heretics, apostates, and cultists

Everyone falls in this category on some point.  We see through a glass darkly and are in the constant process of learning and making course corrections as we mature spiritually.  The key is that we remain teachable and ready to change our minds, beliefs and opinions to conform to scripture under the guidance and discernment of the Holy Spirit.  We must be ready to correct or abandon the teaching of any tradition, personality, doctrine, or “revelation” that contradicts the full counsel of God’s word.

When error becomes doctrine.  Have unscriptural views on issues that may not directly interfere with salvation.  Considers those who don’t agree with their beliefs as being heretics.  While they may sow doubt about the inerrancy of scripture and take scripture out of context, they still refer to scripture as the source of their beliefs even though they bend it to conform to their pet doctrines and traditions.

Heresy gone to seed.  Heresy to the point that they have departed from the faith to follow traditions of men and doctrines of demons.  Their apostate view is the basis of their salvation.  While they may refer to scriptures taken out of context, they look to other sources as being equal authority to or higher authority than the Bible.  These sources may include “new revelation”, “spiritual experiences”, traditions, commentaries, ancient wisdom, additional books, authority of an individual (prophet or apostle) or council of elders.  Apostates will also change the definitions of commonly used terms so that they sound “mainstream” in their public statements, documents and marketing materials, but then begin to incrementally introduce their true meanings to recruits over time.

An apostate group that is typically exclusive (they alone know the secret and everyone else is wrong or corrupted), is typically centered around a particular personality who is the ultimate authority, and they typically do not introduce their more controversial doctrines until after a recruit is first initiated into the group.  Often will seek to isolate members from those friends and family outside the group.


it is the job of pastors to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable…

the problem with attracting people with entertainment, you have to keep them with entertainment

if you get worldly people to sit in your audience using worldly methods, they will never stand for the offense of the Gospel

the Bible says that the Lord added to the church, not worldly entertainment and positive thinking


How often our kids rip out our hearts, kick them around like a soccer ball, and don’t give a thought to how it makes us feel.

We are expected to just stand by with the stoic face and keep it together long enough to deal with them — and then, be there standing by to pick them up when they fall?
How often have we done that to our own parents?
How often have we done that to our Heavenly Father?

carried away into babylon

When Israel turned its back on God, He allowed them to be overthrown by Assyria.

When Judah turned its back on God, He allowed them to be carried away into Babylon.

Being that our nation has turned its back on God, has He allowed us to be carried away into Babylon?

Is that why we have the leaders we do?

Is that why foreign nations now own or control more of our resources and finances than at any other time since we became an independent country?

Seventh Day Adventist

Are Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) a Cult?

Most people recognize adventists as being very adamant about observing the Sabbath, from sundown Friday through sundown on Saturday.  Many are also typically vegetarian, engage is foot washing, and other traits common to a “works based” view of salvation.

These things are neither forbidden nor supported by scripture as requirements for salvation.  While these activities may seem strange to some, these activities by themselves do not necessarily make them a cult.

A quick synopsis from

Adventism: Widespread trans-denominational movement inspired by William Miller’s prediction that Jesus’ “advent” (return) would take place in 1844. Even after the Great Disappointment (the date’s failure), many people in the movement continued to believe. Some suggested revised chronologies and new dates, eventually forming groups such as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Others, notably Hiram Edson and Ellen G. White, suggested that the 1844 date was accurate but that a heavenly (thus invisible) event had taken place. Their teachings became the basis of Seventh-day Adventism, which eventually spawned its own offshoots, including Armstrongism and the Branch Davidians.

Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA), Washington, DC: The largest Adventist church. Ellen G. White, who claimed to have “the spirit of prophecy,” was an important early leader of the movement and taught a number of distinctive SDA doctrines, including the Investigative Judgment and Sabbatarianism. While the church’s official theology now appears to be generally in the tradition of evangelical Christianity, certain SDA claims and unique doctrines continue to raise questions. These doctrines include the SDA belief that Sunday worship will result in the “Mark of the Beast,” imbalanced teachings on keeping the commandments (baptism, Sabbath observance) that often implies a kind of salvation by works, the “Remnant Church” doctrine that implies that the SDA is or will be God’s only true church, and the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment.

To reiterate, our criteria for a cult:

Things that are critical to Biblical Christianity involve a right understanding of the nature of God, the nature of Jesus, and soteriology or salvation (we are sinners, wages of sin is death, Jesus died in our place, we need to repent and receive what Jesus did for us).

A cult is a perversion of any of those critical doctrines and are typically centered around the exclusivist teachings of a single man or organization.  Another common trait goes back to Satan’s lie that we can become a god or be like God (Genesis 3:5).

So, to summarize, an examination of a group’s beliefs along these points should lead to a conclusion.  The more a group strays from scripture on these points (especially points 3 & 4), the more likely it is to be a cult.

1) Authority of Scripture
2) Understanding of God’s nature
3) Understanding of who Jesus is
4) Understanding of Salvation
5) Position and destiny of man

So, how does SDA rate based on these critieria?

