Seventh-day Adventists hold certain fundamental beliefs, the principle features of which, together with a portion of the scriptural references upon which they are based, may be summarized as follows:
That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given
by inspiration of God, contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will
to men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice (2 Timothy
- That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a
personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite
in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal
Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the
salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit,
the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the
work of redemption (Matthew 28:19; Isaiah 44:6; 48:13; Matthew 12:32; 2
Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:8, 11).
- That Jesus Christ is very God, being of the same nature and essence
as the Eternal Father. While retaining His divine nature, He took upon
Himself the nature of the human family, lived on the earth as a man,
exemplified in His life as our example the principles of righteousness,
attested His relationship to God by many mighty miracles, died for our
sins on the cross, was raised from the dead, and ascended to the Father
where He ever lives to make intercession for us (John 1:1, 14; Hebrews
2:9-18; 8:1, 2; 4:14-16; 7:25).
- That every person, in order to obtain salvation, must experience the
new birth. This comprises an entire transformation of life and
character by the re-creative power of God through faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Matthew 18:3; Acts 2:37-39).
- That baptism is an ordinance of the Christian church, the proper
form being by immersion, and should follow repentance and forgiveness of
sins. By its observation faith is shown in the death, burial, and
resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-6; Acts 16:30-33).
- That the will of God as it relates to moral conduct is comprehended
in His law of ten commandments. These are great, moral, unchangeable
precepts, binding upon all men in every age (Exodus 20:1-17).
- That the fourth commandment of this unchangeable law requires the
observance of the seventh-day Sabbath. This holy institution is at the
same time a memorial of creation and a sign of sanctification, a sign of
the believer’s rest from his own works of sin, and his entrance into
the rest of soul that Jesus promises to those who come to Him (Genesis
2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-17; Hebrews 4:1-10).
- That the law of ten commandments points out sin, the penalty of
which is death. The law cannot save the transgressor from his sin, nor
impart power to keep him from sinning. In infinite love and mercy God
provides a way whereby this may be done. He furnishes a substitute, even
Christ the righteous one, to die in man’s stead, making “him to be sin
for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God
in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are justified, not by obedience to the
law, but by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. By accepting Christ, man
is reconciled to God, justified by the blood of Christ for the sins of
the past, and saved from the power of sin by His indwelling life. Thus
the gospel becomes “The power of God unto salvation to every one that
believeth.” This experience is wrought by the divine agency of the Holy
Spirit, who convinces of sin and leads to the Sin Bearer, inducting
believers into the new-covenant relationship, where the law of God is
written on their hearts; and through the enabling power of the
indwelling Christ, their lives are brought into conformity to the divine
precepts. The honor and merit of this wonderful transformation belong
wholly to Christ (1 John 3:4; Romans 7:7; 3:20; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John
2:1, 2; Romans 5:8-10; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:17; Hebrews 8:8-12).
- That God “only hath immortality” (1 Timothy 6:16). Mortal man
possesses a nature inherently sinful and dying. Eternal life is the gift
of God through faith in Christ (Romans 6:23). “He that hath the Son
hath life” (1 John 5:12). Immortality is bestowed upon the righteous at
the second coming of Christ, when the righteous dead are raised from the
grave, and the living righteous translated to meet the Lord. Then it is
that those accounted faithful “put on immortality” (1 Corinthians
- That the condition of man in death is one of unconsciousness. That
all men, good and evil alike, remain in the grave from death to the
resurrection (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; Psalm 146:3, 4; John 5:28, 29).
- That there shall be a resurrection both of the just and of the
unjust. The resurrection of the just will take place at the second
coming of Christ; the resurrection of the unjust will take place a
thousand years later, at the close of the millennium (John 5:28, 29; 1
Thessalonians 4:13-18); Revelation 20:5-10).
- That the finally impenitent, including Satan, the author of all sin,
will, by the fires of the last day, be reduced to a state of
non-existence, becoming as though they had not been, thus purging the
universe of God of sin and sinners (Romans 6:23; Malachi 4:1-3;
Revelation 20:9, 10; Obadiah 16).
- That no prophetic period is given in the Bible to reach to the
Second Advent, but that the longest one, the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14,
terminating in 1844, reaches to an event called the cleansing of the
sanctuary (Daniel 8:14; 9:24, 25; Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6).
