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Seventh Day Adventist-any Idea?

please can someone give me an insight into Adventicism(seventh day adventist)?I need to know what they are really about.

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@viable

"It is absolutely difficult for you to believe in God, if you don't acknowledge the fact that Bible is indeed a book that came out of God's inspiration.

I just want to give you one reference that can help you accept the bible as God's inspired word."

Here's another example of god's inspired word;

Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

    "Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods.  In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully.  If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.  Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it.  Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God.  That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt.  Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction.  Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you.  He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors.  "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him."  (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

How can you accept this as god's inspired word? This is genocide no matter how you try to justify it. If you had one shred of humanity in you, you will see this. if you were living in that time would you join in the massacre also? Or would you disobey your god and refuse to kill innocent men, women and children just because they dont worship him?

Cant you see that the only logical explanation for this, and many other 'inspired' passages like this in the bible is that it was written by a barbaric and immoral bronze age tribe of ancient Israelites who had no love for their fellow man.

Can you imagine for one minute what it would be like to storm into a town, with sword in hand and slaughter thousands of innocent men, women and babies. To be covered in blood and ignore the screams of the mothers as you murder their children in front of them. Or maybe you would kill the parents first and save the babies till last?

Open your eyes and read your bible my friend. Read about the horrendous and heartless mass murders committed by the heroes of the old testament such as Joshua, David, Samson, etc. Even Abraham was prepared to kill his own son for GODS SAKE!!!! Would you kill your family if you heard a voice in your head telling you to?

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Why do SDA observe the dietary laws in the old testament and yet do not observe many of the other arcane OT laws, like the law about stoning your child if such children were disobedient?

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@Mantraa

It is absolutely difficult for you to believe in God, if you don't acknowledge the fact that Bible is indeed a book that came out of God's inspiration.

I just want to give you one reference that can help you accept the bible as God's inspired word.

The lamentations of prophet jeremiah about Babylon says:

", therefore the wild beasts of the desert

with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell

there and the owls shall dwell there in

and it shall be no more inhabited for ever

neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation!"

", it shall not be inhabited but it shall be

wholly desolate everyone that goeth

by babylon shall be astonished and hiss

at all her plagues.

Above are the prophetic lamentations of jeremiah about Babylon

Confirmation from Historians and Archaeologists shows that babylon existed. The ruins of

ancient Babylon is located at about 40 to 60 kilometres south of bagdad in Iraq. According to the word of God, nobody has rebuilt babylon.

Henri-paul Eydoux in his book, Lost civilization-Facts and Enigmas in Archaeology, published in 1964 with french tittle-Realites et enigmes de I'archeologie, translated by Alex s. Kilvert and james j.Kigin to English in 1978, in page 36, wrote about the present state of Babylon, "Today the traveler visits Babylon at the risk of being a little disappointed. The illustrious city is no longer anything but an enormous expanse of ruins."

So, the same bible that pr0phrased that Babylon will not be inhabited forever, which has stood till date, also described the way and manner of Christs second coming, the City of G0d for the saints and how God will solve the sin problem, etc.

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"And who do you think caused the existence of such a vast universe? "

"God made Heaven, and then, after measuring the space underneath with a ball of thread, he began to form the earth. A mole asked to help, and God gave him the thread to hold while he wove the patterns of the earth. Sometimes the mole would let out too much thread, and finally the earth grew too large for the space under heaven. The mole was so upset that he hid under the earth. God sent the bee to look for him; he wanted the mole's advice on what to do about the mistake. The bee found the mole and he just laughed at the idea of advising God. The bee, however, hid in a flower and overheard the mole mumbling to himself about what he would do if he were God. 'Iwould squeeze the earth,' he said. 'That would make mountains and valleys and make it smaller at the same time.' When the bee heard this, he went directly to God and told him. God did what the mole had said, and everything fit fine." The myth of Rumanian Creation in which God weaves the earth from a ball of thread is just one the many stories that make up the wonderous world of creation myths. In virtually every culture throughout the ages, creation myths have played a vital role in providing not only explanations of the origins of societies but also specific cultural identities--serving as a "projection of an aspect of a culture's soul."

