testimony is about Jesus. This stresses Jesus as the subject of the testimony.4


Mr. Anderson further explained the usages of the Greek word for testimony (marturia), that are throughout the N.T. Anderson determined that those who believe on Jesus have the marturia, the testimony of Jesus, in them,


Now, notice how John uses marturia to describe the testimony of the believer concerning Jesus:

…for this is the witness [marturia] of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness [marturia] in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record [marturia] that God gave of his Son. And this is the record [marturia], that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
(1 John 5:9-11)

In these important verses we find that those who believe on Jesus have the marturia, the witness or testimony of Jesus, in them!5


Anderson’s work makes clear that John, the author of Revelation, was imprisoned on the isle of Patmos for the testimony (marturia) of Jesus Christ, and also that John had the testimony when he was on Patmos nearly 2000 years ago,


John goes on to say in verse 9:

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony [marturia] of Jesus Christ.

Notice the two reasons that John gives for being imprisoned on the isle of Patmos:

  1. The Word of God
  2. The Testimony of Jesus

Clearly it was John’s testimony about Jesus that resulted in his being imprisoned.

Notice something else: John had the “Testimony of Jesus” when he was on Patmos. That was somewhere between 65 AD and 100 AD. So, the “Testimony of Jesus” was manifested in the writings of John over 1,700 years before the birth of Ellen [Harmon] White.6



Anderson’s research and conclusion about the Greek word marturia (testimony) and the claim that Ellen White is the Spirit of prophecy, should sufficiently bring resoluteness about the meaning of the term “Spirit of prophecy” in the Bible,


Throughout the New Testament we find a pattern of the “testimony of Jesus” referring to the believer’s personal witness about Jesus Christ. Rather than being the prophetic utterances received from Jesus, the testimony of Jesus is the believer’s personal testimony about Jesus. The “testimony of Jesus” is found in the writings of the New Testament, whose writers personally knew Christ and bore witness to Him. Furthermore, John tells us that the testimony of Jesus is found in the heart of all those who accept and believe in Jesus as the Son of God:

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness [marturia] in himself (1 John 5:10)

Therefore, the “testimony of Jesus” cannot be used to uniquely identify the SDA Church as the remnant church of Bible prophecy. Revelation clearly teaches that John had the “testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 1:9), the martyrs had it (Rev. 6:9), and John’s brethren had it (Rev. 19:10). None of these ever knew Ellen White, so it could not refer directly to her.7


The Remnant


Does the SDA church claim that they are the last true church and God’s remnant hold any weight? Let’s dive in to examine the biblical remnant. The “remnant of her seed” (KJV) or “the rest of her offspring” who “keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus” (NIV Rev. 12:17), best matches the remnant of Israel (please see the following verses as initial evidenceIsa. 10:20-23, 11:11-12; Jer. 32:37-39; Zep. 3:12-13; Zec. 8:12). It will also be shown that Gentile Christians are not excluded from God’s spiritual remnant. The majority of time when the Bible mentions a remnant it is:


  • The remnant of Israel.
  • The spiritual remnant of Israel.


There is no biblical substantive indication that the Adventists can warrant linking Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 to a denomination within the church, such as Adventism. Noteworthy is that the Adventist interpretation and remnant concept is dependent on the King James Version Bible,


Exegetically, the Greek word “remnant” (leimma) is not found in Revelation 12:17 and thus it is not possible to read a “church within a church” into the verse. The translation “remnant” is an inaccuracy of the KJV upon which the doctrine was originally based.8


For reference, it should be distinguished that there are two notable offspring (seeds) the Bible teaches that the serpent is at war with. These two offspring are not typified for purposes of this study, such as Christ can be typified as the Seed of Abraham. Of course the serpent is at war with the Seed (Christ), but we will examine the other two primary targets of Satan. We found earlier in this manual that there is enmity between the offspring of the serpent and the offspring of the woman in Genesis, Eve (Ge. 3:15—and see The Faithful Tested). Take note that one target of Satan is the offspring of Eve. The remnant of the woman that had offspring that the dragon went off to wage war with (Rev. 12:17), is another target of Satan. The offspring that is of concern to this study is the offspring/remnant of the woman in Revelation who is symbolically (Rev. 12:1) the mother of Christ (Rev. 12:2, 4-5). The majority of dispensationalists identify the woman in the book of Revelation as symbolically fitting Israel, because the nation gave birth to Christ and was striving to prepare for Christ.9 The Adventists identify the woman in Revelation as the true church that forms the SDA church.


The remnant in the book of Revelation cannot even be confined to racial Israel, because not “all who descended from Israel are Israel” (NIV Ro. 9:6), and “…it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring” (NIV Ro. 9:8), and “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (NIV Gal. 3:29). One can see that Israel can spiritually be composed of Christians who are not of physical Israeli descent. Any Christian can make up spiritual Israel. Who then is really welcome to be a member of Christ’s church and a child of God? Is it a specific denomination and all other Christians are excluded?


So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (NIV Gal. 3:26-28).


Apparent from this one passage alone is that anyone of any background has the ability to be baptized into Christ through faith and that all Christians are one in Christ. Although a decision should not if possible be based on one passage, this single passage is weighty proof to deflate the haughty claim of this sect that the only true church is a denomination within Christ’s body. There is not biblical evidence that there is a specific Gentile remnant denomination, and that the rest are not one in Christ. Not every denomination today has apostatized. The main biblical remnant throughout the Bible is the remnant of Israel (verses cited earlier), however anyone can become a child of God and a member of God’s community, and thus part of the spiritual remnant of Israel. The topic is further studied below.


Remnant Chosen by Grace, Not Works


At the time Paul wrote the letter of Romans, there was a remnant “chosen by grace” and that “cannot be based on works.” The remnant Paul disclosed that was chosen by grace included Israelites, but was heavily composed of Gentiles after the first Advent, a time when there was a hardening of Israel (Ro. 11:25). If this remnant in Paul’s day was the same kind of remnant that exists today, that is to say that the full number of the Gentiles populating this remnant (Ro. 11:25) extends to today, then it would bring a crushing blow to the claim that the Adventists are the only true remnant of God.


First, the two main reasons that Adventists believe they are the remnant must be called attention to. They are two of their own proclaimed specifications, and they have apparently arbitrated them loosely based on a contortion of Scripture.


  1. The first significant reason that Adventists share they are the remnant is because they meet their requirement that the only true end-times church will have the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 12:17, 19:10). It was demonstrated earlier that attributing this name to a person is blaspheme.
  2. The second criteria that they repute they meet is worshiping on the seventh day, thus keeping the commands of God (Rev. 12:17, 14:12).


The crushing blow is dealt by Paul who shared insight into God’s method by which He chooses His remnant. God chooses the remnant according to grace, not works such as commandment keeping. The remnant will keep the commands of God (the fulfillment of the Law must not be overlooked), but the paramount point is that the selection of the remnant is by God’s forgiving and patient grace. Worshiping on a certain day as a means to salvation is salvation by works in the finest. Grace, not works, is the determining factor that has the ability to append a person to the remnant. Please carefully study Paul’s plead to the Jews to pursue grace, he distinctly did not advocate that the remnant is chosen by commandment keeping,



I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace (NIV Ro. 11:1-6).


We see above that the remnant is foreknown by God (Ro. 11:2) and chosen by grace, not commandment keeping (Ro. 11:5-6). Later in the letter of Romans, Paul shared that all of Israel did not obtain what they sought presumably by works (Ro. 11:7), and that salvation came to the Gentiles (Ro. 11:11). All Israel will be saved when the full number of Gentiles has been added to the remnant (Ro. 11:25-26). The scope here is not to elaborate exhaustively about the composition of the remnant, which is both Jew (conformed to Christ) and Gentile (also conformed to Christ), but to make clear that salvation has come to all people who believe on Christ. The mercy of God is for everyone (Ro. 11:32). The division was historically Jew contrasted with Gentile, but in Christ is no longer. Both groups can be saved by faith (Eph. 2:11-16). There is no basis for the other non-Adventist commandment keeping Christian denominations under grace, to be disqualified. The Adventist church is not even the closest apostolic church as claimed, because they do not fully recognize the instruction of the apostles themselves that we are no longer under law, but under grace, and that Christ is the end of justification by works (this topic is further discussed in this chapter).


In conclusion, the remnant of God will be 1. chosen by grace (Ro. 11:1-6), 2. will keep the commands (Rev. 12:17, 14:12) as a by-product and not as a way to become elect, and 3. will remain faithful to Jesus (Rev. 12:17, 14:12). Nowhere does the Bible link seventh day worship with salvation. The Bible teaches that salvation is by grace through faith, not works (Eph. 2:8-9). All people are welcome to become children of God through faith, not only Sabbath-keepers. Anyone who has faith in Christ becomes blessed along with Abraham (Gal. 3:9) and part of spiritual Israel. Today’s remnant is composed largely of Gentile Christians, but there is also a distinct physical family Israelite remnant. The self-imposed claim to be the remnant denomination is unfounded and by their own admittance is based on works, and therefore the Adventists cannot be the remnant that is chosen by grace. Any Christian individual may be part of Christ’s church by means of grace and mercy, although the Adventists are disadvantaged because they are placing themselves under law and not grace. The remnant is not a specific denomination within Christ’s church, it is the whole church of Christ composed of all the individual members who have obtained mercy. The Adventist interpretation relies on the King James Version Bible, and support for a remnant is not present in the passages of the original manuscripts that the Adventists cite. Anyone who is a converted Christian by faith, who keeps the commands that Christ fulfilled, and who remains faithful to Jesus, is a member of today’s spiritual remnant (Mt. 8:11-12, 13:15; Lk. 20:36; Jn. 1:12, 10:16; Ac. 17:29; Ro. 8:14-17, 9:6-8, 11:1-10; Eph. 1:5; Gal. 3:26-29, 4:4-7; Rev. 12:17, 14:12).


