David M. Curtis – Why I left the SDA Church

My Journey Out of Adventism

By: David M. Curtis

Director/Speaker of The Loud Cry Ministry

April 21, 2011

Once they discontinued Postum, I lost all my motivation to be a Seventh-day Adventist. LOL, I am just kidding! lighten up! :) Please enjoy my story!

 

Paul presented to me a choice in scripture; to be a son of Hagar, which is the covenant made at Mt. Sinai, or a child of Abraham’s true wife Sarah, which is the Covenant of Mercy made at Mt. Calvary. Galatians 4:21-31. I chose to be a child of Abraham through the gospel. The two wives represent trying to make God’s promises happen by our own effort verses receiving the promise by faith in the promise itself through grace alone.  Therefore the two sons Isaac and Ishmael are truly a perfect example of what it is like after the cross to try to live under the old covenant made at Mt. Sinai. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3: 29.

Where I was 18 months ago

18 months ago I was a convinced die-hard Seventh-day Adventist of 18 years. At that time, it was Thanksgiving 2009, and I was working for Harvestime Books, as Vance Ferrell’s right hand man. I could see how he was getting up in years, and so I asked him, what would happen to me, once he was no longer alive and running the company. After all my job was helping him, and once he was not here, what role would I have with the company? That Thanksgiving morning, he told me he had thoughts of leaving me in charge as General Manager over the entire company once he was gone. Basically he told me I would be taking over his job! This did not mean I would own the company. It would belong to  his family, on the board of directors, however Vance had notions of leaving me in charge of making the final decisions for the company after he passed away.

6 months later, May 22, 2010 started out just as any other Sabbath. On that day I loved being an Adventist. I loved the Adventist message, and I loved the writings of Ellen White. I was working for a SDA book publishing company that sold Ellen White books throughout the world. Previous to that I was a radio evangelist preaching the Adventist message 5 days a week for several years on the west coast of the United States. I was also an elder, prison chaplain, personal ministries leader etc. as well as a Literature Evangelist having sold Ellen White’s books from Oregon and California, to New York, and from Kansas to Texas, all the way to the South-lands of Georgia and Tennessee. Before that I distributed free of charge over $100,000 worth of Ellen White literature. I led neighborhood campaigns going door to door giving as much of it away as I could. I loved the writings of Ellen White very much, and the Adventist message, the morning of May 22, 2010. That Sabbath morning, I was convinced everything I believed was rock solid and absolutely bullet proof, and was in no wise looking for a way out of either the teachings of Adventism, or my belief in the writings of Ellen White.

I was living in the beautiful mountains of TN, my father and other Adventist family and friends were all proud of me working for an Adventist ministry. They were especially proud when I told them Vance had intentions of leaving me in charge of Harvestime Books, under the direction of the board of directors, after he died.

As I started my day on May 22, 2010, I was a person who was strongly against what Independent Seventh-day Adventist ministries called, “New Theology” advocated by Desmond Ford since Glacier View, CA in 1979. I remember one Sabbath school ten years earlier when someone spoke favorably about it, and I could not remain silent, and spoke up rather boldly about my views of this “New Theology” being heresy against Adventism. Well May 22, 2010, I came across a video of Desmond Ford, from 1982 on YouTube.com. I decided to watch it, and as I did, I was as skeptical as ever.

February 2000, I began The Loud Cry Ministry as a radio broadcast in Springfield, Oregon on KORE Radio 1050 AM, and Z 660 AM. I was on the air for 3 years, until February 2003 preaching with all my heart, the full Seventh-day Adventist message 5 days a week. I preached on a third radio station in Northern California, in 2005/2006.

HEBREWS 9:12

One thing got through to me despite my thoroughly convinced, die-hard, iron-clad, skepticism against what Desmond Ford taught. It was when he read Hebrews 9:12. Even then I could not accept that what he had been sharing was true, but I could not shake loose the conviction that struck a chord in my heart as he read the verse. That evening I studied Hebrews 9 for the next four straight hours. I copied the entire chapter into InDesign, and began color coordinating everything about it into the different things the chapter discussed. Blue for the Sanctuary, Yellow for the work of the Priest, and so on. That night in shock and disbelief, I was faced with the hard evidence of scripture that Hebrews 9:12 was in fact speaking of the second compartment of the Sanctuary, and the Day of Atonement. I could find no way around it. Desmond Ford was right!

Hebrews 9:12

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered (past tense) in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained (past tense) eternal redemption for us.

