The Seventh-Day Adventist church is a Protestant denomination founded in America the mid-19th century during the "Second Great Awakening." The basic tenets of Adventism were based on a version of premillennial evangelical Protestantism and focused on the prophecy that Christ would return in 1844. They also strongly held the belief that the Sabbath was Saturday (the 7th day), so they opposed laws making Sunday the Sabbath.
The church was organized in 1863 around the belief that Jesus indeed had entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844. Ellen G. White (1827-1915), while holding no official role, was the dominant personality and moved the denomination to a concentration on missionary and medical work. Beginning in the 1890s, the Seventh-day Adventist church was impacted by the "Holiness Movement." Borrowing from the so called holiness movement, Albion Fox Ballenger and Sarepta M. I. Henry sought to bring together law and gospel themes, and thereby fill a spiritual need not met by Adventist emphasis on moral behavior. Revival focused on being filled with the Holy Spirit and healing. Mission and medical work continues to play a central role in the 21st century.
The church professes 28 fundamental beliefs which it sees as being based on the Bible, and which it states is the only basis of its faith, though historically it has privileged the teaching of Mrs White. Healthy food is part of the religion. Adventists are vegetarians and reject caffeine and alcohol. Adventists in Battle Creek, Michigan, developed America's breakfast cereal industry.
Adventist missionary activity has been quite successful, unfortunately, and over 90% of members are outside the U.S., including 34% in Africa, 33% in Latin American, versus 8% in the U.S. and Canada. There is a very active missionary program in 230 countries. There are 15 million members, with the greatest numbers in Brazil (1.3 million); the US (950,000); India (920,000); the Philippines (750,000); Peru (660,000); Mexico (550,000); and Kenya (530,000). There are 64,000 churches and 16,000 ordained ministers.
Worldwide the church operates 107 colleges and medical schools, and 7300 elementary and secondary schools. Total enrollment is 1.5 million. It operates over 700 hospitals, sanitaria and clinics. The worldwide budget is $2.7 billion, with $420 million spent on aid and relief efforts.
The Seventh-Day Adventist church traces its roots to American preacher William Miller (1782–1849), a Baptist who predicted the Second Coming would occur between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. Because he and his followers proclaimed Christ's imminent advent, they were known as "Adventists."
When Christ failed to appear, Miller reluctantly endorsed the position of a group of his followers known as the "seventh-month movement," who claimed Christ would return on October 22, 1844 (in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar).
When this didn't happen either, Miller forswore predicting the date of the Second Coming, and his followers broke up into a number of competing factions. Miller would have nothing to do with the new theories his followers produced, including ones which attempted to save part of his 1844 doctrine. He rejected this and other teachings being generated by his former followers, including those of Ellen Gould White.
Miller had claimed, based on his interpretation of Daniel and Revelation, that Christ would return in 1843–44 to cleanse "the sanctuary" (Dan. 8:11–14, 9:26), which he interpreted as the earth. After the disappointments of 1844, several of his followers proposed an alternative theory. While walking in a cornfield on the morning of October 23, 1844, the day after Christ failed to return, Hiram Edson felt he received a spiritual revelation that indicated that Miller had misidentified the sanctuary. It was not the earth, but the Holy of Holies in God's heavenly temple. Instead of coming out of the heavenly temple to cleanse the sanctuary of the earth, in 1844 Christ, for the first time, went into the heavenly Holy of Holies to cleanse it instead.
Another group of Millerites was influenced by Joseph Bates, a retired sea captain, who in 1846 and 1849 issued pamphlets insisting that Christians observe the Jewish Sabbath—Saturday—instead of worshipping on Sunday. This helped feed the intense anti-Catholicism of Seventh-Day Adventism, since they blamed the Catholic Church for changing the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday.
These two streams of thought—Christ entering the heavenly sanctuary and the need to keep the Jewish Sabbath—were combined by White, who claimed to have received many visions confirming these doctrines. Together with Edson and Bates, she formed the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination, which officially received its name in 1860.