The Sabbath the Great Test, National Sunday Law, the Pope


The Adventists and the seventh day Sabbath were introduced above in this chapter. This section will concentrate further about the Sabbath, and what the Adventists evangelize Sunday worship brings upon those who worship on that day. In a Seventh-day Adventist publication by Amazing Facts, the question is asked, “What final two points of identification for God’s remnant does the book of Revelation provide?10” It then affirms that “God’s end-time church must be preaching that the judgment began in 184411” (this is the same year Mr. Miller predicted Christ’s return, this will be discussed). Another question is asked, “How do we worship God as Creator?12” The answer it says, “God wrote the answer in the fourth commandment. ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’13” Throughout Adventist teaching overemphasis is placed on the fourth commandment Sabbath as not only a way to worship God, but to be saved. They claim it is God’s testing truth of all believers. So what happens to those who do not worship on the Sabbath or to those who worship on Sunday? The Adventist publication says, “Don’t worship the beast or receive his mark, which is Sunday as a holy day. Beware of all counterfeits.14” Mrs. White wrote in her Early Writings,


I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints.15


The implication is that observing the first day (Sunday) as a holy day is how one somehow pledges authority to the beast, thereby receiving the mark of the beast. So what then does an Adventist worshiping on the seventh day become entitled to? Adventists connect Sabbath worship with a quasi-claim that Saturday worshipers receive the seal of God and salvation by choosing to worship God on the correct day. They will have passed the great test of loyalty,


The final point of contention will be worshiping and obeying the beast and receiving his mark—Sunday as a holy—versus worshiping and obeying Christ and receiving His mark—His holy seventh-day Sabbath.16


This is an unmistakable flawed teaching. It cannot be so that the seal of God is bestowed upon Adventists for Sabbath worship, it is incompatible with Scripture and is a sign of cultic doctrine considering the overwhelming opposing evidence. Recipients of the seal of God are biblically from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4), are chosen by God and the holy angels, and have the seal put on by angels (Rev. 7:3). The total number of those who receive the seal of God is 144,000, and the 144,000 are Jewish descendants. The 144,000 will be servants of God (Rev. 7:3). Not only does God not select those who receive the seal on a basis of day of worship, but the seal of God is given during a different time period than it has been for the last century of Adventism, specifically it will be given during the tribulation (Rev. 7). The seal of God is never connected with the Sabbath in the Bible—the place one would expect to see God’s ultimate test of allegiance clearly laid forth. The Sabbath was not biblically even about a mandatory day of worship, but a day of rest. Since Ellen White first prophesied that they will be the 144,000 with the seal of God, their membership has increased much past 144,000. Unlike the Jehovah’s Witnesses who have a similar belief that they are the 144,000, no special provision was made by the Adventists for the members who surpassed the 144,000 membership tally, and Adventism is still growing. They all apparently are taught they have the seal of God. It appears to go overlooked by the SDA church that there are more than 144,000 members.


The link between worshiping on the Sabbath and receiving salvation is one made through visions that Ellen White revealed. In the Bible, the Sabbath is never connected with direct salvation, nor is Sunday with the mark of the beast. Neither day of worship is commanded to be kept in the New Testament instruction. In the N.T., each day seems to be fine to consider alike, whether the seventh day or the first (Ro. 14:5-6). Those who return to the “miserable forces” that “enslaved” them [the Law] again, and who are continuing to observe special days and seasons and years, are said to be feared for that efforts to help them have been wasted (NIV Gal. 4:9-11). The reason that the Sabbath was given to Israel was “so that your ox and donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed” (NIV Ex. 23:12). It was not a way to honor one command for Israel to receive salvation, but as a day of rest and because it was holy for the people (Ex. 31:14), and as a sign of the old covenant (Ex. 31:12). Early Christians in history met on the first day (see Ac. 20:7; 1Co. 16:2) and there is no record of them receiving the mark of the beast for Sunday worship. The Adventist idea of Sunday worship as the mark is based on a strong conviction that the Pope is the antichrist and the beast, and that honoring him as an apostate power is to give worship and allegiance to the beast (more about the SDA view of the Papacy immediately below). Although the Papal tract record is not uplifting and has spawned the Reformation, the Biblical evidence is that one cannot obtain salvation or the seal of God in this manner and that there is not a mandatory new covenant day of worship. For a more in-depth study of the Sabbath in the New Testament, please the chapter The Old and New Covenants.



The Sabbath/seal of God, Sunday/mark of the beast Adventist message is ingrained into the core of Adventism. The primary message they preach to non-Adventists is their interpretation of the beasts in the Book of Revelation. Entire pamphlets are distributed in public places identifying the beasts in connection with the Roman Catholic Church. Page after page is a warning of apostasy in the Papacy, which inevitably leads to in the last few pages of Adventist publications that one must choose between worshiping the beast on Sunday, or God on the Sabbath. Nearly any Adventist publication that is spread free of charge to the public has this Papacy/mark of the beast theme, as well as the overwhelming majority of published Adventist works. Once again, not to defend a church marked by persecution of Christians and the hindrance of the spread of the Gospel (as can be said of the Catholic Church). The Catholic Church has deceptively carried through atrocious things, created a secret hierarchy that governs far-reaching aspects, and blatantly distorted and trampled on the Word (such as removing from their Catechism the part of the second commandment that says not to not bow down to images), however the Adventists have equaled the problem by creating a spiritual diversion from the true way to salvation. They forewarn that the government will make mandatory Sunday worship, thus forcing people to worship the beast. This conspiracy is known as the national Sunday law. Adventist authors such as A. Jan Marcussen have propagated the Sunday law diversion by writing books about the topic that have been mass-distributed,

Several books cheaply printed for mass distribution continue to promote fear of a coming national Sunday law, among them National Sunday Law by A. Jan Marcussen[10] and the National Sunday Law Crisis apparently published by Harvestime Books (the purveyors of other fine books on alternate cancer remedies, the adult vaccination crisis, and the like).[11] Marcussen’s book ties other issues into the conspiracy; for example, there is a conspiracy to bring back the death penalty so Sabbath-keepers can be executed once the national Sunday law is enacted. Marcussen’s book has been mysteriously showing up since 1983 in laundromats, phone booths, rest areas, and unsolicited in the mail and usually elicits unintentional lulz from the reader.17


The Sunday law is linked to the United States, and to the Catholic Church. If the Sunday law is enacted in the U.S., it does not prove validity in salvation by Sabbath worship. It will only create a diversion from faith and grace. If Sunday is enforced by law, the saints would be far better off living by faith rather than fear of having worshiped on the wrong day. Ellen White was not hesitant in instilling this fear about a coming national Sunday law,


The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.18



Regardless if there is a coming Sunday law, the biblical evidence is the ultimate authority. Please continue reading to learn why pursuing salvation in this manner is dangerous.


Seventh Day Correct Day of the Old Covenant?


Do not misunderstand the Word of God, the seventh day Sabbath as the holy day of rest of the old covenant is uncontested. The seventh day was Israel’s correct day of rest and worship. The Jewish day of worship begins sundown Friday to sundown Saturday (Lev. 23:32; Mk. 1:32). D.M. Canright, ex-Adventist and personal friend of Ellen White, reported that Ellen White broke the Sabbath herself for nine years by not keeping it from sundown to sundown. Her husband was a sea captain using the nautical schedule, and the nautical day began at 6 p.m. He began the Sabbath at this time, and Ellen White followed this way for nine years until she had visions eventually correcting the blunder.19


Stumbling and Works


Considering oneself elect or saved because of worshiping on the Sabbath is not just unbiblical, it is dangerous if done for reasons pertaining either to the old covenant or for salvation or righteousness. Previous chapters focused on this aspect, please refer to the chapter The Old and New Covenants and The Way to Salvation. The Apostle Paul outlined from the O.T. that following part of the Law, but not all of it, places a person under a curse (Gal. 3:10-11). No one who relies on justification by law is justified before God. Paul is clear that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness, and those who seek to be justified by it (Sabbath worship for righteousness sake) have been alienated from Christ and are not under grace (Ro. 10:4; Gal. 5:1-4). As per Paul, the Jews stumbled over the stumbling stone by pursuing the Law as a way of righteousness (Ro. 9:30-33). They did not obtain their goal they attempted by works. The O.T. does not support the Adventist Sabbath seal of God, Sunday mark of the beast doctrine, and the N.T. heavily disagrees with this Adventist teaching. In conclusion, how wise is it to believe that one could accidentally or ignorantly worship on Sunday and commit allegiance to the beast? How safe is it to consider oneself saved on basis of works such as Sabbath worship? Mrs. White’s teachings are bonafide legalism and deception.


The Sabbath the Greatest Command?


Mrs. White is the lead instigator behind the seventh day worship emphasis, elevating the fourth command Sabbath to a prominent delineation between salvation and damnation. The intimation is not just that the Sabbath is the greatest command of the Ten Commandments, but that it is the greatest test of loyalty to God and our foremost duty,


The Sabbath commandment, shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God’s holy name. The holy Sabbath looked glorious—a halo of glory was all around it.20


Is the Sabbath God’s greatest command? That idea is not supported at all by the Bible. Another command from the O.T., to love the Lord God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is what Jesus verbalized is our greatest debt (Mt. 22:36-40). Love is the theme of the N.T., and is mightier and more noble than justification by works!


Final Sabbath Conclusion


The Sabbath was a perpetual covenant for Israel, a day of rest and sign of the old covenant. Christians are free from the Law and are under a new covenant without any direction to follow the former day of rest. Nowhere was that day of rest commanded as a means to obtain salvation or to pass a great test of loyalty to God. To believe the fourth commandment Sabbath is the greatest command, one would need place faith in Ellen White and turn a blind-eye to the Biblical evidence. In many matters of doctrine, the Adventists are relying for authority on the “visions” of their prophetess, Ellen White. In one such vision she declared that she saw “that the Sabbath commandment was not nailed to the cross.21” An inspired prophet is expected to harmonize with Scripture, however the Adventist teachings raise alarm and for this author reason overrides blind trust in skeptical teachings. The Sabbath was proven to have no supported connection to the seal of God and the 144,000, Sunday as a holy day was demonstrated to have no supported connection to the mark of the beast considering that Paul seemed to have taught that what day a person under the new covenant worships on is between God and the person, the Sabbath was affirmed as the correct day of rest of the old covenant, an admonishment about considering oneself saved or justified by works was given on the basis that the Jews stumbled by pursuing salvation by works, and love was proven to be the greatest command, not the Sabbath. The Adventist doctrine is in need of some serious revision to harmonize with Scripture.


Law of God and Law of Moses


If the Adventists claim that we are still under the old covenant, how are they able to justify their claim? The Adventists divide the O.T. into an artificial division of:


  • Law of God (moral law).
  • Law of Moses (ceremonial law).


This division is how, aside from visions of Ellen White, they corroborate that the Ten Commandments and specifically the fourth commandment Sabbath, were not nailed to the cross. Everything else falls under ceremonial law and was nailed to the cross. They thus assign ceremonial to Moses and moral law to God. The Law of Moses they infer was ended, and by dividing the Law into these two classifications, they reason that the Law of God continues into the new covenant. This grouping does not work because the Law of God or “Law of the Lord” and the Law of Moses or “the law that the Lord gave Moses” in Scripture is used interchangeably for moral and ceremonial, which is evidence that the Law cannot be biblically grouped this way to justify the moral law continuing into the new covenant (Nu. 31:21; Jos. 24:22-26; 1Ch. 16:40; 2Ch. 31:3-4; etc.). The Jews refused to group their law into categories at all because they considered all of the Law as one Law and one unit (e.g. Lev. 19 is unarranged). Post Ellen White’s death, another generation of Adventists devised a less technical explanation of why the Ten Commandments, and the Sabbath in particular, continue into the new covenant. They avow because the Ten Commandments were written on rock and that rock is “the most enduring thing in the world,22” that it continues into the new covenant. The rest of the law was written on parchment. “The rock was to endure,23” but the ordinances written on parchment “were to pass away at His death.24” If this logic were true, Moses should not have been able to effortlessly break the two tablets into pieces at the foot of Mount Sinai after Israel worshiped the golden calf (Ex. 32:19).


The Cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment


The Adventists, in this author’s opinion, have joined the likes of the rest of the Christian cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Latter-day Saints because of doctrines they hold that have no support in Scripture. What became of the year Mr. Miller predicted Christ’s return and that Ellen White endorsed, 1843 (which was revised to 1844), became a significant SDA doctrine that no other church holds in common. After the Millerite movement disbanded and some members integrated into Adventism, an explanation was provided for why Christ did not return in 1844. Not only did Ellen White accuse God of intentionally creating the error so that His people would be met with a disappointment,25 but two men influenced Ellen White with a more complex revision explanation. In a vision had by two men walking through a field (who were not known to prophesy), they saw that what happened in 1844 was not that Christ was to return, but that Christ had entered a second compartment of the heavenly sanctuary and had work to perform there in the Most Holy Place before returning to earth.26 The men receiving this light from God learned that the group was not incorrect about their dates after all, and the truth about Christ’s return in 1843 that had already changed to Christ’s return in 1844, became Christ’s investigative judgment of 1844. Twice a revision was made to Mr. Miller’s incorrect prediction of Christ’s return in 1843. The final doctrine is known as the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and the investigative judgment. It is exclusive to Seventh-day Adventism, and was upheld by Ellen White after she heard of the vision had by the two men in the field. She subsequently had a vision of the judgment herself, and in the official 28 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists copyright 2013, this doctrine is belief number twenty-four. In part of belief number twenty-four is written,


He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement…The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection.27


The doctrine of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and the investigative judgment subverts the grace of the new covenant with a system of salvation by works, and not by grace. The investigative judgment teaches that Christ is examining and bringing names up for review in a judgment before He returns, in a compartment of heaven that He has been judging in as of the year 1844. When a name is up for review, if a person has any unconfessed sin, he or she will be deemed unworthy of eternal life. Names are currently being reviewed. This judgment is taught as having judicial review and focus in a person’s keeping of the Ten Commandments, especially a person’s loyalty and adherence to the fourth commandment Sabbath. When one’s name is under review, he or she will be deemed worthy or unworthy of eternal life based on his or her integrity at the moment, and grace is effectively undermined. This drills into Adventists that they must obtain legalistic perfection by perfectly keeping all of the commandments, or they will not be deemed worthy of eternal life. Regarding this expectation and most of the non-mainstream Adventist teachings, Mrs. White has laid a heavy yoke on the saints that they must needlessly bear to avoid excessive condemnation that diverts attention away from grace. This doctrine is a form of Galatianism—being saved by Christ and by keeping the Law.


Jesus Christ entered the Most Holy Place upon ascending to heaven (Heb. 6:19, 9:8, 12, 24, 10:19-20), and not in year 1844. The doctrine of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary is not a biblical teaching. This doctrine is pivotal to Adventism because without asserting that there is an investigative judgment that began in 1844, Adventism would have suffered scant membership and would have probably disbanded not long after the Millerite movement. Through date-setting and multiple visions, Adventists somehow convinced members that Daniel 18:14 can be linked to Leviticus 16, and then to the year 1844. This proof-texting, revision prophecy method is what was used to indoctrinate the investigative judgment.


The sanctuary in Daniel is at face-value, not about a sanctuary in heaven, and the investigative judgment cannot be proved from the Bible alone. It can only be learned from Adventist teaching through the leadership of Ellen White. The Daniel prophecy must also be read from the King James Version to have the word “cleansed” in it and for Ellen White’s interpretation to even begin to be supported whatsoever. The New International Version uses the word “reconsecrated” (NIV Da. 8:14), and trying to find support for this doctrine without the word “cleansed,” is a large stretch.


The Investigative Judgment and Biased Adventist Bibles


Apparently because the prophecy in the book of Daniel is not worded clear enough to support the doctrine of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, the Adventists have released at least one paraphrased altered translation. Former Adventist pastor Dale Ratzlaff wrote in his book, The Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists,


Some cults, such as the Mormans [Sic] and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, have their own Bibles which they claim to be more accurate than other Bibles. It appears to me that there is some indication that the Historic Adventists may be moving in this same direction.28


Years after becoming an Adventist pastor, Rev. Ratzlaff could not find biblical support in the Bible for the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and investigative judgment doctrine after having researched it to find the truth. He found himself unable to wholeheartedly continue to teach the doctrine. After leaving Adventism, Rev. Ratzlaff led a Bible study and discovered two Seventh-day Adventist publications that were alarming and that he felt the evangelical community should be aware of.29 One of these Adventist Bibles combined Ellen White’s commentary which is regarded as inspired, with the Bible,30 and the other Bible altered the original text of the Bible even changing the prophecy of Daniel to support biased Adventist additions.31 Revising the Bible to help support a doctrine that carries no biblical weight and that cannot be learned from the Bible alone, places the Adventists more prominently in side-step with the other Christian cults.




Soul-sleep is a belief that a person who dies does not immediately pass to heaven or hell, but rather goes to “sleep” in the ground. The Adventists share this doctrine with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In an Adventist Amazing Facts Study Guide, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” it says, “At death the body returns to dust and the spirit (or breath) returns to God. But where does the soul go? Answer: It goes nowhere. Instead, it simply ceases to exist.32” The Adventists further believe and maintain that when a person dies, their soul sleeps in an unconscious state in the grave. In the same publication the question is asked, “Do good people go to heaven when they die?33” The answer it says, “No, people do not go either to heaven or hell at death. They go to their graves to await the resurrection day.34” The Adventists base this doctrine on verses in the Bible were the word “sleep” is used in reference to those who have passed away. It deserves a thorough investigation because there is some biblical evidence that can give rise to this concept. Please refer to the heading “Soul-Sleep, Conditional Immortality, Chronology of Adventist Eschatology, and Soul-Extinction” at the end of this chapter.




Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and somewhat Christian Scientists share an annihilationism doctrine. They oppose the mainstream a-person-in-hell forever idea, instructing that a soul sent to the lake of fire will not be tormented forever (see Mt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10), but will be annihilated and cease to exist. Adventist scholars counter classical dualism, and do not believe in the immortality of the soul. Conditional mortality is the belief that a person only receives immortality in the resurrection. The Bible is descriptive and straightforward about the eternal fire, eternal torment, and eternal destruction of the lake of fire. Adventist scholars seem to have complicated Scripture by superfluously interpreting passages dealing with the state of the dead. Adventists teach that a soul sent to the lake of fire experiences the second death, which is true, however even though the flames of hell are eternal, the Adventists believe a soul will cease to exist there. That negates eternal torment, and makes hell more palatable, but is this complicated subject and approach biblical? Readers are encouraged to read under the heading “Soul-Sleep, Conditional Immortality, Chronology of Adventist Eschatology, and Soul-Extinction” at the end of this chapter.


Vegetarianism and the Three Angels’ Message


In addition to the Sabbath, the Adventists have another central unwavering theme—a focus and dedication to a vegetarian lifestyle. This seems to be at the level of indoctrination. Ellen White saw herself responsible for initiating a “health reform” movement, and she personally offered counsel as to the proper use of foods. While nothing is wrong with wanting to be healthy, the doctrine has surpassed a caution toward a healthy lifestyle. To begin, the Adventist vegetarian/healthy lifestyle doctrine must be seen as a religious order from the church. They officially ban Old Testament “unclean” foods, however this is where they stray from New Testament teaching. The doctrine is number twenty-two of their fundamental beliefs,


Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. 35

Their doctrine, as innocent as it is in appearance, rejects the redeeming work of Christ and the New Testament. It is actually a threat to faith in Christ. The old covenant only permitted select animals to be eaten, however the N.T. seems to permit all kinds of meat to be eaten. Although we are to abstain from food offered to idols (Ac. 15:20, 29, 25), we are free to “…eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience…” (NIV 1Co. 10:25). Paul said “All food is clean…” (NIV Ro. 14:20). The Bible warns that “some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (NIV 1Ti. 4:1). The deceiving spirits order people “to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer (NIV 1Ti. 4:3-5). If one were to “point these things out to the brothers and sisters,” one would be “a good minister of Christ Jesus” (NIV 1Ti. 4:6). The doctrine goes beyond banned “unclean” foods. Ellen White instructed profusely that common foods such as meat, butter, and cheese should not be served at one’s table, and she links it with commandment breaking. A guilty conscience is thrust on Adventists, and they are accused of evil-doing for having simply eaten food. God himself provided meat for Israel to eat in the wilderness (Ex. 16:11-13; Nu. 11:31-32; Ps. 105:40). Before Moses, man had permission to eat everything. Just as God had given us the green plants, he gave us everything that moves about for food (Ge. 9:3). A brief history regarding this subject is as follows, although not all will agree about the final bullet:


  • Man is given every seed-bearing plant for food and every tree that bears fruit with seed (Ge. 1:29).
  • Man is given everything that lives and moves about for food (Ge. 9:3).
  • The Mosaic Covenant was introduced and required Israel to make a distinction between clean and unclean meats (Lev. 7:21; Lev. 20:25; Dt. 14:3-20).
  • Christ redeemed Jew/Gentile from the old way of the written code, food prohibition restored to pre-Sinai and all food once-again became ceremonially clean (recurrent throughout N.T.).


The SDA health reform movement is not a simple call to honor the O.T. food laws. This doctrine came through Ellen White’s visions in which she was “shown” that the health reform movement is tied to Revelation’s three angels’ message (Rev. 14:6-13). This message is the mark of the beast warning that came from the third angel, yet there is no support in the passage that a healthy diet is just as important as not worshiping the beast, nor that health reform should be proclaimed alongside a warning to not receive the mark of the beast. Ellen White charged “ministers and people to act in concert” regarding the health reform,


The health reform, I was shown, is a part of the third angel’s message, and is just as closely connected with it as are the arm and hand with the human body. I saw that we as a people must make an advance move in this great work. Ministers and people must act in concert. God’s people are not prepared for the loud cry of the third angel. They have a work to do for themselves which they should not leave for God to do for them. He has left this work for them to do. It is an individual work; one cannot do it for another.36


Ellen White is considered a health pioneer by her followers. The Adventists have opened multiple sanitariums, and today Adventist Health operates about twenty SDA hospitals (Saint Helena Hospital in Napa Valley, California is one such hospital. It superseded the Saint Helena Sanitarium, which superseded the Health Retreat). The SDA Loma Linda University Medical Center in California is known for its exemplary healthcare, and perhaps is strides ahead other medical institutions in research and practice. Dr. Leonard Bailey at Loma Linda Hospital in 1984 was the first person to transplant a baboon heart into a human. Patients fly to Loma Linda for advanced treatments that they cannot receive elsewhere. Ellen White certainly started a movement that is apparent in the city of Loma Linda, which is home to an estimated fifty percent Seventh-day Adventist population. The city is known as perhaps one of the healthiest cities in the world, according to the National Geographic.37 Despite the health conscientiousness, Mrs. White occasionally provided health guidance that modern science has refuted. This would not be an issue if Ellen White were not regarded as a prophetess. Some of the health guidance her followers regarded as coming from God, have been proven to be mistaken and not credible by today’s standards. Wigs that cause insanity and heat the spinal nerves, masturbation or “self-abuse” leading to hosts of diseases, and pork consumption causing scrofula and nerve enfeeblement. Below one can see that she taught that a person will not be able to discern sacred things if one eats pork,


God has given you light and knowledge, which you have professed to believe came direct from Him, instructing you to deny appetite. You know that the use of swine’s flesh is contrary to His express command, given not because He wished to especially show His authority, but because it would be injurious to those who should eat it. Its use would cause the blood to become impure, so that scrofula and other humors would corrupt the system, and the whole organism would suffer. Especially would the fine, sensitive nerves of the brain become enfeebled and so beclouded that sacred things would not be discerned, but be placed upon the low level with common things.38


Acknowledged, Adventists do defend Ellen White and her various statements by dedicating an explanation to each statement that people use to expose her, and she has certainly made strides in teaching commitment to a healthy lifestyle. The core of the matter is that the kingdom of God is not about food, and nor is the three angels’ message. Vegetarianism is a deceptive supplement to prophecy and is another take at salvation by works. This further propagates a diversion from faith in Christ.



