Beliefs - expanded

The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement teaches certain fundamental beliefs which, together with scriptural references upon which these beliefs are based, are explained as follows:


The Godhead

"Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God; . . . Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." Isaiah 44:6; 45:22.

The Bible speaks of only one God. Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4. In Hebrew, the term God is often used in the plural form (Elohiym as opposed to the singular Elowahh). According to the Scriptures, the Godhead (Genesis 1:1, 26; Acts 17:29; Colossians 2:9), comprises three Divine Dignitaries—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—working together as one. Isaiah 48:16, 17; Matthew 3:16, 17; 28:19; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; Jude 20, 21.

Our faith in the existence of God is based upon evidence which He Himself has provided. The hand of God is present everywhere—in nature, in the course of history, in our personal experience, and above all in His Word, the Bible. This can be perceived by every person who desires to see the evidence for himself. Job 11:7; 2 Chronicles 15:2; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 5:8; Romans 1:20; 1 Corinthians 2:14, 15.

Some of the attributes of the Godhead:

    eternal: Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28; Romans 1:20

    immortal: 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15, 16

    invisible to sinful man: 1 John 4:12; 1 Timothy 1:17

    omnipresent (present everywhere): Psalm 139:7-12; Jeremiah 23:24

    omniscient (all-knowing): 1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 139:2-4; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20

    omnipotent (all-powerful): Job 37:23; 38:1-41; 42:2; Psalm 33:6-9; Matthew 19:26

    immutable (unchangeable): Psalm 33:11; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17

    holy: Leviticus 19:2; Joshua 24:19; Psalm 99:9; 1 Peter 1:16

    righteous: Ezra 9:15; Jeremiah 23:6; Daniel 9:7; Psalm 7:9

    merciful: Exodus 34:6; Psalm 103:8; Lamentations 3:22; Micah 7:18

    good: Exodus 33:19; Psalm 34:8; Matthew 19:17; Romans 2:4

    truth: Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 31:5; Isaiah 65:16

    love: John 3:16; 1 John 4:7-11

"The revelation of Himself that God has given in His word is for our study. This we may seek to understand. But beyond this we are not to penetrate. The highest intellect may tax itself until it is wearied out in conjectures regarding the nature of God, but the effort will be fruitless. This problem has not been given us to solve. No human mind can comprehend God. None are to indulge in speculation regarding His nature. Here silence is eloquence. The Omniscient One is above discussion."—The Ministry of Healing, p. 429.

"The Father cannot be described by the things of earth. 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.' (Hebrews 1:3). 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' (John 3:16). 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 baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their effort to live the new life in Christ."—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 62, 63 (1905).—Evangelism, p. 614, 615.

"God is a spirit; yet He is a personal being, for man was made in His image." —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 263


The Father is the first Person of the Godhead. Matthew 3:17; 11:25; John 14:28; 15:1, 9; Acts 1:7; 2 Corinthians 1:3; Hebrews 1:1-13; James 1:17.

Through Christ and the Holy Spirit, the Father is the Creator and Sustainer of all. Malachi 2:10; Hebrews 1:1-3; Colossians 1:14-16; John 1:3; Job 26:13; 33:4; Psalm 104:30.

God is the Father of all who accept Christ as their personal Saviour and obey all His commandments. Matthew 5:48; 6:9; John 1:12, 13; 20:17; Romans 8:15-17; 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18; 1 John 3:24.

The most outstanding attribute of the Father—which motivated the plan of salvation—is His love. John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-13, 16. His love is revealed in us if He dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. John 14:16, 23; Romans 8:14; 1 John 4:16.

"Jesus teaches us to call His Father our Father. He is not ashamed to call us brethren. Hebrews 2:11. So ready, so eager, is the Saviour's heart to welcome us as members of the family of God, that in the very first words we are to use in approaching God, He places the assurance of our divine relationship, 'Our Father.'"—Mount of Blessings, p. 103.