- That the true sanctuary, of which the tabernacle on earth was a
type, is the temple of God in heaven, of which Paul speaks in Hebrews 8
and onward, and of which the Lord Jesus, as our great high priest, is
minister. The priestly work of our Lord is the antitype of the work of
the Jewish priests of the former dispensation. That this heavenly
sanctuary is the one to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days of
Daniel 8:14, its cleansing being, as in the type, a work of judgment,
beginning with the entrance of Christ as the high priest upon the
judgment phase of His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, foreshadowed
in the earthly service of cleansing the sanctuary on the Day of
Atonement. This work of judgment in the heavenly sanctuary began in
1844. Its completion will close human probation (Daniel 7:9, 10; 8:14;
Hebrews 8:1, 2, 5; Revelation 20:12; Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6).
- That God, in the time of the judgment and in accordance with His
uniform dealing with the human family in warning them of coming events
vitally affecting their destiny (Amos 3:6, 7), sends forth a
proclamation of the approach of the Second Advent of Christ; that this
work is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14, and that their
threefold message brings to view a work of reform to prepare a people to
meet Him at His coming (Amos 3:6, 7; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation
- That the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, synchronizing with
the period of the proclamation of the message of Revelation 14, is a
time of investigative judgment, first, with reference to the dead, and
second, with reference to the living. This investigative judgment
determines who of the myriads sleeping in the dust of the earth are
worthy of a part in the first resurrection, and who of its living
multitudes are worthy of translation (1 Peter 4:17, 18; Daniel 7:9, 10;
Revelation 14:6, 7; Luke 20:35).
- That the followers of Christ should be a godly people, not Adopting
the unholy maxims nor conforming to the unrighteous ways of the world;
not loving its sinful pleasures nor countenancing its follies. That
believers should recognize their bodies as the temple of the Holy
Spirit, and that therefore they should clothe them in neat, modest,
dignified apparel. Further, that in eating and drinking and in their
entire course of conduct they should shape their lives as becometh
followers of the meek and lowly Master. Thus the followers of Christ
will be led to abstain from all intoxicating drinks, tobacco and other
narcotics, and to avoid every body and soul-defiling habit and practice
(1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 9:25; 10:31; 1 Timothy 2:9, 10; 1 John 2:6).
- That the divine principle of tithes and offerings for the support of
the gospel is an acknowledgment of God’s ownership in our lives, and
that we are stewards who must render account to Him of all that He has
committed to our possession (Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew
23:23; 1 Corinthians 9:9-14; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15).
- That God has placed in His church the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as
enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. That these gifts operate
in harmony with the divine principles of the Bible, and are given “for
the perfecting of the saints, for the gift of the Spirit of prophecy is
one of the identifying marks of the remnant church (1 Corinthians
1:5-17; 1 Corinthians 12:1-28; Revelation 12:17; 19:10; Amos 3:7; Hosea
12:10, 13). They recognize that this gift was manifested in the life and
ministry of Ellen G. White.
- That the second coming of Christ is the great hope of the church,
the grand climax of the gospel and plan of salvation. His coming will be
literal, personal, and visible. Many important events will be
associated with His return, such as the resurrection of the dead, the
destruction of the wicked, the purification of the earth, the reward of
the righteous, and the establishment of His everlasting kingdom. The
almost complete fulfillment of various lines of prophecy, particularly
those found in the books of Daniel and Revelation, with existing
conditions in the physical, social, industrial, political, and religious
worlds, indicates that Christ’s coming “is near, even at the doors.”
The exact time of that event has not been foretold. Believers are
exhorted to be ready, for “in such an hour as ye think not the Son of
man” will be revealed (Luke 21:25-27; 17:26-30; John 14:1-3; Acts
1:9-11; Revelation 1:7; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:1-8; Joel 3:9-16; 2
Timothy 3:1-5; Daniel 7:27; Matthew 24:36, 44).
- That the millennial reign of Christ covers the period between the
first and the second resurrection, during which time the saints of all
ages will live with their blessed Redeemer in heaven. At the end of the
millennium the Holy City with all the saints will descend to the earth.
The wicked, raised in the second resurrection, will go up on the breadth
of the earth with Satan at their head to compass the camp of the
saints, when fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them.
In the conflagration that destroys Satan and his host the earth itself
will be regenerated and cleansed from the effects of the curse. Thus the
universe of God will be purified from the foul blot of sin (Revelation
20; Zechariah 14:1-4; 2 Peter 3:7-10).
- That God will make all things new. The earth, restored to its pristine beauty, will become forever the abode of the saints of the Lord. The promise to Abraham, that through Christ, he and his seed should possess the earth throughout the endless ages of eternity, will be fulfilled. “The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Christ, the Lord will reign supreme, “and every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth. and such as are in the sea,” will ascribe “blessing, and honour, and glory, and power,” unto “him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Genesis 13:14-17; Romans 4:13; Hebrews 11:8-16; Matthew 5:5; Isaiah 35; Revelation 21:1-7; Daniel 7:27; Revelation 5:13).