From: A Dictionary of Creation Myths - (Oxford Paperback Reference) by David Adams Leeming

http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Creation-Oxford-Paperback-Reference/dp/0195102754/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_c

Your question is a very good question one. And my answer is i don't know. Nobody knows, not yet. But if scientists keep on searching and accumulating all the knowledge we acquire in our quest to find out, we will get closer and closer to the real truth.

I suppose you feel that you already know the answer because it is written in the bible, but have you ever considered the possibility that you could be wrong, and that the bible is not the true word of god?

Remember what they (the christian church) did to Galileo when his telescopes and calculations disproved the myth that the sun orbits the earth, and the creation story you believe in was written thousands of years before that by people who know nothing of the true nature of the universe we inhabit.

Here is a link to a very beautifully illustrated book i just finished reading called "In the beginning - Creation myths from around the world"

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Creation-Stories-Around-World/dp/0152387420/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

As you can see, since humans first asked themselves that question, there have been thousands of creation stories from all over the world. Since they obviously can't all be right, the most logical conclusion for me is that they are all wrong.

I suppose for you, they are all wrong except your Seventh Day Adventist interpretation of the stories in the bible.

I respect whatever makes you happy, but i have chosen to see the bigger picture and accept reality, and what i see now is much more magnificent that any of the ignorant small minded writers of the bible could have ever imagined or comprehended.

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I used to be a christian, went to church most sundays ( not on saturday like you do).

Does that mean that everyone who goes to church on sunday is not righteous and would not be allowed into Gods shiny new city on earth?

I read your link about the colossal city being built out in space, which will be lowered down to earth for people to live in. Will everyone who thinks the whole concept is quite ridiculous be left out too?

That probably means that 99% of the population will be going to hell.

"27. Millennium and the End of Sin:

The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)"

Thats not nice, In fact that sounds like mass murder like the flood story but this time even worse. Death by being burnt alive.

This is also implying that life on Earth is the only life in the whole universe. Since Earth is of the same elements as the rest of the universe it is highly likely that other planets (and there are billions out there) could have conditions favourable to the existence of life on them also.

"28. New Earth:

On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.)"

God is love?

I have come to realise that my idea of love is very different from the 'love' that the God of the bible shows his children.

I have given up faith in this fictitious supernatural character from the bronze age called 'God' in exchange for the truth.

I hope that one day the truth will set you free too and your eyes will be opened to the true glory and immense scale and majesty of the universe that we live in.

Knowledge and understanding is much more important to me now.

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@ mantraa

You're welcome.

The try to stick to the bible.

That is our way in illustrating what the prophet saw. Its more like an artist's perception of what was seen.

We see ourselves as a movement of destiny. If you do a more thorough study you'll discover our place in the fulfillment of bible prophecy.

I was led into the church by my personal bible study. I started reading the bible first and accepted the sabbath and other SDA doctrines long before I went to their services. So I can safely say that God was my teacher, and it was He who led me there from age 10.

During high school however I fell away temporarily until age 19 when I was baptized. That was 32 years ago.

Its always a good thing to be informed.

Are you a Christian Mantraa?

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Thanks for the links bobyaf.

I found it all very fascinating and didn't realise that your beliefs had so many differences from mainstream Christianity, although based on the same bible.

I find the Colossal-City-In-Space theory to be a bit like science fiction though (very early science fiction).

i did a bit a of research about your branch of Christianity and found that it began in 1863, around the same time as the Mormons and i can see a lot of similarities in the way 19th century religions came about, evolved, and have had to adapt to modern times.

Were you born into your religion or were you converted later in life?

I have recently started looking at all the hundreds of different religions of the world, not to try to find the right one for me, but to examine the various different beliefs that people have.

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@ Viable

Very good point Viable.

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@ OLAADEGBU

To qualify the word punishment you'd have to understand how the wicked will be punished. It won't be roasting in hell indefinitely, but rather they will be denied being in the presence of God eternally. After the white throne judgment every wicked person would have been shown why they cannot be saved. It dawns on them what they are going to lose, and that is, being with God eternally, and living in His presence to enjoy bliss.

