Testimony of Virginia S.
Dear Pastor Mark,
After we visited your church and talked with you I decided to revise and type what I had previously written about my experience of coming out of the SDA church. At this time I have not looked for what my husband had written before his death but will do so at another time. Thank you for the tape and letter. We want to order your series on Revelation when you are finished. We did enjoy your church service and sermon and look forward to visiting again next time we are in Phoenix. It appears that the Lord's Spirit is moving in your church in a very special way.
The church in which I grew up taught me about God and Jesus, but I never understood that Jesus died on the cross to fully pay for my sins. When I was 16 I learned about the Seventh-day Adventist church and was told that Christ died for our sins in order for us to one day live a perfect life so we could go to heaven. I accepted Christ and was baptized into the SDA Church, having been taught that it was Christ's one true church for the last days. I was taught that once Jesus stepped into the most holy place to finish His work I would have to be able to live a perfect life because he would no longer be mediator between God and His people. Jesus made salvation possible as long as we achieved perfection in the last days before His second coming.
I had no assurance of salvation because at that time the Grace of Christ was not taught at all. If there was any unconfessed sin, even if forgotten, I could not be saved. His blood only made it possible for me to remember those sins, confess them and eventually live with out sin.
About 12 years ago my husband and I heard some sermons by Desmond Ford and Robert Brinsmead that started us studying about Christ and the perfect life He lived for us and that our salvation was complete in Him. We started studying Romans and Hebrews finding that the old covenant had really been done away with at the cross, that Christ forgives and forgets our sins when we accept Him. He doesn't forgive them only to bring them against us if we are not living that perfect life during an "investigative judgment". Once forgiven they are cast as far as the east is from the west. (Praise the Lord!) My sins were nailed on the cross and my salvation depends on my acceptance and relationship with Him and not on a set of rules. Through Christ's blood and righteousness I am forgiven and saved.
Once we joyfully found out about salvation, we questioned the other doctrines of the SDA Church, especially Ellen White. I had thoroughly believed she was God's prophet for the latter days and have read almost all her books, including all of the "Testimonies". One by one we saw the flaws in that belief, found untruths, duplicity and cover-ups. My husband had many letters go back and forth with denominational hierarchy and SDA ministers as well as verbal discussions. Not one person or minister gave him the proof he was seeking. Our adult children also studied and came to the same conclusion that we did. We all ended up studying ourselves right out of the SDA Church!
Many people in the Adventist church don't really know exactly what the church teaches in many areas because they don't delve into the heart of Adventist beliefs to see that there have been things deleted from some of Mrs. White's writings. They also seem to take whatever is preached to them as fact whether or not it agrees with the Bible. There is nothing to be added to the New Testament. Jesus was the fulfillment and His shed blood saves us.
Four years ago my husband died of a brain tumor and even after he could no longer understand what he read, he would sit with the open Bible in his lap. He had complete assurance of salvation and loved the Lord with his whole heart. He fervently wished that he could somehow make his mother, a devout SDA, understand Christ's Gospel message from the Bible. Unfortunately, she believes that her son has been lost forever because he left the one "true church". His ethics would not permit him to stay in a church that taught such blasphemy and confusion, nor would mine. It was especially difficult because he was in the healthcare field of the church and could not conscientiously continue in their employ as he was in an administrative position.
Since my husband's death the Lord brought a wonderful Christian man into my life and we were married earlier this year. I really praise the Lord for His goodness in bringing me out of error and into the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God bless you.