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Hebrews 9:12 does NOT say “by his own blood he will enter” or that He will obtain eternal redemption for us.” The Anti-typical work of the Day of Atonement is a finished work, which Christ performed at His ascension. I examined in careful detail the Greek text. “Once” really meant exactly that, ONE TIME; ONCE FOR ALL TIME! Hebrews 9:12 leaves no room for Christ to enter the Most Holy Place in Heaven a second time in 1844!

Next, I thought surely Vance Ferrell the great author and defender of the faith would have an answer to this. I was too afraid to ask him personally since if I mentioned doubts about the core teaching of Adventism, it could jeopardize my home and my job, so instead I turned to his book, A BIBLICAL DEFENSE. I was completely amazed that as detailed an explanation which he gives in his book for everything imaginable, that his only comments about Hebrews 9:12 was this was the First Compartment. Period! No explanation, no reason is given, just a statement and he moved on. Hebrews 9:12 is at the heart of why many reject the Investigative Judgment, so if there was ever a scripture that needed a solid defense, it was Hebrews 9:12. But there was no Biblical defense for Hebrews 9:12 in A BIBLICAL DEFENSE.

The context of the chapter is the work of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. Four times in Hebrews 9 the emphasis is ONCE! It is even continued in chapter 10. Which concretely demonstrates the Day of Atonement is the context of the entire chapter. The preceding verse introduces the context of Jesus our High Priest and affirms what he did in verse 12 as happening ONCE, just like the high priest who entered the Most Holy Place ONCE a year, as explained earlier in the chapter. I simply could not remain an honest Christian and deny Hebrews 9:12 belonged to the Most Holy Place, and that the Anti-typical work of the Day of Atonement was already done, at Christ’s ascension, which left no room for 1844!

So my journey which led me to where I am today, all started with Hebrews 9:12. The things I discovered in that verse were things I was compelled to accept in all intent purposes against my own desires to not change my beliefs. My conscience would not allow me to continue believing the Day of Atonement began in 1844, since when Christ entered the Most Holy Place at His Ascension he did so ONCE, and it was now a finished work which could not be repeated a second time.

That’s me at the desk in 2001, leading this small class in the Pastor’s office at the Cottage Grove, OR Seventh-day Adventist church. Across from me is Dr. Richard Hansen M. D. and his wife Kay. Dr. Hansen is an internationally renowned doctor. He made the health messages that were aired during my 5 day a week radio broadcast, called “The Loud Cry Radio Broadcast!” On March 20, 1993, 7 days after my baptism, and just 13 days after my 19th birthday, Pastor Gene Woodard asked me to teach an in home bible study group of 6 adults. I was the youngest of the group! From that experience, I learned that the best teachers must first be the best students. Teaching the Bible has been my greatest passion ever since! During the past decade I have served as Sabbath School Teacher, Personal Ministries Leader, Elder, Prison Chaplain, Youth Leader, etc. within the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Hebrews 5:6

“Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Note: The Levitcal Priesthood offered sacrifices continually, year by year. Melchizedek received tithe from Abraham ONCE. Hebrews 9 &10 emphasizes the work of Jesus Christ as our high priest occurred ONCE for all time, not continually. The investigative judgment theory has Christ doing His High Priestly work continually since 1844 (167 years as of 2011). Please read Hebrews 9 &10, and you will find the emphasis on ONCE is precisely the point in direct context to Jesus Christ fulfilling the anti-typical Day of Atonement in heaven as our High Priest; which earlier we are told is after the order of Melchizedek. Our King and High Priest offered His own blood before the Father and made atonement for our sins once, there is no need to do this a second time 1800 years later, nor is there any need for Him to do so continually since 1844 until today.  Once He did so He SAT DOWN at the right hand of God. Why? Because the Father has already accepted Christ’s blood to make atonement for sin.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Romans 5:10-11

TAKE A LONG HARD LOOK AT VERSES 11-12 AND COMPARE IT WITH 25-26, AND VERSE 7. THERE IS NO MISTAKE, THE HOLY PLACE IN VERSE 12 IS THE MOST HOLY, ON THE ANTI-TYPICAL DAY OF ATONEMENT. THE CONTEXT BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER SHOWS THE CONTINUITY OF THIS FACT THROUGH OUT THIS CHAPTER.

Read Jesus Christ’s High Priestly Work: My Exposition of Hebrews 9:12 for much more information!

On May 22, 2010, Hebrews 9:12 opened “Pandora’s Box.” There was no turning back!