What would God be proving by allowing sinners whom He still loves to be roasting in hell everlastingly? Don't you understand that He is destroying them out of love? He is doing it for their own good.

When you get the time please do some research on the word "for ever". You will notice that its not always saying what you think it is saying. As soon as you do the research then I will make a comment on the last verse you mentioned.

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Do you have the following verses in your Bible?

"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal". - Matthew 25:46

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. - Revelation 20:10

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@Chukwudi44

Hell fire is an event and not a place. The bible tells us that the wages of sin is death while the reward for righteousness is eternal life. The Bible did not promise two eternal lives, one in paradise and another one in hell fire as most theologians do teach today. The bible calls the fire for the destruction of sinners "Unquenchable Fire" that means fire that cannot be stopped until it completes the destruction of sinners. Isaiah prophesied about the destruction of the earth in Isa. 24;1-6. verse 6 says therefore hath the curse devoured the earth and they that dwell therein are desolate; Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. For sinners to be burning for ever and ever and ever in hell fire means, they will have immortal bodies but the bible did not mention that. Biblical example of hell fire is Sodom and Gomorrah. See Jude verse 7 , Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh, set forth for an example of, suffering the vengeance of ETERNAL FIRE.

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How big will it be?

Big enough for all who will be saved. Revelation 22 gives an apt description of it. It says its perimeter is 1500 miles, and since each side is a perfect square, then its width is 375 miles wide; its length is the same; and its height is the same.

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where will it be and will everyone live in it.

Think of that city as where God's people will live. In Isaiah we are told that we will build houses and inhabit them , and plant vinyards and eat the fruits of them. Unfortunately, only the redeemed will inherit it.

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Or will there be people living outside the city.

No.

Ok. So it will be a very big box 375 miles x 375 miles x 373 miles, with all humans living inside it with God.

Will the rest of the earth be empty or will it still be full of just animals living as normal?

Will anyone be allowed outside the box?

Is that your idea of heaven? Living in a box?

What will be the population inside the box and will they be allowed to have sex and have children?

It sounds like it could get very claustrophobic in there.

Not trying to be rude to you but, Have you ever asked yourself these basic questions?

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@ Chukwudi44

I am convinced you're either blind, or plain silly. This is what I declared in my post, "Yes, we believe in hell as well as heaven. We believe that hell will not carry on indefinitely, "

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I'm not telling you anything. You accused Bobbyaf of not knowing his religion cos sda's don't believe in permanent hell. Well that is exactly what Bobbyaf said too, so apparently he does know his religion quite well. That is the point I was trying to make.

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@pator AIO

do you mean to tell me that hell fire is a temporary place?

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@bobbaff

You are really ignorant of your teachings,seventh day adventist members dont beleive in the existence of hell as a permanent place of punishment for sinners.You jump to critisize other faiths while you dont have enough time to study your own faith

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thank u.what abt heaven and hell?do you believe in it?a friend was trying to tell me something like they dont believe in hell.

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I am SDA.

1. Holy Scriptures:

The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)

2. Trinity:

There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.)

3. Father:

God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father. (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 4:11; 1 Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:17; Ex. 34:6, 7; John 14:9.)

4. Son:

God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God's power and was attested as God's promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:15-19; John 10:30; 14:9; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-19; John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; Heb. 8:1, 2; John 14:1-3.)

5. Holy Spirit:

God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ's life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13.)

6. Creation:

God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made "the heaven and the earth" and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was ``very good,'' declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)

7. Nature of Man:

Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and one another, and to care for their environment. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28; Gen. 3; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Ps. 51:10; 1 John 4:7, 8, 11, 20; Gen. 2:15.)

8. Great Controversy:

All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God's adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)

9. Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ:

In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God's law and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of Christ proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.)

10. Experience of Salvation:

In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith which receives salvation comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God's grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God's sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God's law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment. (2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)

11. Growing in Christ:

By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus' victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience. (Ps 1:1, 2; 23:4; 77:11, 12; Col 1:13, 14; 2:6, 14, 15; Luke 10:17-20; Eph 5:19, 20; 6:12-18; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18; Phil 3:7-14; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Matt 20:25-28; John 20:21; Gal 5:22-25; Rom 8:38, 39; 1 John 4:4; Heb 10:25.)

