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"Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, 'We can do nothing more,' the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me."
"We are God's commandment-keeping people. For the past fifty years every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us, to becloud our minds regarding the teaching of the word, - especially concerning the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and the message of heaven for these last days, as given by the angels of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the way-marks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority."
Testimonies containing letters to Physicians and Ministers
by Ellen G. White 1904, pages 56 and 59.
"The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth, also the first and second angels' messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, 'The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.' One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God's law. The nonimmortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. All this cry about changing the old landmarks is all imaginary."
Counsels to Writers and Editors
by Ellen G. White, page 30.
"We, the undersigned, hereby associate ourselves together as a church, taking the name Seventh-day Adventists; covenanting to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ."
Original church covenant of 6.10.1861,
from The Great Second Advent Movement by J. N. Loughborough.
The Godhead is made up of Three Living Persons - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit or Ghost. These Three beings are all omnipotent, omniscient and eternal. The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight. The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be 'the express image of His person.' 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Here is shown the personality of the Father. The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - those who receive Christ by living faith are baptised, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ. (Isa. 48:16; Matt. 1:23; 3:16,17; 28:19; John 8:58; 18:5,6; 14:26; 15:26; Acts 5:3,4; 10:38; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; Heb. 9:14; 1 Peter 1:2.)
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. The Father so loved the world, that He gave us His only begotten son, that everyone who believes on Him may have eternal life. (Gen. 1:1; Mal. 3:6; John 3:16; 14:9; 1 Cor. 15:28; Eph. 3:9;4:6; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 1:1-3; 1 John 4:8.)
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, and took the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race. He lived and experienced temptation as any other 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. Here with His own blood He makes atonement for our sins; which atonement so far from being made on the cross, which was but the offering of the sacrifice, is the very last portion of His work as priest, according to the example of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in Heaven. He will come a second time in glory for the final deliverance of His people and a third time to destroy sin and sinners, and to restore of all things. (Exo. 3:14; Micah 5:2; Matt. 1:21-23; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3,14; 5:22; 8:58; 10:30; 14:1-3; 18:5,6; Acts 4:10-12; Rom. 5:17; 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-19; Heb. 2:9:18; 4:15;7:25; 8:1-3; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:21; Rev. 21; 22:20.)
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 gives spiritual gifts to the church, empowering them to bear witness for Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads people into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2: Luke 1:35; 4:18; John 3:5; 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 10:38; Rom. 1:1-4; 1 Cor. 2:10; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 9:14; 2 Peter 1:21.)
The Holy Scriptures (King James Version), both Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration. Holy men of God spoke (as their scribes wrote) and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In His 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. (Ps. 119:9,11,105,130; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 10:35; 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.)
God is the Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six literal days the Lord made "the heaven and the earth" and all the living things therein, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. This is where we get our seven day week from. 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. From a study of the Scriptures we know that this earth is only about 6,000 years old. (Gen. 1;2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11, 31; Ps. 19:1, 2; 33:6, 9;104; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:14-17; Heb. 11:3; 2 Pet. 3:4, 5.)
Man and woman were made in the image of God and were both physical and spiritual. God made them with individuality, and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is a unity of body and spirit or life force, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they lost their spiritual side 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 or carnal nature that is at enmity with God and His law, 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 believing, repentant mortals the image of their Maker, or their spiritual side. 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; 3; Ps. 8:4-8; 51:5; Acts 17:24-28; Rom. 5:12-17; 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:19,20; Heb. 4:15; 2:16-18; 1 John 3:4.)
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 the first created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God's adversary, and led into rebellion one third 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 world-wide 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, the Third Person of the Godhead, and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Genesis 3;6: 6-8; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:4-14; 2 Peter 3:6; Rev. 12:4-9; 20:2,9, 10,14,15.)
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. (Isa. 53; John 3:16; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 2:15; 1Tim. 6:14,15; 1 John 2:2;4:10.)
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, ask for forgiveness and turn away from our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as our 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 perfect our character. By abiding in God and obeying Him, we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgement. (Ps. 27:1; 55:17; Isa. 12:2; 50:4,5; Jonah 2:9; Matt. 18:3; John 3:3-8,16; 17:17; Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25; 5:6-10; 8:1-4,14,15,26,27; 10:7; 1 Cor. 2:5;15:3,4; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Gal. 1:4; 2:19,20; 3:13,26; 4:4-7; Eph. 2:5-10; 3:16-19; 1 Thess. 5:17; Heb 8:7-12; 1 Peter 1:23; 2:2,21; 1 John 1:9; 2:1, 2.)