It was late after 1 AM when I finally went to bed, but before my head hit the pillow everything I thought was reality had changed. Before I went to bed that night I knew that Hebrews 9:12 meant the Investigative Judgment was a false teaching, and that by default it also meant that Ellen White’s claims to be the “testimony of Jesus” could not be true since the Investigative Judgment was one of Ellen White’s core teachings which she claimed was confirmed by visions from God.However that night as I went to bed I had no idea just how deep the rabbit hole really was.

Daniel 8:14

Next I studied Daniel 8:14, since it seemed the next logical thing to examine. I cracked open A BIBLICAL DEFENSE, which is frankly one of the best defenses of the Investigative Judgment and 1844 ever put into print. I was amazed to discover Adventism’s self-contradictory positions, and the lengths we had gone to in order to defend 1844 from Daniel 8:14 when placed in the context of the four part question of Daniel 8:13, which Daniel 8:14 answers. I NEVER would have even noticed these contradictions, had it not been for Hebrews 9:12 opening me to at the very least the possibility Adventists were wrong about Daniel 8:14. Prior to that, I had implicit trust in all things Adventist. So I NEVER would have questioned anything Adventists taught about the subject, but would have simply taken it at face value, and even would teach the same myself.

Daniel 8:14 “Unto Two Thousand Three Hundred Days”

I have a complete article which resulted from this study of A BIBLICAL DEFENSE, so I will not repeat everything I discovered here. However I will share just one point, which riveted me to my core, once I saw the reality of what Adventists believe about Daniel 8. Ellen White believed Christ left the first compartment ministry and entered the second compartment in 1844. Where this comes from is the notion of “taking away the daily,” which Adventists call the “continual.”

“To paraphrase the question more accurately, in accordance with the Hebrew: “Until what point in time shall be the vision about the continual first apartment ministry, and the desolating transgression, to give both the Sanctuary and God’s people to be trodden under foot?” – A Biblical Defense” P. 102.

Who takes away the “continual” in Daniel 8:11? It is not Christ, rather it is the Little Horn! Adventists have actually attributed the work of the Little Horn to Jesus in order to defend 1844, from Daniel 8:14. Talk about an “eye popping;” “shake you out of your comfort zone” discovery! Did any of this make me happy? Quite to the contrary! It is one of the most upsetting times of my life, to learn that my life long deeply cherished beliefs were actually anti-Christian.

In 1999-2002 I led campaigns with small groups going door to door giving away tens of thousands of dollars worth of National Sunday Law "little preachers" as Jan Marcussen called them. My team literally covered almost every town in Oregon!

In 1999-2002 I led campaigns with small groups going door to door giving away truck loads of National Sunday Law "little preachers" as Jan Marcussen called them. My team literally covered almost every town in Oregon! We also passed out truck loads of Great Controversy, Steps to Christ, and many others. We covered the Universities for nearly a year; all the cars parked at the Mall just before Christmas, and once I actually passed out approximately 500 books inside the lobby of a First-Baptist church as the people were leaving!

HOW THIS EFFECTED ME

To illustrate just how upsetting this was to me, I lost nearly 40 pounds in two months. I could barely make myself eat just once a day. Drinking just a glass of water would cause me to vomit, and before this was all over I was actually urinating blood! That is how deeply Adventism meant to my life and world-view. It was everything to me. Today, my health has totally returned, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.  However I did not leave Adventism, jumping up and down with excitement. Not at all rather it was a gut wrenching experience.

The next thing I needed to look at with even a more open mind than ever was Ellen White. Frankly I knew for years she was a plagiarist, and it never bothered me in the slightest. I would think about Matthew and Luke borrowing from Mark, and that was the end of the matter as far as I was concerned. I never gave the matter a second thought. Frankly I did not want to give it a second thought either. But now I really needed to. Like I said, the borrowing itself was not the main issue for me at first. But what I could not get around was the fact that both Ellen and James White categorically denied it ever happened. That made this into an entirely different matter. THEY LIED!

This is a picture of my Baptism at the Morro Bay, CA Seventh-day Adventist Church. My grandfather Ernest Harper built this church. I took care of him 24/7 the last 8 months of his life. He became my best friend. 50 years earlier Earnest and Vivian joined the SDA church, and right away Ernest bought a projector and slides and started going door to door giving Bible studies. Ernest was one of the best men I have met, his Bible and EGW books were marked and cross referenced by decades of research. During his last months, doubts about his salvation plagued him. Nothing would comfort him. Not prayers, or Bible readings, or visits from the pastor and friends. Nothing! So I suggested being re-baptized. Knowing he had little time left, Ernest lived in constant fear of the investigative judgment. Because Ellen had told him, that he had to have righteousness with out a flaw in order to go to heaven (Faith and Works page 89). Both my grandparents were re-baptized with me that day. Ernest died 30 days later. This picture was taken August 1998, I was originally baptized March 13, 1993, in Lodi, CA.