12. Church:

The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the celebration of the Lord's Supper, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. The church derives its authority from Christ, who is the incarnate Word, and from the Scriptures, which are the written Word. The church is God's family; adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant. The church is the body of Christ, a community of faith of which Christ Himself is the Head. The church is the bride for whom Christ died that He might sanctify and cleanse her. At His return in triumph, He will present her to Himself a glorious church, the faithful of all the ages, the purchase of His blood, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. (Gen. 12:3; Acts 7:38; Eph. 4:11-15; 3:8-11; Matt. 28:19, 20; 16:13-20; 18:18; Eph. 2:19-22; 1:22, 23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:17, 18.)

13. Remnant and Its Mission:

The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. (Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude 3, 14; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1-14.)

14. Unity in the Body of Christ:

The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. (Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)

15. Baptism:

By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life. Thus we acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, become His people, and are received as members by His church. Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy Spirit. It is by immersion in water and is contingent on an affirmation of faith in Jesus and evidence of repentance of sin. It follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of their teachings. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)

16. Lord's Supper:

The Lord's Supper is a participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. In this experience of communion Christ is present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we joyfully proclaim the Lord's death until He comes again. Preparation for the Supper includes self-examination, repentance, and confession. The Master ordained the service of foot washing to signify renewed cleansing, to express a willingness to serve one another in Christlike humility, and to unite our hearts in love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians. (1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30; Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17.)

17. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries:

God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity. Given by the agency of the Holy Spirit, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all abilities and ministries needed by the church to fulfill its divinely ordained functions. According to the Scriptures, these gifts include such ministries as faith, healing, prophecy, proclamation, teaching, administration, reconciliation, compassion, and self-sacrificing service and charity for the help and encouragement of people. Some members are called of God and endowed by the Spirit for functions recognized by the church in pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching ministries particularly needed to equip the members for service, to build up the church to spiritual maturity, and to foster unity of the faith and knowledge of God. When members employ these spiritual gifts as faithful stewards of God's varied grace, the church is protected from the destructive influence of false doctrine, grows with a growth that is from God, and is built up in faith and love. (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:9-11, 27, 28; Eph. 4:8, 11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.)

18. The Gift of Prophecy:

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)

19. Law of God:

The great principles of God's law are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Christ. They express God's love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are binding upon all people in every age. These precepts are the basis of God's covenant with His people and the standard in God's judgment. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit they point out sin and awaken a sense of need for a Saviour. Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments. This obedience develops Christian character and results in a sense of well-being. It is an evidence of our love for the Lord and our concern for our fellow men. The obedience of faith demonstrates the power of Christ to transform lives, and therefore strengthens Christian witness. (Ex. 20:1-17; Ps. 40:7, 8; Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 28:1-14; Matt. 5:17-20; Heb. 8:8-10; John 15:7-10; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 5:3; Rom. 8:3, 4; Ps. 19:7-14.)

20. Sabbath:

The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God's kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God's creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)

21. Stewardship:

We are God's stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God's ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow men, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Rom. 15:26, 27.)

22. Christian Behavior:

We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 3 John 2.)

23. Marriage and the Family:

Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship. For the Christian a marriage commitment is to God as well as to the spouse, and should be entered into only between partners who share a common faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are the fabric of this relationship, which is to reflect the love, sanctity, closeness, and permanence of the relationship between Christ and His church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that the person who divorces a spouse, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. Although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, marriage partners who fully commit themselves to each other in Christ may achieve loving unity through the guidance of the Spirit and the nurture of the church. God blesses the family and intends that its members shall assist each other toward complete maturity. Parents are to bring up their children to love and obey the Lord. By their example and their words they are to teach them that Christ is a loving disciplinarian, ever tender and caring, who wants them to become members of His body, the family of God. Increasing family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel message. (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31, 32; Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5, 6.)

24. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary:

There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.)

25. Second Coming of Christ:

The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour's coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:43, 44; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:1-6.)

26. Death and Resurrection:

The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later. (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1-10.)

27. Millennium and the End of Sin:

The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)

28. New Earth:

On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.)

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