The church are all who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and delight to do His will, and obey His commands. Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church. As with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world and worldliness: and we join together for worship, fellowship, instruction in the Word, commemoration of the Lord's Supper, service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. Christ is the head of the church, and all members of the church are brethren. The church are likened to different parts of a body, the head of which is Jesus Christ. As God is the head of Christ, so Christ is the head of every man, and man is the head of woman. A woman is not to usurp authority over the man, and all ordained leaders should be men of good repute. The church is God's family; adopted by Him as children. Christ died that He might sanctify and cleanse those who call upon His name, so that all may become part of His church. At His return in triumph, He will present them 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. (Ps. 40:18; Matt. 16:13-20; 18:15-20; John 20:21, 22; Acts 1:8; 2:38,41,42; 4:32-35; 6:1-7; 7:38; Rom. 2:28,29; 8:15-17; 1 Cor. 10:4; 11:3; 12:13-27; 14:33-40; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 1:15,23; 2:12, 19-22; 3:8-11,15; 4:11-15; 2 Tim 2:11,12; 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 10:24,25; 1 Pet. 2:3-6; Rev. 14:12; 22:14.)
In the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out of Babylon and her associates to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The existing confusion of conflicting creeds and sects is fitly represented by the term 'Babylon', which prophecy applied to the world-loving churches of the last days. God's remnant people are not a particular church, organisation or denomination, but have the descriptive name which is 'Seventh-Day Adventists', because they keep the 7th day Sabbath in accordance to the 4th Commandment and look forward to Jesus Christ's second coming. It is the mission of this remnant to announce the arrival of the judgement hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, herald the approach of His second advent, to call all to the worship of the true God and forsaking all false doctrines and paganism, and to warn all not to receive the mark of the beast, which is the enforcement of Sunday sacredness as opposed to God's Sabbath. God's people are called to separate themselves from sin and sinner, for by constant association with them they will partake of their sins and receive of the plagues of God. This proclamation is symbolised by the three angels of Revelation 14:6-12 and the fourth angel of Revelation 18:1-4; it coincides with the work of judgement 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. (Isa. 43:10-12; Zeph. 3:13; Matt. 24:29-34; 28:18-20; 24:14; Mark 16:15; 8:38; 2 Cor. 5:10; 6:14-18; Eph. 5:22-27; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 2 Peter 3:3,4; Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-5; 21:1-14.)
The church is to have the unity for which Christ prayed, as one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, but are united on truth and Christ's doctrine. We are to be one in faith and hope as Jesus Christ is one with the Father. As the disciples needed to come into unity of feeling, thought and action before the former rain could fall, so we must do the same for the latter rain to fall upon us. 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. This true Godly unity has its source in the oneness of the Godhead, who has adopted us as sons and daughters of God. (Ps. 133:1; John 10:30; 17:11,20-23; Acts 17:26,27; Rom. 15:5,6; 1 Cor. 1:10; 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; 10:11,17 Gal. 3:27-29; Eph. 4:1-6; Phil. 2:2; Col. 3:10-15; James 2:2-9; 1 John 5:7.)
Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptised in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we are buried in the likeness of Christ's death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection, and we are to live a new life. Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ. Henceforth the believer is to bear in mind that he is dedicated to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. Baptism is by total immersion in water and follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of their teachings. (Matt 3:13-16; 28:19,20; Acts 2:38,41-47; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 22:16; Rom. 6:1-11; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12,13; 1 Peter 3:21.)
The Lord's Supper is a participation in the symbols of the body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. During this service Christ is present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we solemnly and 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 which proceeds the Lord's Supper, to signify renewed cleansing, to express a willingness to serve one another in Christ like humility, and to unite our hearts in love. This service is open to all believing and baptised Christians. (Matt. 26:17-30; 10:16, 17; John 6:48-63; John 13:1-17; 1 Cor. 11:23-29.)
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 Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all abilities and ministries needed by the church to preach to gospel to the world. These gifts include wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking and interpreting an unlearned foreign languages, and teaching, for the help and encouragement of people. Some people are called of God to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ to bring all into unity with 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. The people who receive these gifts will be like the disciples after Pentecost and fear no man, only God, and will show the fruits of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. A form of these gifts and many others will also appear in the last days by false teachers, leading many away from Jesus Christ. ( Matt. 7:18-20; 25:31- 40; 24:24; Acts 6:1-7; Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 1:7; 12:1-28; Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 4:8,11-16; 2 Thess. 2:7-13; 1 Tim. 2:1-3; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.)