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ELLEN WHITE DENIES “BORROWING” FROM OTHERS

My views were written independent of books or the opinions of others. Ms 7, 1867, p. 2.

It cannot be denied that these works were not the product of any human mind; they are the voice of God speaking to His people and they will have an influence upon minds that other books do not have.–Manuscript 23, 1890.

I have not been in the habit of reading any doctrinal articles in the paper [the Review and Herald], that my mind should not have any understanding of anyone’s ideas and views, and that not a mold of any man’s theories should have any connection with that which I write.–Letter 37, 1887.

“Although I am as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words l employ in describing what I have seen are my own, unless they be those spoken to me by an angel, which I always enclose in marks of quotation” (Review and Herald, Oct. 8, 1867).

“When writing these precious books, if I hesitated, the very word I wanted to express the idea was given to me” (Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 51, 52).

“…I am glad that you are having success in selling my books…The instruction they contain is not of human production…” (EGW letter 339,1904).

“You think individuals have prejudiced my mind. If I am in this state, I am not fitted to be entrusted with the work of God.”– 3 Selected Messages, pg. 63, Letter 16, 1893

I was a Literature Evangelist from 2003-2007, and have sold Adventist literature door to door in Oregon, California, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and New York

JAMES WHITE DENIES ELLEN “BORROWED” FROM OTHERS

James White, who served as his wife’s editor most of the time until his death in 1881, also made claims and denials. In his autobiographical Life Incidents (published by Steam Press, Battle Creek Michigan, in 1880) he argued that Ellen’s writings contained “many things… which cannot be found in other books” (p. 328). Many people including A. T. Jones and countless others confronted Ellen White about her “personal testimonies” in regards to the fact that they were not direct visions from God but rather were whispered in her ear by church members. Read A. T. Jones Letter to Ellen White in 1909 on this website to see A. T. Jones call her out about these things. A letter which Ellen White NEVER responded to! Shortly after this A. T. Jones left the Seventh-day Adventist church. The following statement made in 1880 by James White demonstrates that numerous people were calling Ellen White out about this 29 years before A. T. Jones did.

“Does unbelief suggest that what she writes in her personal testimonies has been learned from others? We inquire, What time has she had to learn all these facts? and who for a moment can regard her as a Christian woman, if she gives her ear to gossip, then writes it out as a vision from God? . . . . If Mrs. W. has gathered the facts from a human mind in a single case, she has in thousands of cases, and God has not shown her these things which she has written in these personal testimonies. . . . . In her published works there are many things set forth which cannot be found in other books, and yet they are so clear and beautiful that the unprejudiced mind grasps them at once as truth.”

“If commentators and theological writers generally had seen these gems of thought which strike the mind so forcibly, and had they been brought out in print, all the ministers in the land could have read them. These men gather thoughts from books, and as Mrs. W. has written and spoken a hundred things, as truthful as they are beautiful and harmonious, which cannot be found in the writings of others, they are new to the most intelligent readers and hearers. And if they are not to be found in print, and are not brought out in sermons from the pulpit, where did Mrs. W. find them?

From what source has she received the new and rich thoughts which are to be found in her writings and oral addresses? She could not have learned them from books, from the fact that they do not contain such thoughts. And, certainly, she did not learn them from those ministers who had not thought of them. The case is a clear one. It evidently requires a hundred times the credulity to believe that Mrs. W. has learned these things of others, and has palmed them off as visions from God, that it does to believe that the Spirit of God has revealed them to her.” – 1880 James White’s Life Sketches p. 328,329.

It is well documented that Ellen White did EVERYTHING, which James White admitted would prove her to be a false prophet. I am astonished how strongly Ellen White has placed her grip over the minds of Adventists, whenever I find an Adventist who will cling to her even after learning these things. That is a blind loyalty, not faith based according to sound reason.