Today the denomination reports that it has 780,000 members in the United States and 7.8 million members elsewhere, many in so called Catholic countries.
Seventh-Day Adventists agree with many Catholic doctrines, including the Trinity, Christ's divinity, the virgin birth, the atonement, a physical resurrection of the dead, and Christ's Second Coming. They use a valid form of baptism. They believe in original sin and reject the Evangelical teaching that one can never lose one's salvation no matter what one does (i.e., they correctly reject "once saved, always saved" heresy).
Unfortunately, they also hold many unbiblical, false and strange doctrines. Among these are the following: (a) the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon; (b) the pope is the Antichrist; (c) in the last days, Sunday worship will be "the mark of the beast"; (d) there is a future millennium in which the devil will roam the earth while Christians are with Christ in heaven; (e) the soul sleeps between death and resurrection; and (f) on the last day, after a limited period of punishment in hell, the wicked will be annihilated and cease to exist rather than be eternally damned.
Many Adventists insist that, as a matter of discipline (not doctrine), one must not eat meats considered unclean under the Mosaic Law (many endorse total vegetarianism), and one must avoid card-playing, dancing, smoking, drinking, reading non-religious books, listening to non-religious music, watching non-religious television, going to the movies, etc.
Adventists also subscribe to the two unbiblical pillars of Protestantism, sola scriptura (the Bible is the sole rule of faith) and sola fide (justification is by faith alone). Other Protestants, especially conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, often attack Adventists on these points, claiming they do not really hold them, which is often used as "proof" that they are "a cult." However, along the spectrum of Protestantism (from high-church Lutherans and Anglicans to low-church Pentecostals and Baptists), there is little agreement about the meaning of these two phrases or about the doctrines they are supposed to represent.
-Why true Christians (i.e., Catholics) dedicate Sunday specifically to God, rather than Saturday. Refuting Seventh-Day Adventists and Seventh-Day Baptists from the Bible
Exodus 20:8-11- "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy."
In Exodus 20, we find the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath. In the Old Testament, Sabbath meant "rest" or "cessation" on the seventh day of the Jewish week – Saturday. A sizable number of Protestants argue that people are still bound by the commandment to set Saturday apart for God. They believe that Catholics break this commandment by recognizing, in accordance with the Tradition of the Church and the teaching of the New Testament, that the prerogatives of the Sabbath have been transferred to Sunday in the New Covenant. The following considerations should show any sincere person why Seventh-Day Adventists and Seventh-Day Baptists are wrong. God Himself, through the Church He established, transferred the prerogatives of the Sabbath to Sunday, in honor of the day on which Jesus rose again.
THE COMMANDMENT TO KEEP HOLY THE SABBATH IS DIFFERENT IN NATURE FROM THE OTHER COMMANDMENTS
Of all the 10 commandments, the one to keep holy the Sabbath is different in nature from the rest. This is a very important point. It's different because it's the only one of the Ten Commandments that pertains to the ceremonial, not the natural law. For instance, man knows in his heart that he should not murder, that he should not steal, etc. But the natural law itself doesn't teach him that he must worship God on a particular day as opposed to another day. That must come from external revelation and precept.
In fact, keeping holy the Sabbath or Seventh Day only started after the Exodus. It wasn't done before that or from the very beginning. It's part of the ceremonial, not the natural law. Since it's a commandment of the ceremonial law, not the natural law, God can change the day on which He is to be specifically honored. Protestants who contend that the Saturday Sabbath law remains in force do not follow other aspects of the Old Testament ceremonial law. They don't consider circumcision or ritual sacrifices to be binding anymore, but they consider the ceremonial Sabbath law to be binding. This is both unscriptural and illogical.
Just as circumcision, the ritual sacrifices, and other parts of the ceremonial law have ceased with the coming of Christ, the ceremonial requirement to set Saturday apart for God has passed away. It has been replaced by God and His Church with the requirement to specifically honor Sunday.