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. In the last days sons and daughters will prophesy, young men will have visions and old men dreams. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in Ellen G. White as well as many other pioneers of the Second Advent Movement. Ellen G. White was one of the Lord's messengers, 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. (Isa. 8:20; Hosea 12:10; Joel 2:28, 29; Amos 3:7; Acts 2:14-21, Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)
The gift of tongues or the ability to speak different languages that have not been learned, was promised to the disciples of Jesus Christ when He commissioned them to go into the whole world and preach the gospel. This would have been impossible for them to do without this gift, for the Bible tells us that they spoke with the tongue of the Galilean, which was a distinctive dialect. This gift is given to convert unbelievers to the faith. The ability to speak in a foreign language is of no use to the church unless there is a foreigner there who does not understand that language and is thereby won to God. The first time the disciples spoke in tongues was in the upper room when they were waiting for a sign that they were to go forth and preach the gospel, first in Jerusalem, then to the whole world. This speaking in tongues was the unmistakable sign they were waiting for. At this time in Jerusalem were people from 14 different countries and they all heard the gospel message of repent and be baptised in their native language. The people at Cornelius' house started speaking in tongues as evidence that God had accepted these people into His church, which left Peter no real choice, especially after the dream he had, but to baptise these people and accept them into the church. These people would not have been accepted into the church had this not happened. The "unknown" tongue mentioned many times in 1 Corinthians 14 actually means another language, as the words "unknown" is a supplied word used so that the sentence makes sense, but is not in the original text. The gift of tongues according to Paul is one of the least gifts. (Jer. 23:30-32; Mark 16:15-20; Acts 1:4; 2:3-11; 10:45-47; 19:3-6; 1 Cor. 12:7-11, 28-31; 13:1,2,14.)
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. By obeying the first four commandments we show our love to God, and the last six, our love to our fellow man. These precepts are the basis of God's covenant with His people and the standard in God's judgement. Through 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; Deut. 28:1-14; Ps. 19:7-13; 119:145; Matt. 5:17-22;22:36-40; John 14:15; Rom. 4:5; 8:1-4; Eph. 2:8, 9; James 2:17, 18; 1 John 5:3.)
The Creator, after the six days of creation, rested on the seventh day and blessed and sanctified 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. Even in His death Jesus Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath day, and did not rise until early Sunday morning. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. It is the seal of the Living God. The Sabbath is observed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, is a commemoration of God's creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 16:22-31; 20:8-11; 31:12-17; Deut. 5:12-15; Lev. 23:32; Neh. 13:15-21; Isa. 56:5,6; 58:13,14; 66:22,23; Eze. 9:1-11; 20:12,20; Mark 1:21-32; 2:27,28; 15:42; 16:1,2,9; Luke 4:16; 23:54-56; 24:1; Acts 17:2; Heb. 4:1-11; Rev. 7:1-4.)
The last great battle between those who follow God and those who do not is predicted in Revelation 13 and 14, and it a battle of who or what to worship with all participants facing death from the opposing side. On the one hand is the forced worship of the image of the beast and the beast or face death at the hands of men; or on the other hand, freely worship God and keep His commandments or face God's wrath and eternal death. The papacy or Roman Catholic Church (an organisation which is not to be confused with its members) is the foremost antichrist power of the Bible prophecies. It was the great persecuting power of the middle or dark ages and will once more, in unity with apostate Protestants (fallen Christian churches), persecute God's people in the last days. The image to or of the beast is formed when the leading churches in the United States of America influence their government to enforce their religious decrees and to sustain their institutions. The infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result. The religious observance of the first day of the week, Sunday, is the pagan counterfeit of God's seventh-day Sabbath observance. Sunday has been promoted by the papacy as a mark of her authority. When apostate Protestants unite with the United States Government to pass civil laws for the observance of Sunday it then becomes the mark of the beast. The Roman Catholic Church is called Babylon in prophecy. The immortality of the soul, the eternal torment of the wicked, the denial of the pre-existence of Christ prior to his birth in Bethlehem, advocating and exalting the first day of the week above God's holy, sanctified day, and kindred errors which cannot be substantiated from the Scriptures make up the wine of Babylon. Babylon is also said to be the mother of harlots which are fallen churches who promote her false doctrines. (Exo. 31:13; Eze. 20:12,20; Dan. 7:25; 1 John 4:2,3; Rev. 7:1-8; 13:1-8,16; 14:1,9,10; 17:1-18.)
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 and accountable to Him for their proper use or misuse. We acknowledge God's ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow men, and by returning tithes of one-tenth and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel message. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 14:18-20; 28:22; Lev. 27:30, 32; Num. 18:21; Ps. 24:1; 50:10,11; Prov. 3:9; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 23:23; 25:14-29; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; 2 Cor. 9:6,7; Heb. 7:24.)
