Many people have been curious about the Seventh-day Adventist Church because of Ben Carson's presidential campaign of 2016. Here are the facts you need to know.
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The major beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be summed up with seven words or phrases each beginning with the letter S: Scripture, Salvation, Sanctuary, Sabbath, Second coming, State of the Dead, and the Spirit of Prophecy.
The foundation of all Adventist beliefs hinge upon the Bible and the inspiration of its writers by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21) in contrast to teachings coming from doctrines or traditions of men (Matthew 15:9). In addition, the Bible is useful for correction, rebuke, and instruction (2 Timothy 3:16), as well as for guidance (Psalms 119:105). Each tenet or fundamental belief of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be found here.
Biblical salvation can only be found in Jesus Christ and His righteousness—and not by any human works or merit. Ephesians 2:8 states this fact plainly, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Sin separates humanity from God and we deserve to die; but Jesus gave His life as a gift so all humanity can have eternal life (Romans 6:23). Galatians 3:13 expounds upon this stating, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’).”
Salvation through Jesus was so important to God, that He illustrated its inner workings to mankind through the services of an earthly temple or sanctuary patterned after the true sanctuary in the heavens (Hebrews 8:1-2). Additionally, the sanctuary on earth allowed God to dwell among His people without destroying them by His glory (Exodus 25:8, Leviticus 16:2). The temple services visually demonstrated how humanity could be made right with God by the death of a perfect lamb, symbolizing the future death of Jesus, the spotless lamb of God (John 1:29). Thus, Jesus’ death opened a new and living way (Hebrews 10:20), making it possible for all humanity to come boldly to the throne of grace in our time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Picture the Sabbath as a sanctuary built in time. Just as the physical sanctuary was a special location set apart to meet with God, so the Sabbath is a special 24-hour rest period set apart to meet with God (Exodus 20:8-11). God is love (1 John 4:8). Love desires relationship. Because of this love, He created the Sabbath (Genesis 2:2-3) as a special anniversary or date each week to cultivate His relationship with humanity. Moreover, this anniversary serves as a sign to remind mankind that God will save and sanctify them (Ezekiel 20:12).
Because God wants a personal face-to-face relationship with humanity, He soon will send Jesus, to gather those who love Him from the earth (John 14:1-3 & 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Jesus’ second coming will be an unmistakable event. He will come with the sound of a great trumpet (Matthew 24:31), every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7) and His coming will be like lightning flashing from the east to the west (Matthew 24:27). Jesus also warns that many deceptions will precede His coming. Many will come in His name and false prophets will arise to deceive even the elect if it were possible (Matthew 24:4, 5, 11, 24).
State of the Dead
The joy of Jesus’ second coming will be amplified by the resurrection of the dead at the last trumpet, when the righteous who sleep will be awakened from their graves (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). At that moment, humanity will be given immortality and incorruptible bodies. “Death will be swallowed up in victory,” there will be no sting in death and Jesus Christ will give mankind the victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:50-57).
Spirit of Prophecy
The Bible states that, “The Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7 & Numbers 12:6). Throughout the Bible, because of His love, God sent prophets to guide humanity to a deeper relationship with Him and to prepare them for the coming of Jesus. These messengers were filled with the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10), however, they were mocked, tortured, and killed because their instruction was not welcome (Matthew 23:37).
Who Are the Adventists?
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant denomination that grew out of the Great Awakening of the 1840’s, but didn’t become an officially organized church until 1863. Fast forward to today and the Seventh-day Adventist Church has become the fastest growing denomination in North America with 1.2 million members in the United States & Canada and 18.7 million members worldwide, in 209 countries. In addition, Pew Research found that the Adventist Church is the most racially diverse denomination in the United States. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is also most commonly known for its worldwide hospital and education systems, adherence to scripture, promotion of total body health, and observance of the seventh-day Sabbath or Saturday.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Media
Several publications and documentaries have featured the health and education systems of the Adventist church. The National Geographic published an article titled Blue Zones, which states the following; "Study results have shown that, as a group, they [Seventh-day Adventists] currently lead the U.S. in longest life expectancy." Additionally, three documentaries The Adventists, The Adventists 2, and The Blueprint show this protestant denomination’s work in health and education in North America and around the world.
The Blueprint Trailer