A Special Resurrection


Adventism has a persistent practice of either indoctrinating unscriptural beliefs or intimating a belief that the Bible does not confirm, and which receives sole authority in the writings of Mrs. Ellen White. One such doctrine that has no basis in Scripture is a “special resurrection” of the dead, which apparently occurs prior to the resurrection that most are familiar with. Two groups are imparted are raised:


  • Those responsible for piercing and crucifying Jesus.
  • Those who died keeping the third angel’s message, specifically those who honored seventh day worship.


In Mrs. White’s book, the Great Controversy, is where this special resurrection belief originated,


Graves are opened, and “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth….awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. “They also which pierced Him” (Rev. 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ’s dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory, and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient .39


Because their understanding is that the wicked are raised in the second resurrection, which is chronologically after the Millennium for the Adventist, the only way that those who pierced Jesus and those who are deceased and who honored the three angels message, will be able to rise to see Christ’s glorious return, is if they are resurrected prior to His return. If this is not what Ellen White intended, it is what her church now affirms as a belief.40




The Seventh-day Adventists are not limited to having the Great Disappointment in their dubious past (the 1843-44 failed prediction). In their formative years, the church had heretical beliefs about the doctrine of the Trinity that were addressed later. Early Adventists denied the one-God nature of the Trinity, holding the belief that for instance, Jesus could not be God and Jesus at the same time. The elder Adventists who believed in this heresy published anti-Trinitarian material until Ellen White decided and affirmed in her writings the proper nature of the Trinity. The SDA church adopted Ellen White’s view and dismissed their heresy. Today they admit to their heresy, citing the early leadership of the church, inexperience, and home bible study as the reason for the heresy.41


Jesus Michael the Archangel?

The cults seem to have a fascination with taking the biblical name Michael, which is the name of the Archangel Michael who is victorious over the devil and his angels (Rev. 12:7-9), and applying it to Jesus Christ. For the Adventist, Michael is a name for Jesus in His pre-incarnate state. The name Michael is mentioned multiple times throughout the Bible. The most notable appearances are three times in the book of Daniel (Da. 10:13, 21, 12:1), once in Jude (Jude 1:9), and once in Revelation (Rev. 12:17). In the book of Daniel, the name Michael applies to a being that is “one of the chief princes” (NIV Da. 10:13) who was dispatched to the aid of someone who had appeared to Daniel in vision. Does “one of the chief princes” sound like Jesus Christ? Not only that, but the man speaking to Daniel in vision, and the Michael of this passage, were both functioning as messengers. The Jude passage specifically denotes that Michael is an archangel (Jude 1:9), and the Revelation passage features Michael as the head of “his angels” who fight against the dragon and “his angels” (NIV Rev. 12:17), hence “archangel.” To which angel did God ever say, you are my Son?


For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”?…To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? (NIV Heb. 1:5, 13).


The Bible clearly uses the name Michael to designate a mighty archangel, not Jesus Christ.


Scapegoat Doctrine


The scapegoat doctrine is another SDA doctrine exclusive to the church. It ties back in with Mr. Miller’s incorrect interpretation of the 2300 days in the book of Daniel, and the investigative judgment doctrine. Adventists believe that the 2300 days of Daniel are years, not days, and that the 2300 years began in 457 B.C. and ended in 1844 A.D. Ellen White taught that Christ began His investigative work in 1844 and that when His work is complete, the sins of the world will be placed upon the head of Satan as a scapegoat,


When Christ, by virtue of his own blood, removes the sins of his people from the heavenly sanctuary at the close of his ministration, he will place them upon Satan, who, in the execution of the judgment, must bear the final penalty.42



Satan is for the Adventist the anti-type of the scapegoat, whereas in mainstream Christianity, Jesus is the anti-type of the scapegoat and the complete atonement for sin. The idea of this doctrine is that at the end of the investigative judgment, all sins will be placed on the head of the scapegoat of Leviticus 16:8, whom Adventists infer is Satan. This is when the Adventists believe all sins will finally be blotted out, which insinuates that the sins of the world were not taken away and nailed to the cross by Christ (Heb. 2:9). This nefariously apportions the redemptive work of Christ to the devil,


As the priest, in removing the sins from the sanctuary, confessed them upon the head of the scapegoat, so Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, the originator and instigator of sin. The scapegoat, bearing the sins of Israel, was sent away “unto a land not inhabited” (Leviticus 16:22); so Satan, bearing the guilt of all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit, will be for a thousand years confined to the earth, which will then be desolate, without inhabitant, and he will at last suffer the full penalty of sin, in the fires that shall destroy all the wicked.43


The word “scapegoat” finally appeared in the KJV after being translated three times from the Hebrew word azazel in Leviticus 16:8, after the prefix la- (meaning “for”). Lots were to be cast “for” the azazel (Lev. 16:8). The footnote in the NIV for the word scapegoat says, “The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 10 and 26 (NIV Lev. 16:8). No one can be certain that the original word or passage had anything to do with Satan. The doctrine of the scapegoat has been revised by Adventist scholars who came after the early SDA pioneers, and some have differed in exposition from Ellen White’s scapegoat teachings. This will continue to be a difficult doctrine to justify and Adventists are unable to get rid of it without admitting that Ellen White was wrong.


Maleficent Statements and Plagiarism?


In her voluminous works, Ellen White has made a number of perplexing statements that reveal her character and intent. Select comments that modern science has refuted were introduced above under the heading “Vegetarianism and the Three Angels Message,” however a few statements she made about non-Adventists and about salvation are shared here. They are revealing about her intent because of the implication following her teaching would have. Ellen White said that non-Adventists “cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus,” and that they “offer up their useless prayers,” and even that non-Adventists are “in truth” “worse than heathen, but this we are not to tell them.” This is warranted by Mrs. White on basis of her belief that non-Adventists have rejected the three angels’ message to fear God, not worship the beast, to keep God’s commands and to remain faithful to Jesus (Rev. 14:6-13), as well as their rejection of the 1844 date and the investigative judgment,


And by rejecting the two former messages, they have so darkened their understanding that they can see no light in the third angel’s message, which shows the way into the Most Holy Place. I saw that as the Jews crucified Jesus, so the nominal churches had crucified these messages, and therefore they have no knowledge of the way into the most holy, and they cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus there. Like the Jews, who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left; and Satan, pleased with the deception, assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself, working with his power, his signs and lying wonders, to fasten them in his snare.44

We can do nothing that would close up the way before us in this country like taking a position of superiority and putting before the people that we consider them heathen. In truth they are worse than heathen, but this we are not to tell them.45


Mrs. White claimed that when spoke, that “It is God, and not an erring mortal, who has spoken.46” Unfortunately the bulk of doctrine to come from her, especially doctrines unique to Adventism, contradict Scripture and often appear to be a counterfeit gospel. Some of her statements have been utter false teaching. For instance, she said that one “should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved.47” This teaching was in response to the “once saved always saved” followers of Calvinism, however should a Christian ever deny that Christ has saved him or her? The implication of believing this is costly to salvation. Bottom-line is that any human claiming infallibility as she has should be met with discrimination. In no way is this a complete listing of Mrs. White’s unsound teaching and contradictions.


Adventism received heavy criticism when people such as former friend D.M. Canright, and author Walter T. Rea, discovered much of Ellen White’s “inspired” testimonies were plagiarized from other works. The Ellen White Estate has admitted to the borrowing, however they insist that although “she enriched her writings with choice expressions from her reading more extensively than had been known,” that it amounted to a small percentage of her total work.48 This author has read that various other research has revealed a much more significant amount of plagiarism in her works than the White Estate has admitted to, although the exact amount cannot be confirmed. D.M. Canright published testimony that some of Ellen White’s early writings that were incorrect were suppressed by her staff.49 Once again, an author claiming divine inspiration should not be plagiarizing and in need of suppression and revision. The Adventists incontestably have a charismatic leader that was and is regarded as having as high authority as the Bible itself, a characteristic mark of a cult.


Obelisk Tombstone


Ellen White died in July of 1915 and was laid to rest in Oak Hill Cemetery in Battlecreek, Michigan next to her husband, Joseph White. Oddly, Ellen White is buried feet from a Egyptian obelisk, a symbol dedicated to Egypt’s sun god, Ra (please see Appendix B for a photograph). The Vatican in Rome has a prominent Obelisk erected in the St. Peter’s Square, brought to the Vatican from Egypt in 1586 (see Appendix B). Obelisks in the Bible were a symbol connected with the evil god Baal (2Ki. 10:26), and are used in the Freemasonry cult as a phallic symbol of pagan worship. The top of Ellen White’s burial obelisk is capped by a pyramid. Her husband, Joseph White, was a Freemason, as was William Miller. Not surprisingly, the four cults focused on in this chapter all have ties to Freemasonry. It is uncanny that she be buried next to this evil symbol, considering that she was a false prophet and cult leader.


Seventh-day Adventism Conclusion


This group has a plethora of extra-biblical beliefs that cannot be substantiated with the Bible alone. Seventh-day Adventism meets the criteria for multiple marks of a cult. By substituting works for grace and faith, Adventism has placed a heavy yoke on those who are attempting to stand against worshiping the beast. The solution they offer to counteract the mark, Sabbath observance, is a deceptive scheme that is contrary to salvation by grace through faith (as is their doctrine of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and the investigative judgment). The indoctrination of unusual unbiblical beliefs, and the history of their formation in the wake of the Millerite/Advent movement, has marred Adventism severely and only a major change in doctrine and Adventist authority would bring this church closer to mainstream Protestantism. D.M. Canright proposed that Ellen White’s visions were a result of her well-known critical rock injury she sustained to the head when she was nine years old.50 Perhaps her visions that lead people to believe they are justified by works (and other serious offenses) are more malicious in nature than a rock injury causing hallucinations. According to the Bible, a person’s fruits are a way to identify a false prophet. In light of the warnings to not stumble over the stumbling stone, Mrs. White’s message which sadly attempts to override the Gospel, is her fruit,


Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them (NIV Mt. 7:15-20).


There are great Christians in the Adventist church, and honest Adventist scholars producing what they believe is truthful work, yet serious allegations that the church is a cult should not be ignored. Seventh-day Adventists are urged to truly use the Bible alone as the ultimate authority to dispute all doctrines.