"The Ancient of Days is God the Father. Says the psalmist: 'Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and

the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.' Psalm 90:2. It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment." —The Great Controversy, p. 479


Christ, the second Person of the Godhead (1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8), is the eternal, self-existent Son of God, the "express image" (Hebrews 1:3; John 14:7-10) of the Father. Together with the Father, He is the beginner (Revelation 3:14), (Gr. Arche—originator), of all things. John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2; Romans 9:5 (cf John 17:3; 1 John 5:20); Isaiah 9:6; John 6:33.

The eternal pre-existence of Christ is clearly taught in the Bible. Micah 5:2; Proverbs 8:22-30; John 1:1, 2, 14; 17:5, 24. A comparison between Isaiah 40:3-5 and Matthew 3:3 proves that Christ is part of the Godhead. See also Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58.

As Christ is also God, one with the Father and equal with Him, He is also to be worshiped. This would not be the case if He were a created being (Revelation 19:10). John 10:30; 20:28; Matthew 14:33; Luke 4:8; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:6; Luke 24:52.

Without giving up His divinity, Christ accepted humanity and became a man at His incarnation, when He was born of the virgin Mary. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:35. At His birth in Bethlehem, He did not take the nature of Adam before the fall, but the seed of Abraham and of David. John 1:14; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:14, 16, 17; Philippians 2:7, 8; Romans 1:3, 4; 2 Timothy 2:8.

Christ came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10); to live and die for our justification and sanctification (Romans 5:9-10; 1 John 1:9; John 17:19); to take away our sins (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 John 3:5); to redeem us from the penalty of the law (Galatians 3:13; 4:4-5); to condemn sin in the flesh, enabling us, by the Holy Spirit, to fulfill the righteousness of the law (Romans 8:3-4); to give us an example of obedience (John 15:10; 1 Peter 2:21-24; 1 John 2:5-6; Hebrews 5:8-9); and to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

As a man, Christ was tempted in all points like ourselves; yet He knew no sin. Mark 1:13; Luke 4:1, 2, 13; Hebrews 2:18; 4:15; John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22.

The vicarious death of Christ on the cross provides the sacrificial part (the blood offering) of the atonement for the sins of the human race. Only those who accept this provision will be saved. Isaiah 53:1-12; John 3:14-17; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Hebrews 9:22; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 1 John 1:7

Dual Nature

"The Godhead was not made human, and the human was not deified by the blending together of the two natures. Christ did not possess the same sinful, corrupt, fallen disloyalty we possess, for then He could not be a perfect offering." —Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 131.

"He [Christ] has a twofold nature, at once human and divine. He is both God and man. Manuscript 76, 1903."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1074.

"The two natures were mysteriously blended in one Person—the Man Christ Jesus. Letter 280, 1904."—."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1113.

"By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey."—The Desire of Ages, p. 14

Divine Nature

"Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed for evermore."—Selected Messages, book 1, p. 247.

"In speaking of his pre‑existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God."—Evangelism, p. 615.

"From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father."—The Desire of Ages, p. 19.

"Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, 'whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.' Micah 5:2, margin."—The Desire of Ages, pp. 469-470.

"When the voice of the mighty angel was heard at Christ's tomb, saying, Thy Father calls Thee, the Saviour came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself. Now was proved the truth of His words, 'I lay down My life, that I might take it again. . . . I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.' Now was fulfilled the prophecy He had spoken to the priests and rulers, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' John 10:17, 18; 2:19.

"Over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, Christ had proclaimed in triumph, 'I am the resurrection, and the life.' These words could be spoken only by the Deity. All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of the life of God. From the highest seraph to the humblest animate being, all are replenished from the Source of life. Only He who is one with God could say, I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death."—The Desire of Ages, p. 785.

"In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. When Christ was crucified, it was His human nature that died. Deity did not sink and die; that would have been impossible."—SDA Bible Commentary (EGW Comments), p. 1113.

"The divinity of Christ is the believer's assurance of eternal life."—The Desire of Ages, p. 530

Human Nature

"It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity."—The Desire of Ages, p. 49.

"At an infinite cost, and by a process mysterious to angels as well as to men, Christ assumed humanity. Hiding his divinity, laying aside his glory, he was born a babe in Bethlehem."—The Youth's Instructor, July 20, 1899.

