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Adventists Believe What?

Posted on February 17th, by Present Truth in Last Day Events, Prophecy. 8 comments

I had the pleasure of attending a bible study tonight at a local Seventh-day Adventist church. One of the most interesting questions was raised and it sent my head into a tailspin. I wanted to share it with you and see if any Adventists and/or those outside of the Adventist faith had any thoughts on this question.

Seventh-day Adventists appear to have a very unique belief in regards to the end of time aka “the end of the world”. They are a movement that arose out of the Millerite movement in the middle of the 1800’s. The Millerite’s believed the imminent, visible Second Coming of Christ would take place in 1844 at the end of the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8:14. Jesus as we know did not return and out of that “Great Disappointment” , a small group from the various faiths of Christendom joined together and began what today the world calls the Seventh-day Adventists. For more information about this, there is a most interesting film called – Today Seventh-day Adventists operate the largest Protestant health care system and education systems in the world. The second largest behind the Catholic Hospital and Education systems in total number.

The very unique beliefs of Adventism range from the belief that at death the body sleeps and awaits the judgment that they believe is currently taking place managed by Jesus Christ from a Sanctuary in Heaven. At the second coming, they believe Christ will resurrect those bodies of the ones that were faithful to him. They actually believe that one’s decisions will effect their eternal life, which some consider salvation by works. They believe strongly in the law of God and the role of faith and works. They see that the Sabbath of the 4th commandment never changed and therefore keep it holy.

Where it gets really interesting is there belief in bible prophecy. They believe that at the end of earth’s history, a crisis will arise over the issue of worship. According to them, Revelation 13 depicts the Papacy and the United States. They believe that the whole world will one day come back under the power of the Roman empire and specifically the unique mark that the Papacy has made in history: changing the day of worship from Saturday the seventh-day to Sunday the first day. To learn more on this idea, they refer to Constantine changing the day of worship to suit his pagan beliefs. Many Seventh-day Adventists even refer to this event as the National Sunday Law that will take place first in America and then internationally in the rest of the world.

They believe that when the Bible says in Revelation 13 verse 17,  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name”, that it means that the whole world will have to decide to follow the laws of man and worship on the first day of the week in order to continue to function in the global economy and continue to buy or sell. If one decides that they wish to follow the Biblical Sabbath, then they will be forced to not buy or sell and eventually perhaps even face death.

Let me repeat that for clarity and summary: Seventh-day Adventists believe that if you want to be saved eternally at the end of earth’s history then you have a choice to make that will decide your fate. They believe that when this law becomes forced and international you will given the ultimatum:

1. To obey the Biblical Sabbath and not buy and sell and be saved eternally based on this choice or

2. Honor sunday willingly or coerced into it and be authorized to buy and sell and be lost forever


The implications of this bold belief are very grand in scope. The one question that I must ask is this: If Seventh-day Adventists believe this, then that would mean that they are actively preparing to get into a situation where they will be prepared to not buy or sell right? Is it like a Noah’s ark situation perhaps? Noah prepared a boat to ride out the storm. Is there some boat or parallel they make with this ‘coming crisis’.

So here was the question raised at this study: Seventh-day Adventists must be buying land and growing their own food and cutting their ties with society and the world if they really believe this event of Revelation 13 is going to really happen right? Or perhaps they know prophetically exactly when it will take place and perhaps that is the reason they are not preparing as if it were imminent? If that is the case then why do they preach that message of Revelation 13 in all of their international evangelism events? What is the answer to these questions, so that if any of these ideas are true it may be revealed to those of us that do not know?

I am curious if you know a Seventh-day Adventist or perhaps you might be one reading this article. What are your thoughts? Perhaps this is not a fair assessment of the beliefs of the church. Please comment.

8 responses to “Adventists Believe What?”

  1. Corey says:

    I am a 3rd generation SDA, and for the most part you got it right. The only part I would question is where you stated “They actually believe that one’s decisions will effect their eternal life, which some consider salvation by works”. Im not sure how the one follows the other, but we dont believe in salvation by works. It says in the Bible that Christians will be known by their works, but its not the works that come first. The works are just a natural result of having a relationship with Jesus, not a way of making ourselves any more fit for Heaven-which is something that is impossible anyway.

    As for why we (as a whole) dont appear to be assembling some sort of ‘Ark’ to save ourselves with, its quite simple-nothing we can do is going to stop anyone from taking it from us or driving us from where ever we may take refuge. The only way we are going to make it through this ‘Time of trouble’ is if God intervenes on our behalf.

    There are way to many ways for the authorities to find us to try to hide. Congress right now is in the middle of trying to legislate away a private citizens ability to grow his own food-among other freedoms. So unless God finds Himself a modern day Noah, and specifically tells him to build a refuge, buy a bunker, or find an island retreat somewhere for all of us to ride out whatever fate Satan is planning for us, we will live by the axiom ‘Live like it is your last day on Earth, and plan like yore going to be here forever’.