Latter-day Saints

The Mormon Church is fundamentally flawed since its outset. They do not believe the Bible is correct, claiming it to be corrupt and containing errors. Their writings through Joseph Smith do not contain these such errors,



I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.51



Joseph Smith and the Golden Plates



Joseph Smith (1805-1844) is the founder and prophet behind the LDS church, and a known member of Freemasonry. Prior to the formation of the original official Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, Joseph Smith had written the Book of Mormon, completed months earlier in 1830. Mr. Smith claimed to have been visited several times at a young age in vision, by personages who informed him that he was not to join any church, as they were corrupt. He said he was visited by a resurrected and glorified being named Moroni who in the past was a man, and who advised him that God had work for him. Moroni revealed the location of golden plates that contained an ancient account written in Reformed Egyptian, the history of the civilizations the Nephites, Jaredites, and Lamanites of ancient America, who were in battle nearly two-thousand years ago in present-day New York State. Set with these golden plates were seer stones called the Urim and Thummim, which fastened into spectacles that would aid in the translation of the golden plates.



Source of Authority



Equipped with the golden plates, instruction from Moroni, and the Urim and Thummim, Joseph Smith set out to translate and produce the Book of Mormon. This book, which was written in the style of the King James Version of the Bible, is the Mormon’s inspired source of authority. Joseph Smith claimed to have translated it directly word-by-word with the direction of God, who gave a verbatim translation to English. It is not their only source of authority, though. Joseph Smith published the Doctrine of Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Beyond that, the written testimonies of Joseph Smith are esteemed, the teaching of the chief elders in the church are indoctrinated, and the King James Version of the Bible is accepted, but is regarded as invalid, lacking, and errant. If the Bible is the only way with which to measure cultic doctrine, how does one contest with a denomination that does not accept the Bible as a primary source of inspiration?






The Book of Mormon is regarded as inspired and unerring by the Mormons, supposedly tracing its history back to A.D. 400. Considering the claim that the book is the most-correct book on earth, containing no errors, one should expect it to never need correction. But this is not so,



There were more than 3,913 changes between the original edition of the Book of Mormon published in 1830 and the ones printed and issued through the mid-1970s. The 1981 edition introduced between one and two hundred additional word changes.52



These corrections to the Book of Mormon were made after the book was published, and corrected grammar, spelling, and even names and meaning. If God had given Joseph Smith a word-for-word English translation from the Reformed Egyptian language written on the golden tablets, and the book is valued as containing no errors, then why has it been corrected? These changes are not the only shadow casting doubt on the inspiration behind the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith wrote the book in the same manner as the King James Bible, using over 27,000 words copied from it53, and copying sentences nearly exactly as it is in the King James Bible, even copying italicized words only found italicized in the King James Version. This plagiarism is evidence that the source of the Book of Mormon is not entirely from golden tablets and God, as the tablets supposedly dating to 400 A.D. predate the King James Version by well-over a thousand years. Joseph Smith even added to Genesis a prophecy predicting his own future birth and conferred seer appointment,



And that seer will I bless…and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father…for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation.54



So what does this LDS “inspired” book teach? It claims to be another testament of Jesus Christ. The following is both doctrine from Joseph Smith, and LDS church doctrine.






Mormon teaching is radically different than a regular protestant church, plainly visible in nearly every point of matter. Their core foundations is far from historic, and Joseph Smith had no qualms with passing off a different gospel to his followers. The first LDS belief in question is their view about God. Mormon doctrine heavily embraces the idea that there are many gods. God is not one being, but three separate and distinct beings. They believe in the Trinity, but not as traditional Christianity does. The Book of Mormon declares that there is one God, however observe below that Joseph Smith later addressed the plurality of Gods, expressing anti-Trinitarian sentiment,



I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text [Rev. 1:6, in the King James Version] for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods… I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ as separate and distinct personage from god the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods… Many men say there is one god; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one god. I say that is a strange God anyhow-three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization… All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big god—he would be a giant or a monster.55



We can see that Joseph Smith affirmed in the three persons of the Trinity, but not in the same way as traditional Christianity does in that there is one God manifest in three personages. God is one, hence “I Am” (Throughout the Bible, but see Ex. 3:14) but has multiple facets, hence the reference to “Us” (Ge. 1:26, 3:22, 11:7; Isa. 6:8). But the Trinity is not one in three, and three in one, but three coequal beings in one. Jesus said that, “I and the Father are one” (NIV Jn. 10:30). Jesus also questioned His disciples, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” (NIV Jn. 14:l0). Jesus’ admonition displayed the connection He has to the Father. God declared that when a man leaves his mother and father and joins a wife, that they become one flesh (Ge. 2:24), though they are not connected outwardly by flesh, they are in union, exemplifying the concept of spiritual union. The Mormons do not believe Christ is God, nor that all three parts are coequal and one.



God an Exalted Man, Men Becoming Gods or Angels



The thrust and motivating factor of LDS obedience is their polytheistic notions and ideas about men becoming gods. Mormonism instills the persuasion that members can become gods themselves, and that there are many gods in the realms. To become a God, one must first become a man. Mortality for them is the ability to have children. To progress to godhood, one need have a physical body. Eventually a man should be able to work his way up to godhood. For instance, God the Father Himself is regarded as an exalted man who progressed by degree His way to the position He is in. The Latter-day Saints also teach that couples who did not seal their marriage in this life will not attain godhood, but will instead become angels in the next life. Joseph Smith delivered a sermon and spoke regarding the Father,



God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make himself visible—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form.56



Joseph Smith encouraged his followers to learn to become a god, progressing from “exaltation to exaltation,” until attaining the resurrection and dwelling in “everlasting burnings,”



Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.57



Unfortunately, the only everlasting burnings that will be attained by believing one can exalt oneself to godhood, is everlasting punishment. Jesus taught that, For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (NIV Lk. 14:11). A past president of the LDS church gave a presentment to a gathering and spoke concerning becoming a god,



Brethren 225,000 of you are here tonight. I suppose 225,000 of you may become gods. There seems to be plenty of space out there in the universe. And the Lord has proved that he knows how to do it. I think he could make, or probably have us help make, worlds for all of us, for every one of us 225,000.58



This grandiose ideology undermines the sovereignty of God. Mormons have nearly elevated themselves to the ability, power, and glory of God. The Mormon God is not supreme or sovereign, nor the sole God of creation. Mormon doctrine is rife with this polytheistic counter-biblical teaching. No Mormon can contest that the teachings of Joseph Smith are elevated above Bible teaching. This is a significant threat to Bible truth.



The Father Has a Father



To the Mormon, the Father is not fatherless. He is the Father of Christ, and so he must have a father Himself. Joseph Smith expressed that the hierarchy of exalted beings continues in cycle,



If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that he had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a Father?…Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that he had a Father also?59



Joseph Smith and the Gods Created the Earth



To the Mormon, God is not the sole creator of the universe. The Mormons believe that the creation of this earth was held on a council with gods such as the pre-existent spirit of Joseph Smith, and Adam (whom Mormons also aver is Michael the Archangel). Jesus was present in this council, which was held on a star called Kolob, where a thousand years is equal to a day. Pre-existent men and gods such as Jesus were working together to form the earth, and the LDS Prophet Joseph Smith was present. Not only is this doctrine dumbfounding, but it is also a mockery. It devalues Christ, equating men with His honor and dominion. Once again, the Mormons have discarded the Bible in favor of the teachings of Joseph Smith.



Satan Christ’s Brother



The Mormons as well as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Seventh-day Adventists, and Christian Scientists, actively devalue the role of Christ and His position. They may acknowledge that He is the Son of God, or perfect, but they either do not grasp His redemptive work, or they do not assert his equality with God, or they equate something inferior to Jesus, with Jesus. For example, to the Mormon, Christ the first-born is Satan’s spirit-brother who became jealous of Christ when He was selected to be Savior. Mormon’s acknowledge Christ is Savior, but make equal the Savior with a created being. Not just any created being, but the prince of darkness himself. Jesus is not equal with any created being.



Jesus Married to Mary and Martha



Mormon apostle, Orson Hyde, attested to intimacy and marriage between Jesus, Mary, and Martha,



It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of the transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it.60



This is obvious fallacious slander. Entirely fruitless, this man is liable for his blaspheme against the Lord. Jesus would not be Jesus Christ if he intermarried between two women, and this kind of slander is similar to what Jesus experienced when he was in the flesh.



The Lamanites and Dark Skin



One of the civilizations of ancient America that Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon chronicled, was the Lamanites who were at war with the Nephites. The Lamanites were supposedly unrighteous and rebellious. The Book of Mormon teaches that this race was, “white, and exceeding fair and delightsome.” However, “that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them” (2 Nephi 5:21). Dark skinned people were thus racially barred and segregated from holding position in the church. This racism has been toned down in the church today, but cannot be removed from the history of the church.



The Three Kingdoms



The Mormon understanding is that there are three kingdoms that those who transition to the next life will be relegated to. The first kingdom is the celestial kingdom, the church of the first-born where most of the righteous there will be exalted. They will stay married and live with their children, and continue to have spirit-children. Within the celestial kingdom are three levels, high, middle, and low. The high level is where the gods are, and one can further progress on from there. The lowest level is for Mormons who did not seal their marriage in the temple. The second kingdom is the terrestrial kingdom, where morally clean non-Mormons, and non-valiant Mormons, will reside without marriage. In the terrestrial kingdom, those who did not accept the gospel but who reversed their course in the spirit-world, will be. The telestial kingdom is the last and least kingdom, where most sinners will end up. Before entering the telestial kingdom, sinners will be temporarily purified in the flames of hell. The sons of perdition are a fourth group that will not be redeemed. Satan is referred to as the son of perdition in Doctrine and Covenants (see pg. 138-139). The doctrine of the three kingdoms does minimize the severity of punishment for the wicked, who seem to be universally accepted into albeit a lower telestial kingdom, but nonetheless a place of reward. The dead are able to reverse their course in the spirit-world.



Salvation by Works



Salvation by works is a cultic teaching that is counter-teaching to the biblical apostles’. The Bible is clear one is judged, punished, and rewarded by one’s works, but salvation is only by grace through faith, so that no one may boast (see The Way to Salvation). Salvation is not given because one has done something to earn it. Mormons teach salvation by works, such as marrying in this lifetime to attain a higher heavenly dwelling in the after life. The doctrine of eternal progression is another doctrine that upholds earning salvation and exaltation by works. Because of this doctrine, Mormons believe they can literally earn becoming exactly as God is today. The Book of Mormon teaches that after all one has done, one will be saved,



For we know that it is by grace that we have been saved, after all we do (2 Nephi 25:23).



The Bible teaches that after standing firm, one will be saved, however there is no biblical rationale that standing firm entails attempting to earn salvation by works. Standing firm is holding on to what one has by believing in Christ. The Mormons do not hold fast to the words of Christ. Sadly, they are rejecting Christ and holding to their prophet, Joseph Smith.



Latter-day Saint Conclusion



The typical cultic perversion of truth is highly present in Latter-day Saint doctrine. They teach salvation by works, devalue Christ, devalue the Trinity, minimize the punishment of the wicked, and have an extra-scriptural source of authority that is respected as having greater weight than the Bible. Mormons are generally fierce missionaries who are a model in regards to conversion, but unfortunately Mormonism is only Christian based, and the image of Christ and the Father is contorted. A group that does not respect the Bible is difficult to reach, but if a Mormon based all evidence on the Bible as the Word of God, Joseph Smith’s fabrications would have no weight.



Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Jehovah’s Witness Society began forming around when the Witnesses first president, Mr. Charles Taze Russell, started a periodical titled Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, in 1879. The Jehovah’s Witnesses sprung up shortly, and they have their own Bible translation, The New World Translation, which they follow above all other translations. Today they publish Watch Tower Magazine and Awake! periodical. There is a Watch Tower headquarters in Brooklyn Heights which serves as the organizations central office. The New World Translation, and the dogma to come from the leaders at the headquarters, are both the authority of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The organization would say that their authority is God, or Jehovah, leading a theocracy, however the organization refutes a great amount of aspects of basic Christianity such as Trinitarianism, equality of Christ with God, and intermediate consciousness. They share doctrines typical among the cults, devalue Christ and the Spirit, minimize the punishment of the wicked, teach salvation is merited by works, and twist Scripture to fit their unbiblical ideas. If one briefly were to examine the organizations track record, one would see that they have been spurious, incorrect, and unfounded.

God’s Channel



Let’s clarify some things about the Jehovah’s Witness church first. They are an organization that purports to be God’s chosen medium for communicating salvation on earth. They claim the only way one can get to God’s kingdom is by obeying the church as a discreet slave. From the beginning of the organization, they have insisted that those who do not study Scripture with their aid will go into spiritual darkness. The Bible alone is not sufficient,



Not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the “Scripture Studies” aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten yearsif he then lays them aside and ignores them and he goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the “Scripture Studies” with their references and had not read a page of the Bible as such, he would have the light of the Scriptures.61



One can see that reading their aid, without reading a page of the Bible, is recommended as better than reading the Bible, whereas reading the Bible alone will cause a person to go into darkness. The writings of the organization are held effectively higher than Scripture. Not only so, but the organization lays claim to the role of communication between God and the people. Because the Watchtower Society is God’s channel, they consequently believe that only their members are saved.



Failed Predictions and the Pyramids



Claiming to be God’s channel presupposes godly obligation, and that the church’s tract record would be exemplary. But this is not the case. The Witnesses have a long history of date-setting multiple incorrect prophecies that did not come true. These incorrect predictions spanned at different times, over the entire history of the church. Among these predictions were that Christ returned invisibly in 1874, that the world would end in 1914, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would return from the grave in 1925, and again that the world would end and the Millennium would begin in 1975. None of these came true. These predictions hurt the reputation of the church, and caused fellowship to temporarily decrease.



A bizarre and suspicious prediction made by Mr. Charles Russell that did not come to be, was that the pyramids of Egypt were designed by God to identify the time of the end. He called it a “Bible in stone.” By measuring the distance of one point in the entrance of a pyramid to another point, one would arrive at a number that if subtracted from a date, would reveal the chronological beginning of the time of the end. The current organization admits that this prediction was incorrect, that the pyramids are an evil symbol, and they now say the Bible in stone is, “Satan’s Bible.” Mr. Russel died in 1916, and requested to be buried in a Masonic cemetery. His grave stone is feet away from an erected large stone pyramid with a cross and a crown emblem and a Jehovah’s Witness inscription, as well as an apparent Masonic bible logo engravement (see Appendix B for a photograph). Keeping the claim in mind that the JW organization is God’s channel on earth, one should expect the Jehovah’s Witnesses to not make erroneous predictions, nor for their president to be a Mason.






After Charles Russell’s divorce in 1906, he incurred further trouble and was exposed in 1912 in a pamphlet circulated by Rev. J.J. Ross, who made statements about Charles Russell’s fallacious teachings and lack of education and qualifications. Mr. Russell sued Rev. Ross for libel, and in the lawsuit Mr. Russell perjured himself. He claimed to know Greek, but could not read the Greek alphabet. Mr. Russell lost the lawsuit, and in the end admitted that the claims of Rev. Ross were true. Mr. Russell certainly did not have a model past history.



New World Translation



The Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own translation of the Bible, translated by an anonymous committee. All major Bible translations make public the names of the translators in committee, yet the Witnesses prefer to keep this information private. The translation has been widely rejected by a large majority of scholars, as exhibiting poor exegesis. It interprets into Scripture what Scripture does not warrant from the original texts, and is generally errant scholarly work, and can be easily viewed as malicious in nature. This translation alters the Bible to effectively accomplish things such as:



  1. Reject the personality of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Reduce the equality of Christ with God.
  3. Reduce the punishment of the wicked.
  4. Deny consciousness surviving death.
  5. Reduce the deity of Christ to that of a created angel, or “a god.”
  6. Alter words and meanings that cannot be altered so, to maintain biased doctrine.



The translators names were kept secret, but eventually were discovered. Their credentials were investigated by other scholars, because a translation must be by erudite experts who are familiar with the original languages, and who are linguistically skilled and able to maintain proper context or to openly accomplish a goal such as modernization or literalness. Translators must maintain integrity throughout the work. The investigation revealed that none of the translators of the New World Translation were qualified for the task,



Four of five men in the committee had no Hebrew or Greek training whatsoever (they had only a high-school education). The fifth-Fred W. Franz—claimed to know Hebrew and Greek, but upon examination under oath in a court of law in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was found to fail a simple Hebrew test.62



The Name Jehovah



As mentioned in the beginning of this chapter, some cults major in minor teachings. Just as the Adventists major in a minor, the Seventh-day Sabbath, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are determined to replace any reference to the Father with the term Jehovah. The name Jehovah originates from the Hebrew word for God, “YHWH.” YHWH contains only consonants, and the other letters are unknown and are missing. By combing the vowels of the Hebrew word Adonai (Lord), with YHWH, it produces the word Yahowah, or Jehovah. However, Jehovah does not appear in the original Hebrew or Greek manuscripts in either the Old or New Testament. The Jehovah’s Witnesses apply Jehovah to the Old Testament, and have supplanted references to the Father in the New Testament with the term Jehovah. This is not appropriate, because the ancient manuscripts that we have do not use the word Jehovah. Contrary to Witness teaching, Jehovah is not God’s name, but is invented by man. Any Hebrew Rabbi will tell one this.



Jesus Lesser than the Father



Numerous alterations to Scripture in the New World Translation render Jesus inferior to the Father, and make him a created being rather than before all creation. The intent of the New World Translation is to utterly diminish the position of Christ. Christ is not a created being, but was in the beginning with God. Notice the NWT translation of a Proverb (emphasis added),



Jehovah himself produced me at the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago. From time indefinite I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth (Pr. 8:22-23).



The emphasized part above indicates that Jesus was an early achievement and not in the beginning with God. It is also attributed to Christ when the passage is not regarding Him, which one cannot tell when reading the NWT. The New World Translation bias of Christ’s inferiority is plainly visible. This is alarming and is not an isolated case, it happens throughout the NWT. There are many other verses that the Watchtower Society interpret in this manner. Listing each Watchtower Society alteration to Scripture would require its own book.



Jesus Michael the Archangel



Another doctrinal error of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is their belief that Jesus is the great prince, Michael the Archangel. They share this belief with the Seventh-day Adventists, although the JW doctrine is much more prominent and blatant than the SDA teaching. The JW idea is that before Jesus was incarnated, he was Michael the Archangel. When He came to earth, He became Jesus. After He died, He was resurrected again as Michael the Archangel. The New Testament teaches that Christ is not an angel (please refer to the Seventh-day Adventist heading above, “Jesus Michael the Archangel?”). This error is another tactic to reduce the deity of Christ to that of a created being.



The Trinity Pagan?



Trinitarianism, the belief in three coequal persons under one Godhead, is rejected by the Watchtower Society. They are monotheistic, believing in one God, and they are vigilant that the Trinity is of pagan or satanic origin.



Never was there a more deceptive doctrine advanced than that of the Trinity. It could have originated only in one mind…the mind of Satan the Devil.63



The Trinitarian belief is that there are three separate distinct personalities that are one in unity. Each part of the Trinity is fully God. Jehovah’s Witnesses reduce Christ and the Spirit to an inferior position than the Father, with the argument that if God were a triune, that God could not be the Son and the Spirit at the same time, sending Himself places and addressing Himself. However, because God is three separate personalities that are fully equal, they are all three God and one in essence. Colossian says, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…” (NIV Col. 2:9). The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal power, but is referred to as “He” (Jn. 14:26; 16:7-15; Ac. 8:16). The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all three designated as God in the Bible. Yet, there is only one God. This excerpt from an article from addresses the concept,



If there is one passage which most clearly brings all of this together, it is Matthew 28:19: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” First, notice that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinguished as distinct Persons. We baptize into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Second, notice that each Person must be deity because they are all placed on the same level. In fact, would Jesus have us baptize in the name of a mere creature? Surely not. Therefore each of the Persons into whose name we are to be baptized must be deity. Third, notice that although the three divine Persons are distinct, we are baptized into their name (singular), not names (plural). The three Persons are distinct, yet only constitute one name. This can only be if they share one essence.64



Soul-Sleep and Annihilationism



Like the Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in consciousness after death. A soul to them is composed of body and spirit, and the spirit returns to God at death and the body to dust. It remains unconscious until the resurrection, when it becomes reunited with the spirit. This means that at death, a person cannot go to heaven, but must wait until the resurrection. Their belief is that if resurrected to punishment, a soul becomes annihilated and ceases to exist, hence their Annihilationism doctrine which counters the belief in the immortality of the soul. These topics are studied in-depth at the end of this chapter in the section titled, “Soul-Sleep, Conditional Immortality, Chronology of Adventist Eschatology, and Soul-Extinction.”



The Little Flock



Watchtower members share a belief in common with some of the other cults concerning their view about God’s end-time messengers. The Watchtower teaches that they are the 144,000 “little flock” that the book of Revelation speaks about. The 144,000 is a group of men who are redeemed and serve God during the Tribulation, and at God’s throne in the afterlife. The Bible teaches that they are from the twelve Jewish tribes. Yet, Watchtower teaching extended the 144,000 to it’s members, until their membership grew to 144,000. Like the Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses see themselves as this special group. Thus, each cult believes they are the only true group that will receive salvation. Unlike the Adventists, the Witnesses teach that the 144,000 is the only group that will be resurrected to heaven, and the rest of it’s members who are redeemed will find themselves on earth in the next life. This divides the “flock” into two groups. The “anointed” and “the other sheep.” Only the anointed class receives the full promises in the Bible promised to the righteous, such as being born again, conformed to Christ’s image, being members of Christ’s body, and having participation in the New Covenant. To be part of the 144,000 prior to having reached 144,000 members, the Witnesses had to pass both faith and works. Passing both faith and works may sound permissible, but the Bible teaches that one is saved aside from one’s works, and is chosen by grace and by pre-selection prior to birth. Salvation is not because one has done anything to deserve it. The Witnesses are not just teaching about the latter-day 144,000 and salvation, but are twisting Scripture to apply it to themselves. The 144,000 are Jews or are of Jewish descent, converted to Christianity. Furthermore, the society divides the kingdom into two groups. The Bible teaches that the sheep will be gathered to one place, and that there will be one fold and one shepherd (Jn. 10:16). The Bible does not teach that there will be an eternal heavenly paradise for an anointed class, and an eternal earthly paradise for the rest. Many groups see themselves as a member of the latter-day 144,000. This is a common false belief of the cults.