"When Jesus took human nature, and became in fashion as a man, He possessed all the human organism. His necessities were the necessities of a man. He had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved. By prayer to the Father He was braced for duty and for trial (Letter 32, 1899)."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1130.

"He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions. As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 201-202.

"The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man; He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man. Yet He was God in the flesh. When we approach this subject, we would do well to heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush, 'Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground' (Exodus 3:5)." —Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 244. 

Tempted in all Points

"Clad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God came down to the level of those he wished to save. In him was no guile or sinfulness; he was ever pure and undefiled; yet he took upon him our sinful nature. Clothing his divinity with humanity, that he might associate with fallen humanity, he sought to regain for man that which, by disobedience, Adam had lost for himself and for the world." —The Review and Herald, December 15, 1896.

"Christ's heart was pierced by a far sharper pain than that caused by the nails driven into his hands and feet. He was bearing the sins of the whole world, enduring our punishment,—the wrath of God against transgression. His trial involved the fierce temptation of thinking that he was forsaken by God. His soul was tortured by the pressure of great darkness, lest he should swerve from his uprightness during the terrible ordeal. Unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is no temptation. Temptation is resisted when man is powerfully influenced to do a wrong action; and, knowing that he can do it, resists, by faith, with a firm hold upon divine power. This was the ordeal through which Christ passed. He could not have been tempted in all points as man is tempted, had there been no possibility of his failing. He was a free agent, placed on probation, as was Adam, and as is every man. In his closing hours, while hanging on the cross, he experienced to the fullest extent what man must experience when striving against sin. He realized how bad a man may become by yielding to sin. He realized the terrible consequence of the transgression of God's law; for the iniquity of the whole world was upon him."—The Youth's Instructor, July 20, 1899.

"When His ministry commenced, after His baptism, He endured an agonizing fast of nearly six weeks. It was not merely the gnawing pangs of hunger which made His sufferings inexpressibly severe, but it was the guilt of the sins of the world which pressed so heavily upon Him. He who knew no sin was made sin for us. With this terrible weight of guilt upon Him because of our sins He withstood the fearful test upon appetite, and upon love of the world and of honor, and pride of display which leads to presumption."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 372

Yet Without Sin

"Christ was the only one who walked the earth upon whom there rested no taint of sin."—Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 134.

"Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity."—The SDA Bible Commentary (E. G. White Comments), vol. 5, p. 1128.

"The prince of darkness found nothing in Him; not a single thought or feeling responded to temptation."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 422.

"He [Christ] was to take His position at the head of humanity by taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man."—SDA Bible Commentary (EGW Comments), vol. 7, p. 925.

"We should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1131.

"He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet He prayed, and that often with strong crying and tears. He prayed for His disciples and for Himself, thus identifying Himself with our needs, our weaknesses, and our failings, which are so common with humanity. He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from His Father."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 508-509.

"Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought, was torture to His spirit."—The Desire of Ages, p. 111

We Can Overcome in the Same Way

"Many who fall under temptation excuse themselves with the plea that Christ's divinity helped him overcome, and that man has not this power in his favor. But this is a mistake. Christ has brought divine power within the reach of all. The Son of God came to the earth because he saw that moral power in man is weak. He came to bring finite man in close connection with God. It is by combining divine power with his human strength that man becomes an overcomer."—The Youth's Instructor, December 28, 1899.

"Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was."—The Desire of Ages, p. 664.

"When we are tempted to question whether Christ resisted temptation as a man, we must search the Scriptures for the truth. As the substitute and surety of the human race, Christ was placed in the same position toward the Father as is the sinner. Christ had the privilege of depending on the Father for strength, and so have we."—The Youth's Instructor, December 28, 1899.

"God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. . . . In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together."—The Desire of Ages, pp. 25, 26

Christ's Intercession

After He had died on the cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3), Christ resurrected on the third day (Luke 24:19-24, 46; 1 Corinthians 15:4); and, forty days later, He ascended to heaven (Acts 1:3,11) to make intercession for us and complete the work of atonement (Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 Timothy 2:5; John 14:6; Acts 4:12) as He presents the merits of His blood before the Father for repentant sinners (Hebrews 9:11-14; Revelation 7:14). Through the merits of His blood, the cleansing of the sanctuary and the blotting out of sins (Acts 3:19), the final phase of the atonement, commenced in 1844 (Daniel 8:14; Hebrews 8:1-4; 9:23), when the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary was opened (Revelation 11:19) .