When I was 10 years old, I lived across the street of a bonafide cult. It was actually quite scarey! They were the talk of the town. Here is what I learned from living so close to them. Members of non-Christian cults which have nothing to do with Jesus or Christianity gain this same kind of “brain-washed blind loyalty” from their followers. They do this by influencing everything the do, right down to what they eat and wear. Once a cult leader has that kind of influence over someones life, it is almost impossible to break the hold they have over their followers. The cult leader becomes a surrogate parent to them, and that bond becomes almost unbreakable. Christian cults can exert an even greater dominating influence since they instill a fear in their followers that they will lose their salvation if they ever reject their teachings.

I could never believe Ellen White was a true prophet and at the same time know that she lied and covered up the fact that she “borrowed” from other authors. The only way I could ever be an Adventist again, is if these things could be DISPROVED. No sane person should accept anything less. Accepting her as a prophet in spite of the fact that she lied would only give credence to the fact that one is under a “strong delusion of a lie, because they loved not the truth.” Therefore her plagiarism, toppled with the fact she lied and covered up what she did ultimately played a heavy role in my decision to reject Ellen White as being the “testimony of Jesus.” My Bible says, Jesus is the truth and affirms that God cannot lie! So it is completely impossible by any account, that it was “spirit of prophecy” leading her to cover up her habit of “borrowing” from other authors.

Had she just naively neglected to give these authors credit when she used their material it would have been excusable. But lying about it and covering up the facts of what she did crosses a line which no reasonable person should simply dismiss as excusable behavior of a true prophet. One of the tests of a prophet is they must speak the truth at all times. Since even the Ellen White Estate admits many of her reported visions were copied from other authors, how could a sane person still consider them as direct revelations from God?

My other Grandfather, Ralph Curtis also built an SDA church; the Susanville, CA Seventh-day Adventist church. In 2005-2006 I served the Susanville, CA SDA church by preaching on the radio weekly, and began a youth group, starting with just one teen and had over a dozen attending regularly in less than one month. I also worked as prison chaplain, and was an elder along with my Grandfather, who was the Head Elder. I have a cousin that is an SDA Pastor in the New York Conference, and one cousin that is a M.D. at Loma Linda University Medical Center, another that is an Adventist Lawyer in Sacramento, CA. Anyways, my grandfathers church, in Susanville, the very church my dad and uncles where raised in since they were just boys, the first church which has my earliest memories back to when I was only 4 years old, is the church that held my membership, when I became convicted that I could no longer remain a Seventh-day Adventist. I formally requested my membership be removed one year ago. Most of my family and lifelong friends have refused to speak to me since. My Grandpa, Ralph Curtis died a few months before I made my convictions public.

ELLEN WHITE ESTATE ADMITS ELLEN WHITE DID BORROW FROM OTHERS

Ron Graybill, Associate Secretary, Ellen G. White Estate

At the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Nov. 15-19, 1981

“Mrs. White borrowed not only the words and phrases used by these authors, but in some cases, followed the outline of their expositions and drew from [their] facts, illustrations, thoughts, and concepts. The material borrowed by Mrs. White included historical, geographical, and chronological information, as well as devotional material, theological concepts—and scriptural and prophetic expositions. She also employed extra-Biblical comments on the lives of various Biblical characters, often turning the speculations and conjectures of her sources into statements of positive fact.”

These borrowings occurred not only in the historical sections of the Great Controversy, but also in its prophetic sections. They appear in descriptions of the content of specific visions given to Mrs. White. It would be unwise at this point to assert that there is any particular book written by Mrs. White or any type of writing from her pen in which literary borrowing will not be found.”

“Many of the beautifully expressed thoughts, that is, many of the literary gems found in Mrs. White’s writings were borrowed from other authors. This fact, together with the knowledge that her writings were polished by literary assistants, leads us to avoid the suggestion that the literary beauty of her writings is an evidence of her divine inspiration.”

(Read the Whole Report)

A Statement by Associate Secretary – Ellen G. White Estate

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Ellen White did not simply borrow from other authors and innocently and naively neglect to give them credit, rather over the course of both Ellen and James Whites lives they made every attempt to DENY ever doing so, which made this act both a knowledgeable theft, and an outright lie, which they intentionally covered up. True prophets do not steal, and lie!

Jeremiah 23:30

I am against the false prophets,“ says the LORD. “They keep stealing words from each other and say they are from me.

In the year 2000, I made three of these protest signs for $250

THE HEAD INJURY

After seeing the disharmony between Ellen White’s Investigative Judgment, and the Bible, and seeing with my own eyes, her lie about never using material from other authors, it only took one more thing to help me finally accept she was indeed a false prophet. What about her visions, and the times she stopped breathing etc. all of this was explained by the head injury. Medical Science demonstrates that there have been hundreds of men and women with similar head injuries, that suffer Frontal Lobe Epilepsy. Symptoms include

Hyper-graphic behavior (love to write)
Hyper-moral (very high standards)
hypo-sexual (View nearly all sex as immoral)

These case studies also demonstrate visions and almost imperceptible breathing are quite common.

