Adventism a Doomsday Religion?


Koot van Wyk (Kyungpook National University, Sangju Campus, South Korea, Conjoint lecturer of Avondale College, Australia)


The thoughts sparked off when I noticed in the Dictionary of Islam written in 1885 by T. P. Hughes under the title “Resurrection” that Islam has a Doomsday scenario outlined. An agenda is set to happen all in a row with Jesus coming (43:61) to Damascus and then going to Mecca. But not divine, just human.

I once met professor Moshe Sharon in his office at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and he gave me his book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Chapter 4 deals with “The Messianic Idea” and he explained that the word Messiah appears in all three religions. In all three religions “the ideal word order will come at the end of time, will not be subject to the notion of time, and as such will be both final and eternal”.

The function of the Messiah in the three religions are different. From a Jewish perspective Sharon unfortunately interpreted the biblical text not holistically and properly when he said: “the biblical idea of reward and punishment is also connected with this world. The worst punishment for the individual is death and nothing beyond that (see Ezek. 18).” Nothing beyond that? What about Isaiah 66? What about Daniel 12:1-2? Sharon is not a good example here of the Jewish understanding of Messianism. The Middle Age Rabbi Redak is a better option here and especially with Abarbanel’s comments on some verses in the prophets, they are delightful readings. Highly recommended.

I do not know if Sharon was agnostic but he seems confused in his ideas here. Adventists also have a biblical view of the end-time. Buddhists idea of an everlasting cycle of things is just not what God had in mind with the beginning and end of historic time. It would have been eternal and cyclic if it was not for the failure of Adam and Eve in the perfect Paradise supplied by God. But from the Fall to the final Hell event (Armageddon), eternity is interrupted with history. We were born inside this history. A history written with blood and suffering amidst hope and somewhat joy.

Says Sharon “the necessity for the deterioration of the world before the coming of Messiah became an accepted feature of the Messianic times, not only in Judaism but also in Christianity and Islam” (page 126). The Pre-Messianic tribulations are seen as evle mashiyah = “Messiah’s pangs” in Judaism. It is seen as the evle ge’ulla = “the pangs of redemption”. The first Messiah or “son of Joseph” will be killed in the Great war between the Gog and Magog and the second Messiah, the son of David will come for the final redemption. This is all by Sharon and explained by the Rabbis of the Middle Ages.

For Adventists the tribulation will be due to a network successfully uniting evil forces or multiple evil forces under the banner of peace and wholesomeness, honoring universalism, humanism, and persecuting particularism and individualism or religions like Adventists who will not participate in ecumenism. Sunday is not Saturday and the First day of the week is not the Seventh day of the week. Crows and chickens do not mix. One cannot just wear a cloak of a crow just to make the crows happy. It is destructive to the soul.

Resurrection of the dead in Judaism and Islam is connected to the Day of Judgment (page 127). Adventism too connected the resurrection of the dead to the Judgment but they separate according to Scripture in 1 Peter 4:17 the Investigative Judgment of the saints before the Second Coming from the Executive Day of the Lord Judgment after the 1000 years of Revelation 20 just before eternity starts finally. The reward comes before the punishment in Jesus’ parables as well. Judaism believes that man cannot get requital of his deeds while he is still in a state of death so the time for the resurrection is seen to be at the Judgment (Sharon, page 128). Adventists disagree for the book of Hebrews indicates that Christ is High Priest in heaven for the sins of the sinners replacing the Tabernacle/Temple system in His body. From the cleansing time of the Heavenly Sanctuary mentioned in Daniel 8:14, after the 2300 years [years it must be because 490 are years according to Thomas Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, George Ioye, Hugo Grotius] starting in 457 BCE and ending in 1844. Strange that the Reformers started so well with 457 BCE for the 490 years and then fell short of calculating the 2300 days as years of Daniel 8:14. No wonder Adventists are Progressive Reformers!

Now not all Christians are seeing the difficult end-times the same. Some are expecting an Apocalyptic War ahead that will be dangerous to believers. This Doomsday scenario makes many kill themselves and their families in order to make sure that if they die before Armageddon they will definitely be in Paradise. But this is not biblical. The Bible makes it plain that by the time Armageddon will take place the faithful are already resurrected and taken to heaven together for a 1000 years and that Armageddon will only take place after the 1000 years in the Hell event. They will come down from heaven in the New Jerusalem according to the Book of Zachariah 14 and the final Battle of God will take place. It is not a war between nations or a Third World War, it is God’s War, to be precise, the War of Christ as the Warrior Messiah eradicating all evil including Satan forever before creating all things new for the faithful on this earth. Paradise then restored.

About Islam Sharon continued: “Although at the beginning of his prophetic activity Muammad gave the impression that the Day of Judgment was near and impeding, he was soon obliged to make it clear that final judgment and the ultimate reward and punishment would be some time in the future in God’s own good time and subject to His will” (page 140).

In Islam they are expecting both Jesus and a Mahdī to come. “The circumstances of his appearance, and his role at the End of Days, it is impossible to differentiate between Jesus and the Mahdī “ (Sharon, page 150). “He will appear at the End of Time when Islam will deteriorate to its lowest state ever. The Qur’ān will be forgotten and places of worship will be deserted” (Sharon 152-153). The Mahdī will then appear as the final true renewer [mujaddid] of Islam.

The Bible says that there will be a hunger for the Word of God in the Last Days. Digitally it is everywhere available but due to the smartphones, ‘people became zombies and leaders became bullies’ [a South African journalist said this week in Die Burger May 2018]. They flash flash never in the digital Bible. So yes, there is a scarcity and hunger for the Word of God. They just do not know it yet. When the egg hits the fan in the Time of Trouble described by Daniel 12:1-3, it is not a war against the evil but plaques and cosmic disasters raining on the evil so that they blame the faithful. The faithful are protected and kept alive by even “creations of food” by God for them in deserts where they are hiding. So there is nothing to fear for the future for the faithful. It is the evil that will be in a doomsday and they will not be the doomsday creators for the faithful.

Do we have a Last Generation Theology? Yes we do. A well worked out programmic chain of events deduced from the Scripture with careful exegesis. It can be seen in diagrammic charts presented online by Gordon Collier if called up for.



Moshe Sharon, Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Johannesburg: Snap Print, 1989).