THE APOSTLES AND THE EARLY CHURCH CELEBRATED SUNDAY, NOT SATURDAY
The Apostles clearly honored Sunday, not Saturday. We read that they met for the Eucharist and the breaking of bread on the first day of the week, Sunday, the day of the Lord's Resurrection.
Acts 20:7- And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight."
We see that the Christians came together to worship on Sunday. This day was set apart by the Apostles.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2- "Now concerning the collections that are made for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so do ye also. On the first day of the week let every one of you put apart with himself, laying up what it shall well please him; that when I come, the collections be not then to be made."
This next verse is particularly important.
Colossians 2:16-17- "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
Here we see St. Paul specifically teaching that the festival and ceremonial laws (including the observance of the Sabbath!) pertained to the Old Testament period and are no longer binding after the coming of Christ. How clear does it have to be?
GOD GAVE THE CHURCH THE AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER THE SABBATH TO SUNDAY IN HONOR OF HIS RESURRECTION
Matthew 16:18-19- "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 18:17-18- "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
That's why the early Christians met on Sunday (the Lord's Day) to celebrate the Eucharist. That's why the most ancient fathers, such as St. Ignatius of Antioch writing about 110 A.D., recognized that Sunday was the day, not Saturday.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, no. 9, 110 A.D.: "If then they who walked in ancient customs came to a new hope, no longer living for the Sabbath, but for the Lord's Day, on which also our life sprang up through him and His death – though some deny Him – and by this mystery we received faith, and for this reason also we suffer…"
This is a clear proof that Seventh-Day Adventists and Seventh-Day Baptists are following a man-made perversion of Scripture which was foreign not only to the Apostles but to the most ancient Christians. Many other fathers could be quoted.
THERE'S MORE: GOD'S DAY OF REST IS CONNECTED WITH HIS CREATION;
HE RESTS AFTER HIS WORK OF CREATION IS FINISHED
THE RESURRECTION SIGNIFIES THE COMPLETION OF THE NEW CREATION,
AND THUS IT MARKS HIS NEW DAY OF REST
Genesis 2:1-2- "So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the furniture of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done."
We read that God's rest is connected with His completion of work. God finished His work, and then He rested on the seventh day. But the entire creation was ruptured by the sin of Adam. That's why Romans 8 teaches that all of creation was waiting in expectation for the Redemption of Christ. His Redemption would repair the creation that had been ruptured.
Romans 8:22-23- "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
Christ's Redemption is, therefore, a new creation. That's why we read:
2 Corinthians 5:17- "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Hebrews 9:11-12- "But Christ, being come an high priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hand, that is, not of this creation: Neither by the blood of goats, or of calves, but by his own blood, entered once into the holies, having obtained eternal redemption."
Christ's new work of creation – of repairing the creation that had been ruptured by Adam – was accomplished on the Cross and it culminated with His Resurrection. That's why we find the interesting subtle identification of Jesus with the gardener. When Mary Magdalene saw the risen Lord on the day of His Resurrection, she mistook Him for the gardener. This true event was also meant to indicate that Jesus was in the new garden – the restored Garden of Eden (paradise) which had been previously forfeited by the sin of Adam.
John 20:15- "Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away."
Genesis 2:8- "And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."
Jesus' Redemption and Resurrection restored paradise and repaired the garden that had been corrupted; for He is the new and greater Adam.
1 Corinthians 15:45- "And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Christ] was made a quickening spirit."
Romans 5:14- "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure [type] of him that was to come [Jesus]."
Romans 5:19- "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."
Thus, it makes perfect sense that the Lord's Day (Sunday, the day of His Resurrection) – which marked the end of His new work of creation – would become the new day of rest.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that the wicked will be punished in the lake of fire, before ultimately being destroyed. Their reading of biblical texts that are used in support of the traditional doctrine of hell is that these texts can be harmonized with this particular annihilationist understanding of hell. The Seventh-day Adventist view is that these biblical texts refer to the destructive forces that are employed and the results of this punishment as being eternal, and not that the wicked specifically experience conscious torment throughout eternity.