"The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross."—The Great Controversy, p. 489.

"The divine Intercessor presents the plea that all who have overcome through faith in His blood be forgiven their transgressions, that they be restored to their Eden home, and crowned as joint heirs with Himself to 'the first dominion.'"—The Great Controversy, p. 484.

"By His spotless life, His obedience, His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a conqueror claiming His victory." —SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, pp. 930-931. 


The Holy Spirit, the Representative of Christ, is the third person of the Godhead. He is, besides Christ, the greatest of all gifts of God to man; and through Him, Christ promised to be with His followers. John 14:16-18, 23; Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 John 3:24; 4:12, 13; Ephesians 3:16, 17; Romans 8:9-11.

A comparison between Isaiah 6:8-10 and Acts 28:25-27 shows that the Holy Spirit is a distinct part of the Godhead. Isaiah 48:16. While Christ is our Mediator before the Father (1 Timothy 2:5), the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us by working upon our hearts. Romans 8:26 (cf verse 34).

"Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man's behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing out prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving. The gratitude which flows from our lips is the result of the Spirit striking the cords of the soul in holy memories, awakening the music of the heart."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 1077-1078.

The first work of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin and to lead us to Christ. John 16:8. By accepting Jesus as our personal Saviour, we yield to the influence and control of the Holy Spirit, who testifies of Christ and brings repentance, conversion (new birth or regeneration), and sanctification. He continues to lead us into all truth (obedience), and we become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), having the mind of Christ. John 15:26; 16:8; 3:5-8; Titus 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:1, 2, 9, 14, 16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Galatians 5:16, 25; John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16.

Before a person can receive the gifts of the Spirit, he must bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit in his life. Galatians 5:22-25; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.

Our union with Christ through the Holy Spirit is the earnest (pledge) of our resurrection. The presence of God's Spirit with us is the beginning of eternal life. Romans 8:9-11 (cf John 11:25, 26; 1 John 4:13). 


The Holy Spirit is often referred to as a power proceeding from the Father and the Son—a power working in and through human beings. Micah 3:8; Luke 1:35; 4:14; 24:49; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:4.

At the same time, however, the Bible also refers to the Holy Spirit as a distinct personality. Examples:

    1. Not only the Father is Jehovah, but also the Son and the Holy Spirit: Isaiah 40:3 (Hebrew)

        (cf Matthew 3:3); Isaiah 6:8-11 (Hebrew) (cf Acts 28:25-27).

    2. He is a Comforter: John 14:26; 16:7.

    3. He hears, speaks, guides us, and reveals future events to us: John 16:13; Luke 2:26

    4. He warns us of future trials and afflictions: Acts 20:23; 21:11..

    5. He teaches us all things and brings the words of Christ to our remembrance: John 14:26.

    6. He comes to us with prohibitions and commands: Acts 16:6; Acts 13:2.

    7. He gives messages to the people of God through the prophets: 2 Peter 1:21.

    8. He has a mind (Romans 8:27), a will (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), a capacity for love (Romans 15:30). He is susceptible to being insulted and grieved (Ephesians 4:30), tempted (Acts 5:9), and lied to (Acts 5:3).

    9. He searches all things, even "the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God": 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11.

    10. He glorifies Christ as Christ glorified the Father: John 16:14; 17:1.

    11. He makes intercession for us: Romans 8:26.

    12. He refers to Himself as an individuality, using the personal pronouns "I" and "Me": Acts 13:2.

"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.—Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.)"—Evangelism, p. 616.

"The Holy Spirit... personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality." —Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 324.

"The Holy Spirit is a free, working, independent agency."—Review and Herald, May 5, 1896.

The Holy Spirits shares the omniscience and omnipotence of the Godhead.

"The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relationship with God."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1075.

"He [Christ] knew that the truth, armed with the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, would conquer in the battle with evil."—Acts of the Apostles, p. 21.