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 Christ like purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. We are to separate from worldly practices such as card playing, visiting theatres, dancing, novel reading, competitive sports, gambling, watching unprofitable television programs, and listening to sensual, worldly music, etc. for these things tend to deaden the spiritual life. While recognising cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment such as the wearing of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings but the imperishable ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and 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 as well as blood and fat of flesh foods. 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. (Lev. 11:1-47; Deut. 22:5; 2 Kings 9:30; Isa. 3:16-24; Jer. 4:30; Matt. 5:48; Acts 15:29; Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 Cor. 3:16,17; 6:19, 20; 9:25; 10:1-11,31; 2 Cor. 6:14-18;7:1; 10:5; Col. 3:5-10; 1 Thess. 3:13; 4:3,7; 5:23; 2 Tim. 2:19-22; Gal. 5:17-21; 6:7,8; Eph. 5:1-13; Phil. 4:8; 1 Tim. 2:9, 10; James 4:4; 1 Peter 2:9-12,21; 3:1-5,15; 1 John 2:6,15-17; Rev. 17:4.)
Marriage was divinely established in Eden, its sanctity is guarded by the 7th Commandment, and it was 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, honour, 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; Exo. 20:14; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5,6; Matt. 5:31,32;19:3-9; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18; John 2:1-11; Rom. 7:1-3; Eph. 5:21-33;6:1-4; 1 Cor. 7:1-40; Heb. 13:4.)
There is a sanctuary of the new covenant in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord built and not man. This sanctuary is the antitype of the tabernacle built at Sinai, and the priestly work of our Lord, connected therewith, is the antitype of the work of the Jewish priests of the former dispensation. In the heavenly sanctuary 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 in the first apartment, the Holy Place, at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered into the second apartment, the Most Holy Place, to perform the last of His Priestly duties. It is a work of cleansing the sanctuary and investigative judgement which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the typical 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 judgement reveals to heavenly intelligences, who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have a part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who, among the living are abiding in Christ, have settled into the truth, are keeping the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgement 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 seven last plagues are poured out and Christ returns. (Lev. 16; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Dan. 7:9-27;8:13,14; 9:24-27; Mal. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 4:14; 8:1-5; 9:11-28; Rev. 14:6-12; 22:11,12.)
The second coming of Jesus Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour's coming will be literal, personal, visible, loud, and worldwide, although His feet will not touch the earth. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected incorruptible and rise into the air, and the righteous living will be glorified and caught up to heaven with them, but the wicked will be slain by the brightness of His coming. The almost complete fulfilment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is very near. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Joel 3:9-16; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:16, 17; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:7-12; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 2:13,14; Heb. 9:28; 2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 1:7.)
The wages of sin is death. God alone is immortal. Only those who love and obey Him will He grant eternal life. Death is an unconscious state just like sleep for all people both good and bad. When God made man, He formed him from the dust of the ground, then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. At death this breath of life goes back to God from where it came, and the body returns to the dust. When Christ, who is our life, comes a second time He will raise the righteous dead incorruptible and then the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the wicked, will take place a thousand years later. (Gen. 2:7; 3:19; Job 14:12,21; 27:3; Ps. 6:5; 115:17; 146:4; Eccl. 3:19,20; 9:5,6; 12:7; Isa. 24:21,22; Matt. 27:52; John 5:24,28,29; 11:11-14; Acts 13:36; 24:15; Rom. 6:23; 8:35-39; 1 Cor 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 1 Tim. 6:15,16; James 2:26; Rev. 20:1-10.)
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. Death and hell will also be cast into this lake of fire and destroyed. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Jer. 4:23-26; Eze. 28:18; Zech. 14:1-4; Mal. 4:1; 1 Cor. 6; 15:26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; 2 Peter 2:4; 3:10-14; Rev. 20:1-15; 21:1-4.)
After the lake of fire has destroyed everything and cleansed the earth, God will create a new heaven and a new earth in which the righteous will dwell with God. God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. There will be no more tears, death, sorrow, crying or pain for the former things are 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. ( Gen. 17:1-8; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; 55:22,23; Matt. 5:5; 2 Peter 3:9-13; Rev. 11:15; 21:1-7; 22:1-5.)
In presenting to the public this brief summary of the main beliefs of our faith we wish to have it distinctly understood that we have no articles of faith, creed or discipline, aside from the Bible (King James Version).
© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2011. Last updated October, 2016.
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