Cecil Perry, president of the Seventh-day Adventists in England, issued a warning that Hell should not be preached. He was responding to a report issued in April 2000 by the Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom that describes Hell as a physical place that is occupied by unrepentant sinners. Perry took issue with that, saying, "The message of hell is in stark contrast to the message of hope and love and tends to engender fear" ("British Seventh-day Adventists Warn Against 'Stoking' Hell Fires," Religious News Service, April 2000).
Ellen G. White too rejected the eternal hell and immortal soul concept as can be seen in her book.
Ellen White, The Great Controversy: "How repugnant to every emotion of love and mercy, and even to our sense of justice, is the doctrine that the wicked dead are tormented with fire and brimstone in an eternally burning hell. . . . And how utterly revolting is the belief that as soon as the breath leaves the body the soul of the impenitent is consigned to the flames of hell! ... the doctrine of natural immortality first borrowed from pagan philosophy, and in the darkness of the great apostasy incorporated into the Christian faith, has supplanted the truth. . . . The theory of eternal torment is one of the false doctrines that constitute the wine of the abomination of Babylon. . . . But those who have not, through repentance and faith, secured pardon, must receive the penalty of transgression ... covered with infamy, they sink into hopeless, eternal oblivion. . . . There will then be no lost souls to blaspheme God as they writhe in never- ending torment; no wretched beings in hell will mingle their shrieks with the songs of the saved" (The Great Controversy, pp. 469, 470, 477, 478, 483)."
Regardless of whether it rubs uncomfortably against human reason, the Bible teaches that the unsaved must endure eternal conscious torment. Proof for this is found in Matthew 25:46, in which eternal life is compared to eternal punishment in duration and state. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous unto life eternal."
One of the great dangers of this century, and thus one of the great triumphs of Satan, has been the growing disbelief in the existence of Hell. For many, Hell has become a fable, a myth, an outdated holdover from "the Old Testament God of fire, brimstone and judgment." Urged on by false doctrines and a want to believe that there can be no such thing as eternal punishment for serious wrongs "when Jesus is a God of love and kindness," many have thrown Hell out the window – along with concern for sin. After all, if there is no Hell, then why need there be concern for sin? Unfortunately, they forget that "I am the Lord and I change not" (Malachi 3:6). Hell has not suddenly evaporated because we would prefer it so. How subtle Satan is in these times. He increasingly tricks people into his web by disguising its very existence. He wants you to let your guard down. Please do not be deceived. Hell, eternal punishment for serious sins, exists. Scripture, the Church and reports of modern-day visionaries all confirm that Hell is a reality – never-ending reality for those souls who must reside there with Satan and all the other damned forever, because by their own free will and choice they rejected God while on earth and excluded themselves from communion with Him.
There are over thirty repeated references to the existence of Hell in the Old Testament alone. For instance: "The sorrows of death have compassed me: and the perils of hell have found me" (Psalms [D-R] 114:3). "For the Lord Almighty will take revenge on them. In the day of judgment he will visit them: for he will give fire and worms into their flesh, that they may burn, and may feel for ever" (Judith 16:20 -21). "Depart from me, come not near me, because thou art unclean: these shall be smoke in my anger, a fire burning all the day" (Isaias 65:5). "A fire is kindled in my wrath, and shall burn even to the lowest hell...I will heap evils upon the transgressors of my law, and will spend my arrows among them" (Deut.32:22-23). "The congregation of sinners is like tow heaped together, and the end of them is a flame of fire" (Ecclesiasticus 21:10). "He shall be punished for all he did, and yet shall not be consumed:...he shall burn, and every sorrow shall fall upon him...All darkness is hid in his secret places: a fire that is not kindled shall devour him" (Job 20:18,22,26).
In the Gospels, Jesus speaks of Hell more than of Heaven. In St. Matthew's Gospel, Jesus says "But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment....And whosoever shall say, you fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (St. Matt. 5:22). "The Son of Man shall send his angels and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth" (St. Matt. 13:41-42). In St. Mark's Gospel, Jesus warns: "And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire..." (St. Mark 9:42).