"The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this Satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fulness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure."—The Desire of Ages, p. 671.

"Our sanctification is the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."— SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 908.

"The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relation with God. They are present at every baptism, to receive the candidates who have renounced the world and have received Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have entered into the family of God, and their names are inscribed in the Lamb's book of life (MS 27 1/2, 1900)."—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p.1075.

"The Holy Spirit indites all genuine prayer. I have learned to know that in all my intercessions the Spirit intercedes for me and for all saints; but his intercessions are according to the will of God, never contrary to his will. 'The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities;' and the Spirit, being God, knoweth the mind of God; therefore in every prayer of ours for the sick, or for other needs, the will of God is to be regarded. 'For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.' If we are taught of God, we shall pray in conformity to his revealed will, and in submission to his will which we know not. We are to make supplication according to the will of God, relying on the precious word, and believing that Christ not only gave himself for but to his disciples. The record declares, 'He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost."—Signs of the Times, October 3, 1892. 

The Nature of the Holy Spirit

Here we enter upon a subject where we have—like Moses in the wilderness—to take off our shoes. The Lord tells us by His servant: "It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. Christ tells us that the Spirit is the Comforter, 'the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.' It is plainly declared regarding the Holy Spirit that, in His work of guiding men into all truth, 'He shall not speak of Himself.' John 15:26; 16:13.

"The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden."—Acts of the Apostles, pp. 51-52.

Often the Holy Spirit is referred to as a power proceeding from the Father and the Son—a power working in and through human beings. Micah 3:8; Luke 1:35; 4:14; 24:49; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:4.

Still the nature of the Holy Spirit remains to us a mystery. We should accept the following advice from Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." 


"By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high."—The Desire of Ages, p. 669.

"Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man's behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as Christ who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hears, drawing out prayers and pentitence, praise and thanksgiving."—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1077.

"Whenever one renounces sin, which is the transgression of the law, his life will be brought into conformity to the law, into perfect obedience. This is the work of the Holy Spirit."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 92.

"If men are willing to be molded, there will be brought about a sanctification of the whole being. The Spirit will take the things of God and stamp them on the soul. By His power the way of life will be made so plain that none need err therein."—The Acts of The Apostles, p. 53. 

Power in Resurrection

"Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave,—not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal."—The Desire of Ages, p. 388. Read Romans 8:11


The Holy Scriptures

The Holy Scriptures, God's writing of love, explain the origin, fall and redemption of mankind. It contains the all-sufficient revelation of God's will to men as our only infallible rule of faith and practice under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. John 5:39; Psalm 89:34 (cf Matthew 22:29; John 7:17); Luke 24:44, 45; Psalm 119:104, 105; Isaiah 8:20; 2 Timothy 3:15.


The Bible (Old and New Testaments) is the authority to teach us and correct us, showing us the difference between right and wrong. Mark 12:24; Act 17:11; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; James 1:22, 23; 1 Peter 1:22, 23. Therefore, our individual stand before God and our relationship with one another must be based on a "Thus saith the Lord." Matthew 7:12; John 8:32; 16:13; 17:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.


Christ's presence with men of God, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in both the Old and New Testament times, is the origin of the written Word of God. 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; Luke 16:29, 31; John 5:46, 47. Proof of divine inspiration of the Bible is found in the Bible itself. 1 Peter 1:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13.


Through the ministration of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is self-explanatory and does not need any human tradition or catechism for its interpretation. Isaiah 28:10; 34:16; 2 Peter 1:19, 20. If we live in harmony with the Holy Scriptures, the promises and blessings of the Lord are ours. Luke 11:28; Matthew 4:4; 7:21, 24, 25; John 6:63; 8:31.


"The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ, and the Saviour desired to fix the faith of His followers on the word. When His visible presence should be withdrawn, the word must be their source of power."—The Desire of Ages, p. 390.


"The Bible is the most wonderful of all histories, for it is the production of God, not of the finite mind. It carries us back through the centuries to the beginning of all things, presenting the history of times and scenes which would otherwise never have been known. It reveals the glory of God in the working of His providence to save a fallen world. It presents in the simplest language the mighty power of the gospel, which, received, would cut the chains that bind men to Satan's chariot."—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 377.


