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Seventh-day Adventists Believe ...
A Biblical Exposition 
of 27 Fundamental Doctrines

Copyright 1988  by the Ministerial Association
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
All rights reserved.

Printed in the USA by the 
Review and Herald Publishing Association
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

Reproduced on the At Issue site by  permission.

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A Word About the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of  Seventh-day Adventists

Through the years Seventh-day Adventists have been reluctant to formalize a creed (in the usual sense of that word). However, from time to time, for practical purposes, we have found it necessary to summarize our beliefs.

In 1872 the Adventist press at Battle Creek, Michigan, published a "synopsis of our faith" in 25 propositions. This document, slightly revised and expanded to 28 sections, appeared in the denominational Yearbook of 1889. This was not continued in subsequent issues, but it was inserted again in the Yearbook in 1905 and continued to appear through 1914. In response to an appeal from church leaders in Africa for "a statement [that] would help government officials and others to a better understanding of our work," a committee of four, including the president of the General Conference, prepared a statement encompassing "the principal features" of belief as they "may be summarized." This statement of 22 fundamental beliefs, first printed in the 1931 Yearbook, stood until the 1980 General Conference session replaced it with a similar but more comprehensive, summarization in 27 paragraphs, published under the title "Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists."

The present volume, Seventh-day Adventists Believe..., is based on these short summaries. They appear at the beginning of each chapter. In this book we present for our members, friends, and other interested persons, in an expanded, readable, and practical manner, these doctrinal convictions and their significance for Adventist Christians in today's society. While this volume is not an officially voted statement—only a General Conference in world session could provide that—it may be viewed as representative of "the truth . . . in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim.— iv

Table of Contents

We Gratefully Acknowledge . . . v
To the Readers of This Book . . . vii


Chapter 1

The Word of God 4

Chapter 2

The Godhead 16

Chapter 3

God the Father 28

Chapter 4

God the Son 36

Chapter 5

God the Holy Spirit 58


Chapter 6

Creation 68

Chapter 7

The Nature of Man 78


Chapter 8

The Great Controversy 98

Chapter 9

The Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ 106

Chapter 10

The Experience of Salvation 118


Chapter 11

The Church 134

Chapter 12

The Remnant and Its Mission 152

Chapter 13

Unity in the Body of Christ 170

Chapter 14

Baptism 180

Chapter 15

The Lord's Supper 184

Chapter 16

Spiritual Gifts and Ministries 206

Chapter 17

The Gift of Prophecy 216


Chapter 18

The Law of God 232

Chapter 19

The Sabbath 248

Chapter 20

Stewardship 268

Chapter 21

Christian Behavior 278

Chapter 22

Marriage and the Family 294


Chapter 23

Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary 312

Chapter 24

The Second Coming of Christ 332

Chapter 25

Death and Resurrection 348

Chapter 26

The Millennium and the End of Sin 362

Chapter 27

The New Earth 374
Subject Index 386

Unless indicated otherwise, the texts of Scripture quoted in this book are from The New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers.

Texts credited to KJV are from the King James Version.

Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977.

Texts credited to NEB are from The New English Bible. The Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961, 1970. Reprinted by permission.

Texts credited to NIV from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Bible texts credited to RSV are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1946, 1952 1971, 1973.

Bible texts credited to TEV are from the Good News Bible—Old Testament: Copyright American Bible Society 1976; New Testament: Copyright American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976.

Verses marked TLB are taken from The Living Bible, copyright 1971 Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Ill. Used by permission.

The Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists assumes full responsibility for the accuracy of the camera-ready copy of this book. Editing, copy editing, and proofreading for this book were done under the direction of the Ministerial Association. Due to technical limitations vowel points and diacritical marks have not been included when transliterating foreign words.

First Printing, May 1988: 80,000 
Second Printing, June 1988: 100,000

R & H Cataloging Service 
Seventh-day Adventists believe ...

1. Seventh-day Adventists—Doctrines. I. Seventh-day Adventists, General Conference 
Ministerial Association. II. title. 


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