A description of the last judgment in the Book of Apocalypse clearly makes the point: "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave up their dead that were in them; and they were judged every one according to their works. And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire" (Apoc. 20:12-15).
Jesus describes in St. Matthew's Gospel the last judgment as His separation of the sheep (those who loved God and neighbor) from the goats (those who did not). To the goats, Jesus says His indictment will be: "Depart from Me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ...And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life" (St. Matt. 25:41,46). Jesus Christ could not have been more clear that each of us, by our choices and conduct, risks eternal punishment after death – Hell.
In Chapter 16 of the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus tells a parable on Hell. A rich man who has died and is in Hell pleads with God to send the poor man Lazarus, who has gone to Heaven, back from the dead to warn his five brothers that Hell really exists. God replies: "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." However, God is so merciful that He has reportedly allowed certain of the damned in Hell to return to earth to witness to others that there truly is a place of eternal suffering – Hell – for those who disobey God and His commandments.
To deny the eternity of Hell is simply said to deny the Bible.
There is at least one main reason why Hell must be eternal. That the pains of Hell are eternal is, of course, part of the faith. Jesus makes that quite clear in numerous places (Mt. 25:41; Mark 9:44). It's dogmatically reaffirmed by the Catholic Church. Even though people know that it's taught in the Bible, many are still deeply disturbed by the consideration of this mind-boggling truth. They wonder how such an unimaginable punishment could be just. In response many will bring up the idea that an offense against Infinite Majesty (God) deserves infinite punishment. However, we would like to consider this issue from another angle. The following is simply our quick take on why it makes perfect sense that the pains of Hell are eternal.
A primary reason that Hell must be eternal is that the only condition that matters to man is the present condition. But the real reason why Hell is eternal is because at death the will will be fixed for eternity. And this truth was expressly revealed to a pious woman by a lost soul. "It is because our wills" the lost soul said "were fixed for eternity at the moment of death. We had made our final choice. Our obstinacy will never leave us" (Cry of a Lost Soul). Thus, the damned will never repent and will never cease to hate God and will never seek forgiveness for their sins even if it were granted to them: "because he [the soul] was rejected by Him [God], such a person cannot but hate Him with all the strength of his wicked will. We died with willful resolve to be separated from God. Do you now understand why hell lasts forever!" (Cry of a Lost Soul). This is the real reason why Hell must be eternal.
However, regarding the argument that the only condition that matters to man is the present condition. For instance, suppose you live in a frigid area of the world. Suppose that you had heat for the past ten years, but this year catastrophe has struck your area and left you without any heat in the depths of winter. You are freezing, shivering, etc. Will the fact that you had heat for the last ten years make you happy while you are freezing this winter? No. It won't help you at all. All that matters is that you don't have heat this winter. It's true to say that all that matters to you is your present condition.
Likewise, suppose that you did not have heat for the past ten years, but finally got it this year. Will the fact that you did not have heat last year, and the year before, etc. make you unhappy while you sit comfortably and warmly now? No. All that matters is that you are warm and comfortable now. All that matters is your present condition.
The same truth applies to everything, including to the passing pleasures desired by worldly people. (It must be pointed out that none of these passing pleasures can bring true happiness, for man was created for God and can only be fulfilled in Him. But the point holds true for these matters as well.) For instance, those who glory in their present state of great fame or great wealth or great success or great beauty are not troubled by the fact that they did not possess this ten or twenty years ago. All that matters to them is that they are famous or successful or wealthy, etc. now. All that matters to man is the present condition.
Therefore, if the pains of Hell did end at some point, then at that very point the condition of the person would be free of punishment. He would suffer no pain at all. Since all that matters to man is the present condition, the end result would be that man would not be punished at all.
Thus, when it is considered deeply, it is true to say that a punishment that is not eternal is, in the end, actually no real punishment at all. For if it ends at any point, then the final condition of man (which is all that will matter to him) is one without punishment.
Objection: What about the punishments in Purgatory? They end at some point, but they are true punishments.