Read the testimony of both modern Medical Doctors, as well as from Physicians who actually treated Ellen White

The Significance of Ellen White’s Head Injury

Visions or Partial-Complex Seizures

THE SABBATH

After discovering all these things, I was still a devout Sabbatarian. Although I was compelled to admit to myself, that accepting Ellen White’s claims after this is impossible, I told myself, I AM NEVER GOING TO GIVE UP THE SABBATH, AFTER ALL IT IS IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! In other words, every leg of my journey coming out of Adventism, was made with me kicking and screaming, but ultimately my conscience won the victory over my will to not change.

I watched a YouTube video about the World Wide Church of God (7th day), under Herbert Armstrong. The leadership discovered after his death that their prophets teachings were not Biblical and as a result decided to lay everything they believed aside and for a few years examined everything they believed by the Bible alone. This intrigued me, since this was exactly what I was going through. That and the fact that Herbert Armstrong and I both preached on the same radio station. He founded K. O. R. E. 1050 AM in Springfield OR, and I had hosted my radio show “THE LOUD CRY” on that same radio station 5 days a week for three years beginning in February 2000.

The New Covenant and the_Sabbath
By: Joseph W Tkach Sr
This audio was created from the transcript of the sermon that rocked the World Wide Church of God 7th Day, which resulted in this church officially abandoning their practice of keeping the 7th Day Sabbath


Download the MP3 (Right Click and Select “Download Link As”)

I absolutely loved the video. I could see a lot of parallels between what they experienced and what I was experiencing. But then towards the later part of the video they talked about when they gave up keeping the Sabbath! I thought to myself, “NOW THEY ARE TAKING THINGS TOO FAR!” “THEY REALLY THREW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER ON THIS ONE!” “THOSE POOR PEOPLE! DON’T THEY REALIZE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS HERE?” A couple weeks went by and I decided to watch the video again. I agreed with everything the video shared ACCEPT FOR THE PART ABOUT ABANDONING SABBATH KEEPING. At that time there was no way I was ever going to even consider giving up the Sabbath, since it was one of the Ten Commandments. They kept talking about being under the NEW COVENANT! Which made absolutely no difference in my mind when it came to Sabbath keeping, However I decided this is what I needed to study next.

 

The Covenants

CLICK HERE to view the BIBLE COVENANTS CHART in its full 24X30 size

CLICK HERE to view the BIBLE COVENANTS CHART in its full 24X30 size

This is just one of many charts that resulted from my study on the covenants. You need to understand something about my transition out of Adventism. I did my own research. I studied every nook and cranny  from the Bible first hand. I already knew HOW to study the Bible, the difference is now I knew what I was looking for. I was researching the Bible 40 hours a week, on top of my 40 hour a week job. This went on for months! The one thing that made all the difference is I determined I was no longer going to force what I was reading in the Bible into an Ellen White view of things. Rather I would look at every verse with an open mind that what I thought it was saying may not be the way it really is. As an Adventist we had tons of Bible verses which we considered a “Trouble Texts.” In fact Joe Crews wrote a booklet called Answers to Difficult Bible Texts. The most refreshing thing about the Bible for me today is I NO LONGER HAVE TROUBLE TEXTS, rather I simply read the Bible and believe what it says. Before it was almost like I was constantly having to tell people, “don’t believe what it says, this is the real way you ought to view it.” Today I am doing the opposite. I am trying to convince Adventist we ought to believe exactly what the Bible says, instead of trying to put Ellen White’s twist of things into it.

That was a real break through for me. All of a sudden I read verses like Matthew 5:17-19 and 1 John 3:4 and Matthew 24:20 as if it was the first time I had ever seen them. They did not say what Adventist teach from them at all. Once I stopped trying to “prove” something from these verses, and simply read them and asked God for help to understand them the texts took on an entirely different meaning. In fact Ellen White’s interpretations of all of those scriptures turned out to be utterly ungrounded and contrary to these verses both in their meaning and according to the Greek Text itself. We discuss all of this in great detail in other places of this website, so I do not want to continue to spark such a controversial note without giving more detail which would take many pages to discuss, so lets move along.