  2. Christine says:

    What you shared is correct. This is what true SDAs believe. As far as preparing for the not selling and buying time, one of our messages is to get out of the cities, flee to the mountains, and get off the grid, preparing for what is coming by planting gardens, trees, etc. Now, having said that, we don’t believe in being 100% cut off from the world. We believe that although we should be away from the cities to live in, we are still to preach in the cities. Not to live too far away from the cities so that we can go and witness in them. This is what SDAs believe.

  3. Skip Johnson says:

    Seventh-day Adventist are by no means the only group who believes the end of the world is quickly approaching, and consider correct choices in regard to this fact matter. We are somewhat unique among the groups in what we enjoin as proper preparation, however.

    Let’s look at some of the other options for preparing for tough times between now and the time Jesus Christ returns in the clouds of the sky, as foretold in about 1 in 8 verse of the New Testament. (It is the single biggest still unfulfilled prophecy in the Bible.)

    1. The Latter-day Saints preparations include laying aside a two year supply of non-perishable food to get them and their family through tough times sure to come. It is a physical preparation.

    2. Some survivalist groups also make preparations, including the storing of food, the stockpiling of weapons for defensive (and sometimes expected offensive purposes, as they intend to step forward and take control when current authority topples into ruins.) Again, it is a physical preparation.

    3. Seventh-day Adventists believe the primary preparation is spiritual preparation, specifically reading the Bible, praying, and acting on what the Bible teaches in every day life challenges, which allows a person to increase in faith.

    It is this faith in God that will be rewarded in the end times in manner very similar to that experienced by such Bible heroes as Elijah (who was fed by ravens miraculously during a famine of judgment in the days of King Ahab, and later miraculously again by a pagan widow, who took pity on his hunger, and in her poverty provided for his needs, as well as for those of herself and her son).

    Also, that faith will provide the sort of Divine Intervention protection (after the “close of probation” when Jesus has finished His work as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary and the seven last plagues begin to fall)afforded to Daniel in the lion’s den, and his three friends when they were cast into the fiery furnace of Babylon for their loyalty to the second of the Ten Commandments, the one against bowing to Nebuchaddnezar’s golden idol.

    The 13th chapter of Revelation points back to this experience as a symbol of a coming world wide requirement to engage in an action contrary to a command originating from the “sea beast” (identified as the Papacy, through a comparison between this beast’s characteristics in Revelation 13 and the Little Horn power on the head of the fourth Roman beast in Daniel 7).

    These viewpoints are very much in keeping with the “Historicist” view of Bible prophecy, which sees the prophecy unfolding progressively down through history from the day it was given until Jesus Second Coming. This was the view held by Martin Luther and all the Protestant Reformers, and which gave them the impetus to break free from the spiritual domination of the Papacy.

    Sadly, the very churches called by these Bible based, history aware Reformers who launched the Protestant Reformation have since largely abandoned the interpretive approach of their founders, choosing either “Pretertism”, the view that most of such prophecies had their fulfillment long in the past, near the time of their being penned, or “Futurism”, which rejects the historical fulfillment of such prophecies down through the centuries in favor of putting them all in a short period to occur in the future, just before Jesus returns.

    Seventh-day Adventist have continued to study both the prophecies, and their correlation to world events involving the original actors, and new powers that have come on the scene as predicted. As such, their views may legitimately be seen as having walked a little further down the pathway of time in the same direction taken by all the classic Protestant reformers. It is only because Protestantism has by and large, abandoned the prophetic approach of their founders, that more do not examine history as it has unfolded, compare it with prophecy that said it would unfold in the manner it has, and see where we are as we reach the near final fulfillment predicted.

    Another quick note as to practical application of an understanding of these things you have studied. While Adventist do believe that spiritual preparation is primary, and also believe that if we store up large amounts of food or other supplies (as do the LDS) that these will simply be taken from us by armed groups (like the survivalists), we do also hold there is room for human wisdom.

    We do encourage people to move to places where they are not surrounded by other people and can grow their own food when things go very badly in the larger cities. We also note that at the point the National Sunday Law is passed in America, it is a sign to leave the large cities and find secluded homes in places where we can be self-supporting agriculturally.

    At the point where the penalty for keeping the Biblical Saturday Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment goes from being simply a matter of not being able to buy or sell to being a planet wide “religo-cide” after the order of Hamaan’s attempt to wipe out the entire Jewish religion and race in the days of Esther through an oppressive law designed to bring them to an end, then it is time to follow Matthew 24:15-22’s instructions to abandon immediately all human society to seek refuge in as desolate places of the earth as is possible.

    So it is a progressive withdraw from society. So long as Jesus still is our High Priest in heaven, which He will be up until some time after the National Sunday Law in America, and before the first of the seven last plagues are poured out, then warnings to others of what is coming are necessary. It is our positive duty to remain in contact with the rest of human society to give these warnings from the prophecies of the Bible.