Response: The answer to this is that the Purgatorial punishments can end in no punishment (but happiness) because they are actually equivalent to loving discipline meant for our greater good. They are purifying punishments meant for God's friends. They are meant to make a person worthy of a greater happiness and reward, not to make him experience a real and lasting condition of unhappiness. Thus, they are not punishments of the same category as vindictive punishments which God inflicts on those who die in mortal sin.
But those who die in a state of mortal offense against God's dignity must be punished in a real and vindictive way. The punishment inflicted on those who die in mortal sin is meant to pour out God's wrath on His enemies. It's meant to inflict a true and lasting condition of unhappiness on those who have mortally offended His dignity.
Deuteronomy 32:35- "Revenge is mine, and I will repay them in due time, that their foot may slide: the day of destruction is at hand, and the time makes haste to come."
Such a punishment can only be real if the end result equals punishment, not a state of no punishment. The only way that the vindictive punishment can have an end result which equals punishment, rather than no punishment, is by an ongoing present condition of unhappiness. That's why Hell must be eternal.
As is clear from some of the beliefs listed above, Adventist theology is unbiblical and intensely anti-Catholic. Many Catholics who do not frequently come in contact with Adventists or their literature do not realize just how hostile they can be toward the Church.
Trying to give others the benefit of the doubt, Catholics may suppose that anti-Catholicism is part of Adventism's radical fringe. Unfortunately, this is untrue. Adventists who are moderate on Catholicism are a minority. Anti-Catholicism characterizes the denomination because it is embraced in White's heretical writings. A few illustrations help indicate the scope of the problem:
"Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots . . . is further declared to be 'that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.' Revelation 17:4–6, 18. The power that for so many centuries maintained despotic sway over the monarchs of Christendom is Rome. The purple and scarlet color, the gold and precious stones and pearls, vividly picture the magnificence and more than kingly pomp affected by the haughty see of Rome" (The Great Controversy, 338).
"It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the pope is the visible head of the universal Church of Christ . . . and has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men. The same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him [Satan] through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage" (ibid., 48).
"Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false Sabbath. . . . And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And has she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. . . . Rome is aiming to reestablish her power, to recover her lost supremacy" (ibid., 507–8).
"God's word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures, in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution" ( ibid., 508–9).
Unfortunately, most Adventists believe this. Bear in mind that these quotes are not taken from an obscure work of White's that nobody ever reads. They are from what is probably her single most popular volume, The Great Controversy.
Protestants throughout the centuries, including Ellen G. White, have accused the Catholic Church of being the Whore of Babylon. But the Protestants are wrong, of course, because the Catholic Church is the immaculate Bride of Christ, the one true Church He founded. What the Whore of Babylon describes, however, is a counterfeit Bride – a Counter-Catholic Church – which arises in the last days in order to deceive Catholics (the true faithful), tread upon the faith and commit spiritual fornication.
This article gives the stunning evidence that the Vatican II sect, a counterfeit Church which opposes the true Catholic Church in the last days, is the Whore of Babylon prophesied in Apocalypse chapters 17 and 18.
In the Gospel, Jesus Christ not only informs us that in the last days the true faith would hardly be found on the Earth, but that "in the holy place" itself there will be "the abomination of desolation" (Mt. 24:15), and a deception so profound that, if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived (Mt. 24:24). St. Paul says that the man of sin will sit "in the temple of God" (2 Thess. 2:4). The Apocalypse describes in detail the Whore of Babylon, a false bride (i.e. a Counter Church) which arises in the last days in the city of seven hills (Rome) and which spreads spiritual fornication all over the Earth. The fact that the last days are characterized by a spiritual deception intending to ensnare Catholics proves, rather than disproves, the authenticity of the Catholic Church.
This article gives the stunning evidence that the Vatican II sect, a counterfeit Church which opposes the true Catholic Church in the last days, is the Whore of Babylon prophesied in Apocalypse chapters 17 and 18)
Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is prophetic. Composed over 100 years ago, and then suppressed, Pope Leo XIII's original Prayer to St. Michael is a very interesting and controversial prayer relating to the present situation in which the true Catholic Church finds itself.