The over all point of this story of why I am no longer a Seventh-day Adventist is not to prove the points which convinced me to change my beliefs, but rather to give an overview of my experience. Each aspect of this journey and what I learned along the way is available on this website in MUCH more detail than I am offering in this post.

The more I study the Bible, the more I am amazed. Just one year ago I was a totally convinced Seventh-day Adventist. If you could travel into the past just one year ago and told me then I would have left the Adventist church and stopped believing in the writings of Ellen White and the Sabbath, I never would have believed you. I have had many Adventists tell me they are surprised I changed my beliefs, well if it is any consolation it is just as surprising to me. I was not looking for a way out of Adventism, or looking for a way to stop believing in Ellen White.

Every step from the first to the last was something I had to wrestle with, and at times it caused me great distress, but in the end, I remembered a promise I made to myself when I first became a baptized Seventh-day Adventist member at the age of 19. I promised myself my first loyalty is with the Bible and always will be. I promised myself if it came to a decision between Ellen G. White and the Bible I would choose the Bible. I promised myself, if there was ever any possible inconsistency between her writings and the Bible I would be honest about it and not try to rationalize it or explain it away, but would look at it honestly thoroughly and truthfully.

I have ALWAYS been a Christian FIRST and a Seventh-day Adventist second. I have ALWAYS held the Bible as FIRST and the writings of Ellen White as second. Jesus Christ and the Bible have ALWAYS been my first loyalty which at no point in my Christian walk would I  allow the Seventh-day Adventist church or Ellen White to ever take preeminence over. Just because I stopped being a Seventh-day Adventist does not mean I stopped being a Christian. It was because of my absolute unwavering loyalty to the Bible first that I ultimately decided I could not remain a Seventh-day Adventist. I could not harmonize the two, and the Bible says, “how can two walk together unless they be agreed?”

Since initially learning the things in this story, I have come to learn a great deal more about the Bible, and have many more reasons why I left Seventh-day Adventism. Things Adventism told me about history that turned out to not be true. Such as Pagans worshiping on Sundays, that is a total myth, October 22 1844 being the day of Atonement. NOT TRUE! It was actually September 23! Ellen White totally contradicts herself about the Mark of the Beast. In fact the word “contradiction” ought to be defined as “The Mark of the Beast in Ellen White’s writings.” Regardless of all of this, all of it is trivial to me now, because the most important reasons of all for me today, have nothing to do with any of this. It has to do with the gospel itself. I found the gospel of Jesus Christ through reading the Bible, and found the gospel of Ellen White to be totally different from what the Bible actually teaches.

The reason I can face the trials of my life, today, tomorrow, and the rest of my life with peace and assurance and an absolute KNOWING that God is in control and loves me is because I finally know Him as my Father. I never really got that as an Adventist. I called him father, but my heart did not understand the words. As an Adventist I never really felt like his son. I always thought of him as a being I had to be good enough to be accepted by, a being who would reject me if I was not good enough. Parents do not disown their children when they make mistakes. God saves us by grace, not of works, it is not of ourselves. God is not merely doing us a favor, He saves us for HIS OWN SAKE as well, because He loves us that much!

Isaiah 43:25

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

 

 I wrote hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist Ministers, and Ministries

I remembered the council which said if someone thinks he has found new light to submit it to the brethren. I wrote Doug Bachelor’s personal email address. I wrote the staff at Amazing Facts, and 3ABN that are paid to answer questions, and every major mainstream and independent Seventh-day Adventist ministry in the United States. I wrote HUNDREDS of Seventh-day Adventist ministers. I told them I was a third Generation Seventh-day Adventist, who is struggling with some major things, and needed help answering them. I sent them my article, THE NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW (click to download), which documents the historical account that Pagans did NOT worship weekly on Sundays, and Christians were assembling on Sundays centuries before the Roman Christians had any influence and before they had a pope. Which demonstrated the clear contradictions and reversal in definition concerning the Mark of the Beast in Ellen White’s writings, and the fact that all but three states have repealed their Sunday closing laws, most of which have done so since 2008! I WAS BEGGING THEM FOR HELP TO ANSWER THESE FACTS.  That was June 2010! No one ever responded!

CONCLUSION

There is much more to my story, and many more reasons why I took the journey out of Adventism. I have posted all of them on my website. In this post, I have merely alluded to the various stages of my journey out of Adventism, but did not go into the details which give greater support in the Bible to the things I had been learning. You will need to visit my other articles and posts to get more information about each item I mentioned today.