Blood Transfusions, Vaccinations, Birthdays, Christmas Trees and Wearing Crosses



The Jehovah’s Witnesses have several policies that members are required to honor, or risk face disfellowshipping. Blood transfusions, even at risk of death, are forbidden on grounds of an order in Leviticus that forbids the eating of blood (Lev. 17:11-12, 17:14, 17:26-27; and see Ge. 9:3-5; Ac. 15:28-29). The dilemma is that this order to not eat blood is not about accepting transfusions, especially life-saving transfusions, but is about eating blood through one’s mouth. Pagans ritualistically partook in blood eating and idol worship, which may be the reason Paul reiterated the mandate to Christians against eating blood. Because the Jehovah’s Witnesses forbid the transfusion of blood, countless many have had to face death versus disobeying their religion, and many people chose death because of this singular issue. Vaccinations were also forbidden, but the Watchtower Society changed its view in the 1950’s. Birthdays are forbidden on grounds of two Bible verses in which people were killed on someone’s birthday. Because the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the cross is a pagan symbol, wearing crosses is also forbidden. One may wonder how they justify this when we know Jesus was crucified on a cross, but the Witnesses reject that Christ died on a cross, and affirm that Jesus rather was crucified on a steak. Witnesses also forbid Christmas trees, taking Jeremiah 10:1-10 out of context. The practice of forbidding the acts above is best described by Anthony Hoekema,



The interpretation of Scripture found in Jehovah-Witness publications is often characterized by absurd literalism.65



Certainly it is absurd to cost a person one’s life on basis of a loose interpretation of Scripture.



Jehovah’s Witnesses Conclusion



An organization that claims to be God’s channel, yet so blatantly twists the words of God, cannot be respected nor trusted. By reducing the deity of Christ and personality of the Holy Spirit, the Witnesses have done themselves the disservice of compromising their belief system. Through their unfounded Bible translation, coming through the hands of unqualified translators, the Watchtower Society has spread yet another false gospel. The truth is that many of their members do not know their church’s doctrine. The Witnesses should compare their Bible with a mainstream Bible, and consider the ramifications of the differences.



Christian Science

The Christian Science Church of Christ began with a woman named Mary Baker Eddy, a daughter of a Calvinist, and a sufferer at times of physical illnesses of sorts. Prior to the advent of the idea of Christian Science, Mary’s ill health was problematic, and she learned of a man named Phineas Quimby who was gaining popularity and healing using Christian spiritual science. Mary followed Quimby’s teachings, and gave lectures herself about Quimby’s spiritual healing science. Mary borrowed many of her ideas from Quimby, and wrote her own book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which is quite similar to Quimby’s works. This document is one of Marry Baker Eddy’s writings that are held authoritative by the Christian Science Church, although they deny that Marry Eddy borrowed ideas from Quimby. Mary Baker Eddy began to teach metaphysical healing, and intertwined it with an underlying Christian theme. However, the title of “Church of Christ” should permit one to assume that the church resembles Historic Christianity, unfortunately Christian Science denies most, if not all, aspects of basic Christianity, and misapplies terminology wantonly as will be shown.



Christian Mind-Science and Morphine



For insight into the character of Mary Eddy, Christian healing was not her only method used and recommended during the course of her life. If fact, metaphysical healing is not Christian healing (which is by the Spirit). Metaphysical healing is the belief that mental patterns can result in physical illness and infirmities. The way the metaphysicist deals with illness, is to examine the underlying contributing factors. Thus, if one’s back is sore, the metaphysicist will examine if the person has been overly concerned about money, because the back is the support. Mrs. Eddy combined metaphysical healing with aspects of Christianity. When she had pain from her illnesses, she would treat her pain with hypodermic Morphine injections. She recommended this form of treatment in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, to the followers of her mind-science,



If from an injury or from any cause, a Christian Scientist were seized with pain so violent that he could not treat himself mentally—and the Scientist had failed to relieve him, —the sufferer could call a surgeon who would give him a hypodermic injection, then, when the belief of pain was lulled, he could handle his own case mentally.66



Mental Instability?



Unfortunately, attempting to introduce who Mrs. Eddy was without outlining her unconventional and quirky behavior is not easily achieved. Mrs. Eddy made questionable statements that incontestably bring her mental stability into question. Apparently, she had a tendency to lean toward the superstitious, believing in fanciful and paranoidal concepts. Most of her doctrines will prove the strange way Mrs. Eddy conceptualized her resulting religion. One of her odd comments was after her third husband, Asa Eddy, died. Mrs. Eddy told the newspapers that Mr. Eddy had been mentally murdered with arsenic, “by certain parties here in Boston who had sworn to injure [the Eddy’s].67 A similar questionable conversation took place between Mrs. Eddy and her secretary and confidant, a pioneer of the Christian Science church, Mr. Adam Dickey, “If I should ever leave here, will you promise me that you will say that I was mentally murdered?” “Yes, Mother.68Granted, these are only two conversations Mrs. Eddy had. Nevertheless, allow her doctrines to speak for themselves.



The Church



Christian Science began to form in 1879 after Mary Eddy’s discovery of healing science. Students of Mrs. Eddy helped her advance the church, which obtained a charter that year. By 1881, Mrs. Eddy had been chosen to be the pastor of the church, which had no formal creed, and the Massachusetts Metaphysical College was founded. The Christian Science Church Manual stated that they intended, “to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.69Today, Christian Science is often reported as struggling financially, and in numbers of membership internationally. A number of large-production periodicals and radio and televisions broadcasts have been or are maintained by the Christian Science church. Today, amidst financial crisis, their television series and radio broadcast have ceased operation. The Christian Science Monitor, Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, and Christian Science Bible Lesson Quarterly can be obtained, this author has seen, free-of-charge from local Christian Science Reading Rooms. Here books that relate to Christian Science can be borrowed, traded, read and purchased. The Christian Science church also operate a few sanatoriums, as do the Seventh-day Adventists, that provide medical and mental health treatment for the ill.



The Service



The church meets weekly for service at local branches and advertises “Sunday School for Children.” They do not have a pastor, as they did during the founding years, but instead practitioners are advertised in the back-pages of Christian Science publications. These “meta-physicists” are counselors and aids for those seeking more information about the church. Every Sunday, Scripture from the Holy Bible is read followed by a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mrs. Eddy. This is how Christian Science teachings are presented to those new to the church who may unwittingly or curiously find themselves entertaining a mock Christian service. The liturgy is prepared by a board, and is the same for each branch in the country every Sunday. Hymns and music are sung, prayers are said, and the service is discreetly similar to a traditional Christian service from the eye-view-point of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy. Christian Scientists are not baptized with water, because for them baptism is a daily spiritual purification and not a sacrament. There is no formal Lord’s Supper Eucharist at Christian Science services. When “communion” is held twice a year, in lieu of the bread and wine of Christ, there is a moment of silence. The service resembles a Christian service, however the difference in the Christian Science interpretation of the Bible will be shown to give alternate meaning to traditional tenets of Historic Christianity.



Source of Authority



As affirmed at the beginning of this chapter, the ultimate source of authority with which to settle all disputes is the Bible. Christian Science meets the marks of a cult, to have an extra-scriptural source of authority that is regarded as inspired. This mark finds fulfillment in Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, who claimed to discover the truth of divine Christian Science and who subsequently wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures not by herself, but supposedly with God as the author,



I should blush to write of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” as I have, were it of human origin, and were I, apart from God, its author. But, as I was only a scribe echoing the harmonies of heaven in divine metaphysics, I cannot be super-modest in my estimate of the Christian Science textbook.70



Mrs. Eddy said that Christian Science “is unerring and Divine; the human sense of things errs because it is human,71but what about her view of the Bible? Did she affirm the inerrancy of the Bible, as most Christians do? Mrs. Eddy did not. She held that the Bible has been corrupted by mortal man, and that it contains up to thirty thousand unspecified errors in the Old Testament, and three hundred thousand in the New Testament,



The decision by vote of the Church Councils as to what should and should not be considered Holy Write; the manifest mistakes in the ancient versions; the thirty thousand different readings in the Old Testament, and the three hundred thousand in the New, – these facts show how a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record, with is own hue darkening to some extent the inspired pages.72



We see that Christian Science is inerrant, and that the divine record of the Bible has been darkened by a “material sense.” Typical of the cults, the leader and teachings of the group are elevated beyond the authority of the Bible. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures charges that the church is “The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. The Church is that institution…73” and that, “Outside of Christian Science all is vague and hypothetical, the opposite of Truth…74” Christian Science effectively boasts itself as the one true church above all others, as do the Latter-day Saints, the Seventh-day Adventists, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Red flags are waving high in the wind.



Christian Science Double-Minded Theology



This group’s doctrine, when scrutinized closely, reveals a pattern of ascribing different meaning to traditional Christian doctrine, and a double-minded approach to concepts such as sin, death, disease, atonement, etc. Christian Scientists do not believe in matter, or in death. Matter is defined in the Science and Health glossary as, “Mythology; mortality; another name for mortal mind; illusion…75” Matter is just an illusion, a false-belief of mortal mind. Evil doesn’t exist, and is nothing,



Evil calls itself something, when it is nothing.76

Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.77

evil is but an illusion, and it has no real basis. Evil is a false belief. God is not its author. The supposititious parent of evil is a lie.78



One shouldn’t be surprised that if matter is an illusion in Christian Science teaching, that disease would also be a false belief. To them, naturally, disease is an illusion and a delusion.79 Death, too, is unreal and another false-belief.80 Mrs. Eddy flatly rebuked every one of these “beliefs,” even as people acquired diseases in their material bodies, committed grave sin, and passed away. The very things Mrs. Eddy rebuked are problems that the world acquired since the Fall of Man. How did Mrs. Eddy deal with the Fall of Man? She discredited the account, and attributed the serpent and Eve interaction to a myth.81 To Mrs. Eddy, man isn’t even capable of sin,



Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death.82



Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science teaching imparts that man did not originate from dust like God declared in Genesis 3:19, and is only spiritual (because the body and matter does not exist). Mrs. Eddy shared that one of Christ’s purposes is to destroy the error of false-belief in all of these matters,



The belief that life can be in matter or soul in body, and that man springs from dust or from an egg, is the result of the mortal error which Christ, or Truth, destroys.83



The problem occurs of presenting a different Christ than the biblical Christ. To follow Christian Science teaching, one need deny that sin exists, the body is real, mankind fell, and that death comes to the body. One need also believe that Christ is who helps with these false beliefs. Christian Science teaching suffers from denial, even extending beyond matter, death, sin, and disease. Angels are just “God’s thoughts passing to man84” The devil is “evil; a lie; error85” Christian Scientists do have a loose belief in the afterlife, a state they believe a person will be conscious during. But once again, none of their teaching resembles anything near Historic Christianity. For instance, heaven and hell is not a location, but rather a divine state of mind,



Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there…86



Concerning man in Christian Science teaching, man is immortal and coeternal with God, and “has no separate mind from God.87” This equates to man always existing along with God, and not as a creation of God. This type of general idealogy, such as man having no separate mind from God, will be discussed further later on.