Matthew 24:15- "When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand."
Matthew 24:24-25- "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold I have told it to you, beforehand."
Protestants throughout the centuries, including Ellen G. White, has criticized the biblical teaching of papal infallibility.
It is a fact of history, scripture and tradition that Our Lord Jesus Christ founded His universal Church (the Catholic Church) upon St. Peter.
Matthew 16:18-19- "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
Our Lord made St. Peter the first Pope, entrusted to him His entire flock, and gave him supreme authority in the universal Church of Christ.
John 21:15-17- "Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him a third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep."
And with the supreme authority that Our Lord Jesus Christ conferred upon St. Peter (and his successors, the popes) comes what is called Papal Infallibility. Papal Infallibility is inseparable from Papal Supremacy – there was no point for Christ to make St. Peter the head of His Church (as Christ clearly did) if St. Peter or his successors, the popes, could err when exercising that supreme authority to teach on a point of Faith. The supreme authority must be unfailing on binding matters of Faith and morals or else it is no true authority from Christ at all.
Papal Infallibility does not mean that a pope cannot err at all and it does not mean that a pope cannot lose his soul and be damned in Hell for grave sin. It means that the successors of St. Peter (the popes of the Catholic Church) cannot err when authoritatively teaching on a point of Faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ. We find the promise of the unfailing faith for St. Peter and his successors referred to by Christ in Luke 22.
Luke 22:31-32- "And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have all of you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren."
Satan desired to sift all the Apostles (plural) like wheat, but Jesus prayed for Simon Peter (singular), that his faith fail not. Jesus is saying that St. Peter and his successors (the popes of the Catholic Church) have an unfailing faith when authoritatively teaching a point of faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ.
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, ex cathedra: "SO, THIS GIFT OF TRUTH AND A NEVER FAILING FAITH WAS DIVINELY CONFERRED UPON PETER AND HIS SUCCESSORS IN THIS CHAIR…"
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, ex cathedra: "… the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: 'I have prayed for thee [Peter], that thy faith fail not...'"
And this truth has been held since the earliest times in the Catholic Church.
Pope St. Gelasius I, epistle 42, or Decretal de recipiendis et non recipiendis libris, 495: "Accordingly, the see of Peter the Apostle of the Church of Rome is first, having neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor anything of this kind (Eph. 5:27)."
The word "infallible" actually means "cannot fail" or "unfailing." Therefore, the very term Papal Infallibility comes directly from Christ's promise to St. Peter (and his successors) in Luke 22, that Peter has an unfailing Faith. Though this truth was believed since the beginning of the Church, it was specifically defined as a dogma at the First Vatican Council in 1870.
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, Session 4, Chap. 4: the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra [from the Chair of Peter], that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority he explains a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church... operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His Church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable."
But how does one know when a pope is exercising his unfailing Faith to infallibly teach from the Chair of St. Peter? The answer is that we know from the language that the pope uses or the manner in which the pope teaches. Vatican I defined two requirements which must be fulfilled: 1) when the pope is carrying out his duty as pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority; 2) when he explains a doctrine on faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ. A pope can fulfill both of these requirements in just one line, by anathematizing a false opinion (such as many dogmatic councils) or by saying "By our apostolic authority we declare…" or by saying "We believe, profess, and teach" or by using words of similar importance and meaning, which indicate that the pope is teaching the whole Church on Faith in a definitive and binding fashion.
So, when a pope teaches from the Chair of Peter in the manner stipulated above he cannot be wrong. If he could be wrong, then the Church of Christ could be officially led into error, and Christ's promise to St. Peter and His Church would fail (which is impossible). That which is taught from the Chair of Peter by the popes of the Catholic Church is the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself. To reject that which is taught by the popes from the Chair of Peter is simply to despise Jesus Christ Himself.
Luke 10:16- "He that heareth you, heareth me: and he that despiseth you despiseth me…"
Matthew 18:17 -"And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican."
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 1896: "…Christ instituted a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium… If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man."