1) Exclusive Authority of Man (or woman) over scripture

They revere their founding prophetess, Ellen G. White. They believe that her writings are equal with scripture. SDA  made this statement in their “Ministry” Magazine of Oct. 1981 and have never retracted it:

“We believe the revelation and inspiration of both the Bible and Ellen White’s writings to be of equal quality. The superintendence of the Holy Spirit was just as careful and thorough in one case as in the other”.

They not only revere the writings of Ellen G. White as equal to the Bible, but have also published their own version of the Bible, the “Clear Word Bible” that has her doctrines interspersed throughout the scripture as commentary.

They also practice exclusivity in their belief that all other churches are ruled by satan, and that Sunday keeping is the “mark of the beast”.

2) Nature of God

At the early onset, they denied the Trinity.  They have since changed their official public position on this and now affirm the Triune nature of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), though it can vary from one fellowship to another.

3) Nature of Jesus

Ellen G. White wrote in Patriarchs and Prophets, page 761, “…He (Jesus) was revealed to them as the Angel of Jehovah, the Captain of the Lord’s Host, Michael the Archangel”.
While they claim to have changed position on the Trinity, they still have yet to deny Ellen White’s belief that Jesus was the angel Michael, a creation of God, rather than God Himself (as one of three members of the Godhead).

4) Salvation

– Jesus on the cross was insufficient, so we have to earn salvation

According to SDA, receiving Christ as your Saviour only forgives your past sins, up to that moment are forgiven. From that point forward you must get to work to earn your salvation.  Since Ellen G. White saw the fourth commandment glowing in a vision, sabbath keeping became the litmus test for salvation.

They also believe that Jesus is currently conducting “Investigative Judgement” and has angels recording our every thought and deed for the purpose of determining if we have been good enough to earn salvation.

– Satan pays for our sins

According to the SDA, it will be Satan who will eventually bear your sins! Ellen G. White wrote,

“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.” (The Great Controversy pg 422)

“…so Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, the originator and instigator of sin…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…”.(The Great Controversy pg 485)

According to the Bible, Christ bore our sins
1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…”.

5) Man earns his own salvation

Like any works based religeon, SDA exhalts the works of man above the completed work of Jesus on the Cross.

Other items of note:


Worship on the Sabbath is not a bad thing, but thinking it is something that helps you earn righteousness is.  The Bible just says not to forsake gathering ourselves together, it doesn’t say when, how, or how often.

Col 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ

Jesus fulfilled the Law and He is our Sabbath rest.


Ellen indicated that your very salvation could be dependent on giving up meat . She clearly said that no meat-eaters will be “translated” at Christ’s coming (Counsels on Diet and Foods p. 380)

They seem to overlook this verse…
Romans 14:2 “… he who is weak in faith eats vegetables only …”

Soul Sleep

They say that believers go to soul sleep in the grave until Christ’s return.

Philippians 1:23 “I am in a straight betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ”.

2 Cor. 5:8 “To be absent from the body (death), and to be present with the Lord.” (in heaven).

Ellen G. White was a false Prophetess

  — Recognized by SDA as Prophet
  — Made over 2000 prophecies, the majority of which have been proven false
  — Documented plagiarism of Joseph Smith’s LDS writings (The White Lie by Walter Rea)
  — Consulting the Dead (Necromancy): claimed to be in regular communication with dead husband


Seventh Day Adventism is a conflated mishmash of plagarized LDS, Jehovah’s witness, and Puritan doctrines.  There are a lot of very nice and well meaning people associated with this group, and the leadership and marketing works very hard to appear as just another Christian denomination.  However, if they refuse to deny the writings of Ellen G. White they are complicit in a false religeon.

References and resources:

no private interpretation

2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Beware when any say they have an exclusive on God’s “truth”.  Gnostics are famous for luring people in with promises of “hidden” knowledge and access secrets.

The wisdom of God is a gift that is free for the asking.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Also, God’s word is open to all who seek after it…

Luke 11:9 And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.

The Lord your God proves you

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them;” 
You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
Deut 13:1-3

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2Cor 11:14

But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.

Gal 1:8

contrary doctrine

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” – Romans 16:17-18

Whenever I speak the truth in love and identify false doctrine, I’m often accused of being divisive and part of this verse is quoted out of context: “Mark them which cause divisions”.

Note however, the divisive ones are those who are touting the contrary doctrine and using flattery to tickle ears and win hearts away from the truth.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. – 1 John 4:1

the bride

Genesis 2:20-24

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Notice how this is a foreshadow of Messiah, the second Adam (1Cor 15:45-47) and the “Bride of Christ” (Eph 5:22-33):

1) The “deep sleep” foreshadows Jesus’s death
2) There is a wound in the side
3) Out of that wound a Bride is made (rib -> Eve; blood -> the congregation of believers)
4) The Bride is brought to Adam

same color

We are all the same color, brown.   We just all have different levels of melanin in our skin.

There is only one race, the human race.  Race is a concept born out of a mistaken and unfounded belief in evolution.

We are all of one blood, one family.  We are all descendants Noah, and further back, all descendants of Adam.

Through one man (Adam) sin and death entered the world and in this way death came to all people.

Through one man (Jesus) we are justified and we can be born again into life; and, for those who receive this free gift, we are all of one “body” in Messiah. (Rom 5:12-20; 1Cor 12:12-20)