"Every part of the Bible is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. The Old Testament no less than the New should receive attention. As we study the Old Testament we shall find living springs bubbling up where the careless reader discerns only a desert."—Education, p. 191.


"It is not the mere reading of the word that will accomplish the result that is designed by Heaven, but the truth revealed in the word of God must find an entrance into the heart, if the good intended is obtained."—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 131.


"The whole Bible is a revelation of the glory of God in Christ. Received, believed, obeyed, it is the great instrumentality in the transformation of character. And it is the only sure means of intellectual culture."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 319.


"By looking constantly to Jesus with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal Saviour. As they feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature."—The Desire of Ages, p. 391.


"The Bible, and the Bible alone, [is] the foundation of our faith."—Selected Messages, book 2, p. 85.


"God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority—not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain 'Thus saith the Lord' in its support."—The Great Controversy, p. 595.


Divine Laws

The Bible presents moral, ceremonial, and other laws. The writers of the New Testament books are not always specific; but we understand from the context to which law(s) they refer.


"God gave a clear and definite knowledge of his will to Israel by especial precepts, showing the duty of man to God and to his fellow-men. The worship due to God was clearly defined. A special system of rites and ceremonies was established, which would secure the remembrance of God among his people, and thereby serve as a hedge to guard and protect the ten commandments from violation.


"God's people, whom he calls his peculiar treasure, were privileged with a two-fold system of law; the moral and the ceremonial. The one, pointing back to creation to keep in remembrance the living God who made the world, whose claims are binding upon all men in every dispensation, and which will exist through all time and eternity. The other, given because of man's transgression of the moral law, the obedience to which consisted in sacrifices and offerings pointing to the future redemption. Each is clear and distinct from the other.


"From the creation the moral law was an essential part of God's divine plan, and was as unchangeable as himself. The ceremonial law was to answer a particular purpose of Christ plan for the salvation of the race. The typical system of sacrifices and offerings was established that through these services the sinner might discern the great offering, Christ. But the Jews were so blinded by pride and sin that but few of them could see farther than the death of beasts as an atonement for sin; and when Christ, whom these offerings prefigured, came, they could not discern him.


"The ceremonial law was glorious; it was the provision made by Jesus Christ in counsel with his Father, to aid in the salvation of the race. The whole arrangement of the typical system was founded on Christ. Adam saw Christ prefigured in the innocent beast suffering the penalty of his transgression of Jehovah's law."—Review and Herald, May 6, 1875.




An Expression of God's Character

The law of God—the standard of all righteousness, an expression of His mind, His character, His will—is the embodiment of two great principles: love toward our Creator and love toward our neighbor. Matthew 7:12; 22:36-40; Romans 13:8-10. These two principles are summarized in ten commandments, which, in turn, are detailed in all the moral judgments and statutes contained in the whole Bible. Genesis 26:5; Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 4:1, 2, 6; Nehemiah 9:13, 14.


"The law of God is as sacred as God Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom.." —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 52.


The Principles of God's Government

God's government is based on solid, good, holy, perfect, and eternal principles of truth and righteousness disclosed in His law. Therefore, anything that is contrary to these principles is sin. Psalm 89:14; 119:142, 172; 19:7; 111:7, 8; Romans 7:12, 16; 1 Timothy 1:8 (cf James 4:17); 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20.


Proclaimed and Written by Christ

The law of God (also called the law of Christ) was proclaimed by our Saviour on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:1-17) and was written by His own hand on two tables of stone. Exodus 31:18; Acts 7:38 (cf Isaiah 63:9; Malachi 3:1; 1 Corinthians 10:4, 9; Hebrews 12:24-26); Deuteronomy 33:2; Exodus 24:12; Deuteronomy 4:2, 12, 13; 5:4-7, 22. It is the same law that was given at the very beginning to Adam and Eve and the patriarchs. Hosea 6:7 (mgn); Genesis 4:7 (cf 1 John 3:4); Genesis 26:5; Romans 4:15; 5:12. This law should never be confused with the ceremonial law, and nothing is to be subtracted from it or added to it. The Decalogue was defined and explained in the statutes and judgments. This was the basis of the covenant that God made with His people at Sinai. Exodus 24:4, 7, 8; Hebrews 9:19, 20.