Although it is true that each step I took was made with me kicking and screaming, and hoping none of this was true. Today I am at total peace. I have not regretted leaving the Seventh-day Adventist church for one moment. The gospel I now believe in is able to sustain me during one of my most severe trials, that I have ever faced with PERFECT PEACE. What I believe transcends a mere belief but has reached my heart and changed my life, and improved my relationship with God, and given me the assurance of eternal life. My mind is at REST, and CONFIDENT in the Lord.

Under Adventism, I NEVER had this kind of confidence and assurance and peace, even at times when I HAD EVERYTHING, Thank God He has applied the eye salve, and opened my eyes, and removed the veil, clothed me in HIS righteousness, and helped me to return to my first love. Frankly brothers and sisters if I could turn back the clock to that Thanksgiving morning in ’09 when Vance Ferrell told me he was thinking of leaving me in charge of his multimillion dollar ministry after he died; which meant a life of distributing Ellen White’s literature, living in comfort and security, in a beautiful location in the mountains of TN…

“I COULD NOT GO BACK, IT WOULD VIOLATE MY CONSCIENCE!”

That is my 05' Cadillac Deville, which I had to sell, after quitting my job at Harvestime Books. The HB Offices are just to the left and down the hill in this pic.

Counting the Cost:

This past year I have shared very little of what this decision has cost me, since it is very humbling to do so. Perhaps by doing so now (12/06/2011), may express how real my convictions are to me, to those who otherwise might be skeptical about why I am no longer a Seventh-day Adventist.

Keep in mind, the gospel I believe in says, that nothing I do earns me the slightest merit towards my salvation. Tonight, I was convicted that humbling myself by sharing the following would bring glory to God. After all this is part of my testimony. That is all I seek through sharing the rest of my story.

“I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.” Charles Spurgeon

This past few months I have had to sell my 05′ Cadillac Deville, my $3500 laptop, my 4th gen Ipod Touch, and other big boy toys, for only a small fraction of what I paid for them, and have had to sell or give away over 90% of everything I had in order to leave Seventh-day Adventism. My 2 beautiful German Shepherds had a 3/4 acre fenced yard to romp and play in, which cost me $2500 to put up, today they have a 10X10 Kennel. When I left Harvestime Books, I went from having a company owned rent free 2 bedroom house all to myself located on 200 acres in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee, to living in a 37 ft. Motor Home on a lot inside a trailer park community in downtown Cincinnati. (Watch my video on YouTube with my dogs, their Kennel and my motor home).

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. Matthew 10:34-40

I know about the current economic crisis our world is facing first hand. This year I have been down to my last $20-40 I don’t know how many times, living literally at times, just three days away from running out of all food and water. I have had weeks on end, that I lived on only brown rice, kidney beans and potatoes, and nothing else. Several days, my dogs, cats and I only had brown rice to eat. Yet through it all I have been perfectly content, and have had perfect peace with God, and more faith and confidence that everything was going to be OK, than I ever experienced while being an Adventist even in times when I had everything. When I decided to quit Harvestime Books, and leave the Seventh-day Adventist church, I literally had everything on my wish list. There was nothing left to wish for because I had it all.

Following the gospel I have learned, and have shared with you freely on this website, has cost me nearly everything, not the least of which is the support of a secure job, and the love and respect of friends and family. Initially the broken ties was the most painful part. Unless you have done so, it is difficult to explain to someone else what it is like to walk away from something that has essentially been my life’s work, and the center of everything in my world, and experience tremendous loss and hardship on almost every level all at the same time. However I can say with all my heart, it was well worth the price!

Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. Mark 10:28-31

Given the choice right this moment to have everything I once had, or to be in the situation I am in today, I would choose to be right where I am every time. I have never regretted my decision for even one moment. Staying true to the Bible means more to me than all else. I would rather have Jesus than houses and lands. I would rather have Him than anything. Besides, this is not the end of the story, it is only the beginning, I can hardly wait to see what the Lord is going to do next in my life.

This past year, I have written hundreds of articles investing everything I have to share with you the gospel of Jesus Christ, and share with you the joy and liberty I have found in my new and living relationship with God. Every word on this website has come at great personal sacrifice. If you would remember that as you read the other articles on this website, and if this story keeps your heart softer as you read them then it will all be worth it!

BLESSINGS IN THE LORD!!!

David M. Curtis

Philippians 3:4-11  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:  5  Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;  6  Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

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Read My Reply to a Returning Visitor to this Website From 2008

“I will most gladly tell you what state I am in today. I have perfect peace with God. All my burdens have been lifted at Calvary.” ~ David M. Curtis

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