    After the plagues begin to fall, there is no longer any need, because all cases will have been decided, and all minds made up for, or against, bowing the knee of one’s soul to a one world, one religion, law concerning the appropriate day of worship, or obeying the Fourth Commandment instead. There will be no need to stay longer, as there will be no one left to warn.

    I would encourage you to remain in that study group and learn more. Seventh-day Adventist were born in the study of Bible prophecy and have had a more sustained interest in these prophecies and their fulfillment than any other group in the Christian Church. Some say, “You Adventists have forgotten more about Bible prophecy than we ever knew!”

    The books of Daniel, Revelation, Matthew 24 and Luke 21, II Thessalonians 2, and II Peter 3 would be good places for further study of these matters. I also recommend the books “Great Controversy” and “Maranatha” by Ellen White as excellent depictions of the historicist approach, understanding, and application of these crucial end time prophecies.

    Keep learning, and keep looking up.

    Pastor Skip Johnson

    P.S. I have hand copied the Bible from cover to cover to ensure I am fully aware of its teachings on this, and other Bible subjects (See Deuteronomy 17:18-20 for this Biblically-prescribed method of careful Bible study by leaders among God’s people.) You might choose to hand copy chapters, or even entire books where such prophecies occur so you have a first hand grasp of their content.

  4. Joshua says:

    As a SDA member, I believe that the SDA members who are leaving cities for property and growing their own food is not in preparation for this event. It is for the many blessings that come with country living. Fine biblical examples would be John the baptist and Enoch. We believe that in that time of great trouble Jesus will provide for His people as he provided for Elijah in the wilderness, using what ever means He needs to, even if that includes using ravens. The 91st psalm will be a great treasure to any who go through that event. “For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.” Vs 11 The topic of leaving cities is a rather large topic. I can suggest Back to Enoch Ministries for more information.

  5. Reinet Thornhill says:

    Did God not say that He will provide for us in the time of need? He will send the crows to bring us food.
    The world is going to be in such a state that crops will fail because of the extreme weather patterns … we will have to trust in HIM to provide for us!!

    PS: We live in South Africa and as you might have heard on the news …. most of the farmers get murdered and get badly tortured before they die, would not want to live on a farm in SA these days, really !)

  6. Lorne Penn says:

    I am so thankful to God to be a part of this great movement and to hear the perspectives that have been shared. God bless and keep you all. I do not believe our preperation is a physical one. I believe we are called to go forward in the spirit and power of Elijah and share the Three Angels messages with the world. To do that we must remain in contact with others and love them. Most people do not even want to come to church. On my small island, my church just had a crusade and hundreds of handbills were given out, yet only a few people came. God expects each of us to take the everlasting Gospel out of the building and share with each precious soul. In that way, God has a church full of Elijah’s that He can use to finish the work. We need not worry about the time when we cannot buy or sell. Our mission is to carry the message and it is God’s responsibility to take care of us. John the Baptist was one who came in the spirit of Elijah and his mission was to prepare the then world to meet the Lamb of God. Our mission today is the same. We are to prepare people to meet the coming King Jesus. Let’s look at how much John the Baptist and Elijah prepared for their own safety and needs. Their focus was the mission given them of the Lord. John lost His life for Christ and Elijah was cared for miraculously. Both fates await the Seventh-day Adventists today who intend to go all the way with Jesus and the Good News is that both fates end with eternal life with Jesus…Praise God. Lets love and share with people while we can. While it may be wise to plan for emergencies and “small” times of trouble, there is no physical preparation that can see us through the trouble before us. Only God can. Any preparation with the intention of self preservation is comparable to the tower of Babel. I agree with those who said that our preparation must be spiritual. By the way, I do believe there’s a modern day ark and it’s God’s remnant church. We have to issue the call to those in Babylon to come out and come into God’s remnant fold, His “ark” of safety.

    When we lovingly preach the 3 Angel’s messages to all we come in contact with, doing so with meekness, Godly fear and compassion, making sure we start with the Gospel and lifting up God, His love and His Holy Law, showing from the Scriptures that the Sabbath is the seal of the living God, the devil will respond with his Sunday law. But if we don’t preach the truth, why would he need the Sunday law?

    The most important thing for us to do is make sure we are totally committed to Christ and His Commission, to preach the Gospel to all the world and only the Seventh-day Adventist church can do it.

  7. Hallow fellow christians in the name of Almighty God.The Three Angles messages is the only foundation for the True Seventh Day Adventist,this was during 1844 when Inventigative Judment message that was for this SDA church as a movement.Therefore the most important for us to do as true christian for the Present Truth is to make sure we are totally committed to Christ and His Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations,language according to the scripture found on Rev 14:6-11,Math 28:18-20.This message want those who believe in the Three Angles Message to preach this Gospel to all the World and only the Seventh-Day Adventist Church can do proclaim this.

  8. Tom Crawford says:

    Pastor Skip
    Where is your church at? Can I listen to your sermons online?
    Please let me know.


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