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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

Other Doctrines; the Jehovah's Witnesses

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#90 & #91: "Many of the doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists are similar. This is because they had common roots. The founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell, even co-authored a book called The Three Worlds with N. H. Barbour, an early Adventist."—Leslie Martin.

#90: Many doctrines are similar. Find a Jehovah's Witness who knows what Adventists believe, and see if he agrees that "many" of their doctrines are similar. You'll be hard pressed.

The use of the word "many" is a gross exaggeration. It's like saying that "many" of the beliefs of a particular church are similar to those of Jehovah's Witnesses simply because both believe that we will spend the millennium on earth. Out of Christian courtesy, such exaggerations should be avoided.

Some groups do not believe that the New Jerusalem is a literal city with walls and gates, just like the Jehovah's Witnesses. Likewise many groups believe that the six days of creation were not literal days, just like the Jehovah's Witnesses. Do these similarities justify the statement that "many" of their doctrines are similar?

For the reader's information, Adventists disagree with Jehovah's Witnesses on each of the above three doctrinal points: the millennium, the nature of the New Jerusalem, and the days of creation. They do agree with them regarding baptism by immersion, as do the Baptists and other groups.

Jehovah's Witnesses use Sunday as their major meeting day, just like most other churches. Does this make "many" of their doctrines similar?

Their theology has changed over the years, as has the theology of many Protestant denominations. Adventism used to be more in agreement with all of them, but their theology has changed.

#91: N. H. Barbour was an early Adventist. What does Mrs. Martin mean by early Adventist? Does she mean a Millerite? A first-day Adventist? A Seventh-day Adventist? She later calls Uriah Smith an "early Adventist" as well. Smith was a Millerite for a few months at the age of twelve after being baptized in the early summer of 1844. After October 22 he lost interest in religion, but later became a Sabbath-keeping Adventist in 1852. It would therefore appear that Mrs. Martin is calling Barbour an early Seventh-day Adventist. However, there is no evidence whatsoever that Barbour was ever a Seventh-day Adventist.

Barbour was a part of a group that was predicting that Christ would return in 1874. When Christ did not come as expected, Barbour decided that He really had come, only invisibly. He convinced Russell of this unscriptural doctrine in 1876 (Charles Taze Russell in The Finished Mystery, p. 54).

If Barbour had accepted the Sabbath, the sanctuary message, and the investigative judgment doctrine as taught by Seventh-day Adventists, he would not have predicted Christ's return in 1874. He also would not have given up his faith in the literal return of Christ. Hence, he would not have led Russell astray by [p. 66] convincing him that Christ had come after all in 1874. The truth of the matter is, if Barbour had become a Seventh-day Adventist, Russell would never have started the Jehovah's Witnesses!

While "Point 46" in the documentation package proves that Barbour co-authored a book with Russell, it says nothing about him being an early Adventist (see also #98).

A Response to the Video

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