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Questions On Doctrine


I. Preliminary Questions


Doctrines We Share With Other Christians



What doctrines do Seventh-day Adventists hold in common with Christians in general, and in what aspects of Christian thought do they differ?


Christians in general are divided into various schools of thought on practically every doctrine of the Bible. On some doctrines Seventh-day Adventists find themselves in one group, and on other doctrines we may be classified quite differently. With some religious groups we hold many doctrines in common. With Others we may find little common doctrinal ground. We do not accept certain doctrines held by some Christians because we feel they are not based on the Word of God.

Practically all Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are held by one or more Christian groups. A few are distinctive with us. Our beliefs could be classified in relation to the beliefs of other Christians under the following headings:

I. In Common With Conservative Christians and the Historic Protestant Creeds, We Believe—

1. That God is the Sovereign Creator, upholder, and ruler of the universe, and that He is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.


2. That the Godhead, the Trinity, comprises God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

3. That the Scriptures are the inspired revelation of God to men; and that the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice.

4. That Jesus Christ is very God, and that He has existed with the Father from all eternity.

5. That the Holy Spirit is a personal being, sharing the attributes of deity with the Father and the Son.

6. That Christ, the Word of God, became incarnate through the miraculous conception and the virgin birth; and that He lived an absolutely sinless life here on earth.

7. That the vicarious, atoning death of Jesus Christ, once for all, is all-sufficient for the redemption of a lost race.

8. That Jesus Christ arose literally and bodily from the grave.

9. That He ascended literally and bodily into heaven.

10. That He now serves as our advocate in priestly ministry and mediation before the Father.

11. That He will return in a premillennial, personal, imminent second advent.

12. That man was created sinless, but by his subsequent fall entered a state of alienation and depravity.

13. That salvation through Christ is by grace alone, through faith in His blood.

14. That entrance upon the new life in Christ is by regeneration, or the new birth.


15. That man is justified by faith.

16. That man is sanctified by the indwelling Christ through the Holy Spirit.

17. That man will be glorified at the resurrection or translation of the saints, when the Lord returns.

18. That there will be a judgment of all men.

19. That the gospel is to be preached as a witness to all the world.

II. On Certain Controverted Doctrines Among Conservative Christians, We Hold One of Two or More Alternate Views. We Believe—

1. That man is free to choose or reject the offer of salvation through Christ; we do not believe that God has predetermined that some men shall be saved and others lost.

2. That the moral law of ten commandments, or the Decalogue, is the standard of life and conduct for all men of all ages; we do not believe that the Decalogue has been either changed or abolished.

3. That baptism is to be administered by single immersion; we do not believe that it may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or trine immersion.

4. That man was endowed at creation with conditional immortality; we do not believe that man has innate immortality or an immortal soul.

5. That the wicked will be punished by suffering and complete destruction in the lake of fire; we do not believe in an eternally burning hell in which souls are tormented without end.

6. That the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath; we do not believe that the Sabbath has been abolished, changed to the first day, or is merely a seventh part of time.


7. That the principle of tithing is God's plan for the support of His church; we do not believe that tithing was only for the Jews.

8. That God created the world in six literal days; we do not believe that creation was accomplished by long aeons of evolutionary processes.

9. That the correct view of prophetic interpretation is best set forth by what is known as the historical school; we do not accept the systems followed by either the preterists or the futurists.

10. That church and state should operate in entirely separate spheres; we do not believe that in an attempt to control men's religion or religions activities the church should dominate the state, or that the state should govern the church.

11. That the ordinance instituted by Christ—that of washing one another's feet at the time of the Lord's Supper—is to be practiced; we do not believe that this was merely an accommodation to the customs and necessities of those times.

12. That we should abstain from such practices as the use of alcohol and tobacco; we do not believe that indulgence in these things is fully representative of the character of our Lord.

III. In a Few Areas of Christian Thought, Our Doctrines Are Distinctive With Us. We Believe—

1. That there is a sanctuary in heaven where Christ, our High Priest, ministers in two distinct phases of His mediatorial work.


2. That there is to be an investigative judgment in which the destinies of all men are decided before Christ comes in the clouds of glory.

3. That the Spirit of prophecy, or the prophetic gift, is one of the gifts of the Spirit promised to the church in the last days, and that that gift was manifested to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the work and writings of Ellen G. White.

4. That the seal of God and the mark of the beast, mentioned in Revelation, are the symbols of the opposing forces of good and evil in the last great conflict before Christ comes the second time.

5. That the three angels of Revelation 14 represent the proclamation of God's last message to the world in preparation for the coming of our Lord.

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