Are Seventh-day Adventists the Remnant Church?

Speaker: Categories: May 13, 1995


[56min, 35sec / 29min, 52sec]


For those readers who have been a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for many years, the association of the term "remnant" and "SDA" has been a very natural experience. In fact, among SDAs one could refer to "remnant" and listeners/readers would automatically understand this to be a literary synonym for Seventh-day Adventists.

Some years ago in preparing for a Sabbath School class discussion, this writer chose to do a word search in a comprehensive Bible concordance on the word "remnant." To his amazement he discovered that the term is never used to refer to any kind of organized body (i.e., a church or denomination) but always used to refer to some fragment, some piece, usually without any structure or organization whatsoever. Could then the biblical reference to "remnant" be applied to a church organization? If not, what rationale could the church provide for making such an association?

Dr. Gladson notes, "Seventh-day Adventists have long identified themselves as the "remnant" referred to in Revelation 12:17 (KJV). They have further associated themselves with the messages of the three angels in Revelation 14:6-12 and have claimed to be the extraordinary movement divinely designated to reform Christianity and prepare people for the second coming of Jesus. Out of these notions," he continues, "has grown the claim popularized in Adventist evangelism that Adventism is the true church. This [Forum] presentation [on May 13] examines these claims and re-evaluates them in the light of contemporary biblical scholarship."

How's that for straight forward and to the point? Sound challenging, maybe even disturbing? Are you interested in the conclusions reached, at least tentatively, by contemporary biblical scholarship? What if the position so long held by this movement of destiny is shown to be less than sound?


Jerry Gladson identifies himself as an "Adventist in Exile." He currently serves as the Senior Minister, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in Garden Grove, California. Previous to this pastoral position he was Vice-President and Dean of Academic Affairs at the Psychological Studies Institute, Atlanta, Georgia. For fifteen years he taught at Southern College, Collegedale, Tennessee. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Old Testament Studies from Vanderbilt University. His wife, Karyn Shadbolt, is Director of Pastoral Care, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Jerry shared some of his Adventist in Exile experience with the San Diego Forum Chapter last August. We look forward to hearing from him again on May 13.

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