Mrs. Eddy teeters back-and-forth between denying the annihilation of the soul, and affirming it. She opposes the traditional view of death (which does not exist for this group). However, Mary Eddy never could fully prove that death did not exist, and as will be quoted momentarily, she admitted that some people pass through the belief of death. Recalling that death is just an illusion and does not exist in Christian Science theology, it is without doubt double-minded that she addressed “passing through” death in her writings,



Man is not annihilated, nor does he lose his identity, by passing through the belief called death. After the momentary belief of dying passes from mortal mind, this mind is still in a conscious state of existence.88



Notice also that above Mrs. Eddy stated that “Man is not annihilated.” While she said that, she also taught something other. After death, men must overcome the mortal sin and error they had “died” in. After this so-called death, the sin and error with which a person had lived and died, “do not cease at that moment, but endure until the death of these errors.89” Not only is Christ’s atonement not sufficient enough to nullify sin, but also Mrs. Eddy was once again strangely double-minded,



Man’s probation after death is the necessity of his immortality; for good dies not and evil is self-destructive, therefore evil must be mortal and self-destroyed. If man should not progress after death, but should remain in error, he would be inevitably self-annihilated.90



If man does not progress after death, he becomes “self-annihilated.” On one hand man is not annihilated by death, but on the other hand man can choose to progress after death, or face self-annihilation. It is probably difficult to reach a Christian Science member who can deny that something exists even while experiencing it, such as evil deception, but alas evil does not exist for the Christian Scientist.



The Christian Science Christ



The Christian Science understanding is quite different from the average Christian. They lay claim to the title of “Church of Christ,” but is the Christian Science Jesus the same as other denominations? The Christian Science church makes a distinction between Christ and the man Jesus. Jesus is the man who exhibited best the Christ-Spirit, which governs the corporeal Jesus.91 Jesus “as material manhood, was not Christ.92 Christ and Jesus are not the same. Jesus is a man. Christ is God’s divine spiritual idea. Mrs. Eddy tended to generalize everything into ambiguous principles such as this,



Christ, as the true spiritual idea, is the ideal of God now and forever…93



Crucial to this theological interpretation is that Christ the truth and spiritual idea of God was in the world before Jesus, and has come with power and grace to all people prepared to receive [the spiritual idea] Christ.94 Because Jesus and Christ are different for Christian Scientists, Jesus the corporeal matter, which is defined as “Mythology…illusion…the opposite of God95,” is the Son of God, but in Christian Science teaching matter is the opposite of God, and so Jesus is unspiritual. The deity of Jesus is diminished, and He is not considered a personal savior, but rather a man exhibiting an idea of God. Because sin is not real, even the atonement of Christ is denied. How could Christ atone for something unreal? The Christian Science Jesus seems to be inconsequential,



If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me. I should still know that God’s spiritual ideal is the only real man in His image and likeness.96



Not surprisingly, Christian Scientists deny the equality of Jesus with God. Jesus was not mature nor fully omnipotent His entire time on Earth, and He had not completely mastered the beliefs of the flesh,



He knew the mortal errors which constitute the material body, and could destroy those errors; but at the time when Jesus felt our infirmities, he had not conquered all the beliefs of the flesh or his sense of material life, nor had he risen to his final demonstration of spiritual power.97



In conclusion of the Christian Science view of Christ, they have an unbiblical heretical way of interpreting the person of Christ. He is divine, but not deity. Mary Baker Eddy’s writings are held more authoritative than the Bible, at the expense of a personal savior. Anyone wishing to read a thorough explication of the doctrines of Christ that the Christian Science church repudiates, are encouraged to read Anthony Hoekema’s Four Major Cults. The following is a quoted summary of Christian doctrines that Mr. Hoekema compiled in his conclusion of the Christian Science mind-science cult and the person of Jesus,



In summary, Christian Science denies the unity of the Person of Jesus Christ, Jesus’ present existence, the absolute necessity for Jesus’ earthly mission, the incarnation of Christ, the Virgin birth of Jesus, the sinlessness of Jesus, the full deity of Jesus, and Jesus’ genuine humanity. In addition, they reject Jesus’ suffering, death, physical resurrection, and ascension into heaven. By what conceivable right, therefore, do the members of this group still dare to call themselves a church of Christ?98






Christian Science teachings bear resemblance to pantheism, the idea that God is all and impersonal. Many eastern religions are pantheistic. Mrs. Eddy defined God in the following manner,



1. God is All-in-all.

2. God is good. Good is Mind.

3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter.

4. Life, God, omnipotent good, deny death, evil, sin, disease. – Disease, sin, evil, death, deny good, omnipotent God, Life.99



Once again, Mrs. Eddy has made a principle and idea out of a living-personal God. God is all, and God is good. Good is mind. This generalized impersonal ideology is not Christian.



The Trinity



Christian Scientists cannot claim to be Trinitarians, because they do not understand the concept of a monotheistic God with three coequal parts. Mrs. Eddy understood the Trinity not as one God with three parts, but as a suggestion of a polytheistic God,



The theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I AM.100



Cross and Crown Symbol



The official Christian Science church logo is a tilted cross intersecting a crown. This is the same symbol Charles Russell (founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) used on the front of his earliest pamphlets, and is the same symbol situated on Charles Russell’s pyramid tomb monument. It is an occult symbol that is associated with the York Rite and Knights Templar chapter of Freemasonry, although is not confined to that chapter. Mrs. Eddy associated with Freemasons, and the church had a great deal of Freemasons in their leadership and governing body. The cross and crown occult symbol has no place in the true church of Christ.



Christian Science Conclusion



Mind-science and Christianity do not belong together. Repeatedly, cult leaders design their own religion and involve aspects of Christianity. When the leader is given full reign, the teachings are held more authoritative than Christ and the Bible. They all distort the character of Jesus, His redemptive work, and coequality with God. Christian Science is more founded on eastern philosophy than it is on Christianity, and is as dangerous and careless to follow as the Latter-day Saints and such-like cults.



Soul-Sleep, Conditional Immortality, Chronology of Adventist Eschatology, and Soul-Extinction

Soul-Sleep and Soul-Extinction are two doctrines common among the cults. They are alluring and attractive because they seem to be well-founded on Scripture and are innovative alternative to tradition. The question of the fate of anyone’s soul after death in the intermediate state is answered by both Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses in their soul-sleep (psychopannychism) doctrine, which is opposed to the traditional doctrine of intermediate consciousness. This doctrine affirms that when a person dies, that person’s soul merely goes to an unconscious sleep in the grave (the grave seen as Sheol). They do not believe a person will go to heaven or hell upon death, but will spend their time awaiting the resurrection in the dust of the earth. These two groups, and several other throughout history, counter a dual nature of the soul, the belief in a physical body and spiritual soul.



Soul-sleep is closely related to conditional immortality, and stems from verses in which the dead are said to be sleeping (Da. 12:2; Mt. 9:24; Jn. 11:12-14; Ac. 13:36; 1Th. 4:14; etc.), and verses that concern immortality (Ge. 2:17, 3:4, 19, 22; Ps. 146:4; Ecc. 9:5; Eze. 18:20; Rm. 6:23; 1Ti. 6:16). Is soul-sleep a biblical and substantive teaching? Some of these verses appear to corroborate soul-sleep if the Bible is not carefully examined. When the dead are referred to as “sleeping” in the Bible, it always refers to a believer. It denotes a cessation of physical activity, and in the N.T. a rest in Christ. The dead N.T. believers are “resting” in Christ. The cults will have you believe the dead are unconscious, and will heavily cite O.T. passages as their proof. Let Us Reason Ministries wrote regarding soul-sleep and the Old Testament,




What most people do is look to the Old Testament Scriptures to validate this teaching such as Eccl. 9:5-6, “For the living know they shall die: but the dead know not any thing,” or Psalm 146:4, “His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish”. Or Psalm 115:17, “The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who go down into silence” or Psalm 6:5 “For in death there is no remembrance of Thee; in the grave who shall give Thee thanks? And of course, there is Ezek. 18:4, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die. “[Sic]From these Scriptures and many others, the Seventh Day Adventists and other groups make their air-tight case that death is a peaceful sleep for the soul.101



Many of the O.T. verses used to support the soul-sleep and conditional immortality doctrines are not intended to be literal by the author, and often do not make sense when read in the literal sense,



When someone does a study on this or any other subject, they need to take all the body of literature and weigh it out and see which covenant these things were spoken under, are they a metaphor, is it a hyperbole, is it poetic?102



Interpreting sleeping as a literal sleep of the dead implies that the personality, thoughts, and soul do not escape death, and is in ignorance to the passages of Scripture that imply that the dead are conscious. Ultimately, because soul-sleep seems to be less compatible with the view that the thousand year reign of Christ is on earth, and has a higher affinity for a thousand year reign in heaven and is closely associated with the annihilation of the soul, the doctrine is a tough-sell for this author. That relationship and further evidence that refutes the soul-sleep misconception will be investigated.



Paul and Departing the Body to Be with Christ



Most of our understanding and interpretation of the New Testament relies on the testimony of the apostles. Let us turn to two writings that refute soul-sleep,



I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body (NIV Php. 1:23).

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (NIV 2Co. 5:8-10).



The author of those passages is Paul. Where Paul said, “we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it,” is key because it points to consciousness surpassing death, and death as an immediate hope. Expert scholar Ron Rhodes explained,



In this passage, Paul is saying that the very moment after physical death occurs he will be with Christ. How do we know this? It’s clear from the Greek text. Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that an aorist infinitive (“to depart”) is linked by a single article with a present infinitive (“to be with Christ”). The infinitives thus belong together.103



Hoekema’s argument concurs,



The single article ties the two infinitives together, so that the actions depicted by the two infinitives are to be considered two aspects of the same thing, or two sides of the same coin. What Paul is saying here is that, the moment he departs or dies, that very same moment he will be with Christ.104



Paul wrote earlier in the letter of Second Corinthians that we have an eternal house in heaven (2Co. 5:1), and that he longs to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling (2Co. 5:2). Assuming Paul believed in a thousand year reign of Christ on earth, as prophecy instructs, Paul must be speaking of being with Christ in heaven immediately after death. Paul is believed to be the author of at least one, if not more, of the verses that soul-sleep proponents cite in favor of their doctrine. How could Paul teach that the dead sleep, not as a euphemism or reflection upon death and rest, but literally instead of going to heaven at death, and simultaneously desire to “depart and be with Christ” and “prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” in the heavenly dwelling he longs to be? This author is finding little support of the soul-sleep doctrine in the teachings of Paul, spare for alluding to the Judgment Seat of Christ in Second Corinthians 5:10, although stronger evidence to refute soul-sleep is elsewhere.



God of the Living



Jesus was once approached by a group of Sadducess, a Jewish sect that often disputed doctrines that Jesus and the apostles taught. They questioned Jesus