20 November 2023 |
Dear Aunt Sevvy,
I recently heard an Adventist pastor say that the rise of the Adventist church is prophesied in the Bible. Is this true?
Signed, Curious Bible Student
The “proof” that the Seventh-day Adventist church is God’s only true church is based on two texts read together. The first is Revelation 14:12, which says,
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Keeping the commandments of God is understood to mean keeping the fourth commandment, in particular. The second part, “the faith of Jesus,” is interpreted through Revelation 19:10:
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
“The spirit of prophecy” is understood solely as the ministry of Ellen G. White.
Together, these two things unique to our church—the Sabbath and Ellen White—are used to say that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not only specially chosen by God, but that other churches are inferior to ours in regard to God’s favor and receiving salvation.
While this is one interpretation, let Aunty suggest another. The testimony of Jesus is simply what it sounds like: the story and teachings of Jesus Christ. The word translated “testimony” is in Greek martyria. In 1 John 5:12, John describes martyria this way:
And this is the testimony (martyria), that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son hath life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
This, to Aunty, makes more sense. Those who don’t put Jesus first in their lives (and Aunty knows Adventists who appear to idolize Ellen White even above Jesus) are missing the point. Ellen White can’t save us. Jesus can.
As for keeping the commandments of God, let’s remember that there are many more commandments than the fourth one. Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, for example, should be even more important to Christians than those in Exodus 20.
The traditional interpretation has made the Seventh-day Adventist Church arrogant. Some act as if no matter what this church does, it is always right because it is chosen by God—even when it is unjust or unkind to people. Remember what happened to the group who thought themselves God’s chosen people in Old Testament times, and what Jesus said about them?
No, it is time for Adventists to trust in Jesus and Jesus alone, not to rely on some imaginary “specialness” of an organization headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Aunt Sevvy has collected her answers into a book! You can get it from Amazon by clicking here.
You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Your real identity will never be revealed.