Seventh-Day Adventists/Israel & the SDA Church
Does the SDA church teach that they are the new Israel? Do they believe that the prophecies given about Israel now apply exclusively to them? Was this a talked about teaching when you were an SDA?
Thank you so much for your questions.
Does the SDA church teach that they are the new Israel?
I would say yes.
“In the book, The Great Controversy
, pages 20 and 21, Mrs. White says, “When Christ should hang upon the cross of Calvary, Israel’s day as a nation favored and blessed of God would be ended.”
In the book, Early Writings
, page 213 (1916 edition), Mrs. White says, “I saw that God had forsaken the Jews as a nation; …the prophecy concerning them has been fulfilled.”
In the book, Prophets and Kings
, page 74 (1917 edition), Ellen White says, “Wherein they [Israel of old] were weak, even to the point of failure, the Israel of God today [that is, the Seventh-day Adventists] the representatives of heaven that make up the true church of Christ, must be strong; for upon them devolves the task of finishing the work that has been committed to man, and of ushering in the final day of rewards.”
Following is a description used to advertise a sermon that Doug Bachelor (SDA preacher and spokesperson for Amazing Facts
), preached regarding the 144,000. I am sharing it simply to reveal their mindset. Everything revolves around the Sabbath:
“The Bible speaks of God sealing 144,000 at the end of time. Who are these people? They are sealed by God. The Lord's seal is the Sabbath as found in the fourth commandment. In the last days Satan will seek to deceive people and turn them away from God by offering a false Sabbath. It appears this group is a representative group, but salvation is not limited to this number.”
My observation: Revelation 7:4 reads….
Revelation 7:4 (KJV)
4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel
They have interpreted the seal spoken of in the above text as meaning the Sabbath. According to them, in the last days, the Sabbath will be the dividing line between believers and unbelievers. Also they believe the 144,000 to be spiritual Israel and not literal Jews. They, of course, believe themselves to be spiritual Israel.
Do they believe that the prophecies given about Israel now apply exclusively to them?
Again, I would say yes.
In the book, Ministry of Healing
[1909 edition], page 405, Mrs. White says…
“We [or Seventh-day Adventists] are numbered with Israel. All the instructions given to Israel of old … all the promises of blessings through obedience, are for us
These are a teeny tiny fraction of her statements regarding this subject. I am trying not to be long-winded.;-)
Was this a talked about teaching when you were an SDA?
Not necessarily from the pulpit probably because of visiting family and friends. However, members are strongly encouraged to purchase Ellen White books because her writings, counsel and visions are SDA specific. She is also considered an authoritative source and as such, the weekly Sabbath School lessons and other publications are laced with EGW comments. Members are also discouraged not to read books and materials by non-SDA authors.
As an authoritative source [like the Bible] she is not questioned. Believing and/or accepting her writings have to be agreed to before one can be baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church. Her writings are affectionately referred to as the Spirit of Prophecy.
Following is the vow pertaining to the Spirit of Prophecy:
Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs, Number 20
. "The church is to come behind in no gift, and the presence of the gift of the Spirit of prophecy is to be one of the identifying marks of the remnant church
. (I Cor. 1:5-7; 12:1-28; Amos 3:7; Hosea 12:10, 13; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.) Seventh-day Adventists recognize that this gift was manifested in the life and ministry of Ellen G. White."
As you can see the candidate is taught that Ellen G. White had the "Spirit of Prophecy." But when the candidate is quizzed before the church they use the "Vows" which does not mention EGW in the "Baptismal Vow and Baptism number 8".
Vow number 8.
"Do you accept the Biblical teaching of spiritual gifts, and do you believe that the gift of prophecy in the remnant church is one of the identifying marks of that church?" (See pp. 39, 40, 293.)
To the candidate, the remnant church is the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the gift of prophecy is given to Ellen G. White their prophetess. So if you did not hear Ellen G. White mentioned in your vows, this is the reason, you had already agreed to it in your indoctrination. And when the church hears the vows it is assumed by all that you have accepted Ellen White. If any non-Adventist visitors are present they will not think anything cultic has transpired, which they would if the pastor asked, "do you accept Ellen G. White as having the "Spirit of Prophecy"? They would ask, "Who is Ellen G. White," that you are accepting before you can be baptized into Christ?
Here is a link to all the vows: Baptismal Vows: http://truthorfables.com/Baptized_into_EGW.htm
To my knowledge, nothing has been officially published by the church to deny these beliefs so they still hold as true. There are “Progressive” Adventists and other splinter groups who don’t believe in Ellen White and some of the church’s foundational beliefs. However, I base my answers on the officially published beliefs of the church that was organized in 1863.
I hope this answer has been helpful. May God bless you always.
By the way, when I read your subject title I smiled because I have just completed a book entitled, When A Jew Rules: What the Bible Really Says About Israel in the Plan of God
by Joel Richardson. It is absolutely awesome. I learned so much. I purchased the Kindle version from Amazon.