"It was Christ who, amid thunder and flame, had proclaimed the law upon Mount Sinai."—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, p. 45.


Vindicated by Christ

When Christ was on earth, He did not change or abolish His law—the law of ten commandments. Matthew 5:17-20. On the contrary, He magnified it, vindicated it, explained it, taught it, made it honorable, and rebuked its transgressors. Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5: 21, 22, 27, 28; 7:12; 15:3; 19:17-19; 22:36-40; 23:2, 3; Luke 10:25, 26; 16:17, 18; John 7:19.


Written on the Hearts of Christ's Followers

Under the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, writing the law of God (the law of Christ) in our hearts. Ezekiel 36:24-29; Jeremiah 31:33 (Hebrews 8:10); 2 Corinthians 3:3.


Taught by the Apostles

The moral law of God, the law of ten commandments, as it is in Jesus (Psalm 40:8), remains in force under the New Covenant as a mirror for our self-examination. Acts 25:8; 24:14; Romans 2:12-23; 3:19-21, 31; 4:15; 7:7-14, 22; 8:4, 7; 1 Corinthians 7:19; 15:56; 1 Timothy 1:9, 10; James 1:22-25; 2:8-14; 4:11; 1 John 2:3-6; 3:4; 5:3; Revelation 11:19; 22:14. They taught it as a valuable legacy received from God through the Jews. Romans 2:25-27.


"When the temple of God was opened in heaven, the ark of His testament was seen [Revelation 11:19]. Within the holy of holies, in the sanctuary in heaven, the divine law is sacredly enshrined—the law that was spoken by God Himself amid the thunders of Sinai and written with His own finger on the tables of stone. The law of God in the sanctuary in heaven is the great original, of which the precepts inscribed upon the tables of stone and recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch were an unerring transcript."—The Great Controversy, pp. 433-434.


"The moral law was never a type or a shadow. It existed before man's creation, and will endure as long as God's throne remains."—Selected Messages, vol. 1, pp. 239-240.


Christ and the Law: Inseparable

Christ said He would come with the law in His heart. Psalm 40:8; Hebrews 10:8, 9. Therefore, we cannot receive the law without Christ or Christ without the law. The two are inseparable from each other. The end (or objective) of the law is to show us our sins (Romans 3:20; James 1:22-25) and lead us to the Sin-Bearer, Jesus Christ (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:24). When we accept Christ, He writes His law, the Decalogue, on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 10:16).


"The law is a great mirror by means of which the sinner may discern the defects of his moral character."—Signs of the Times, July 18, 1878.


Standard of Judgment

The law of God is the standard by which the actions, words, intentions, and thoughts of men will be judged. Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Romans 2:12, 13; 3:19; James 2:12.


"The law of God is the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the judgment."—Great Controversy, p. 482.


Statutes and Judgments

"He [the Lord] did not stop with giving them the precepts of the Decalogue. The people had shown themselves so easily led astray that He would leave no door of temptation unguarded. Moses was commanded to write, as God should bid him, judgments and laws giving minute instruction as to what was required. These directions relating to the duty of the people to God, to one another, and to the stranger were only the principles of the Ten Commandments amplified and given in a specific manner, that none need err. They were designed to guard the sacredness of the ten precepts engraved on the tables of stone."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 364.


"Had the people practiced the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the additional directions given to Moses."—Ibid.




The ceremonial law, which included the sacrificial system and the seven yearly sabbaths (Jewish holy days), typified the mysteries contained in the plan of salvation. Its rites pointed to the promised Saviour. Christ's death made it null and void. Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14-17 (cf John 19:30; Matthew 27:51); Hebrews 9:8-10; 10:1-6, 8. Although it is the purpose of the enemy to lead people to confuse the moral law of God with the ceremonial law, by applying to the former certain verses which clearly refer to the latter, we can see the distinction between the two.


The law concerning the Levitical priesthood was also abolished. Hebrews 7:12-14, 19, 28.


"The ceremonial law was thus given to Moses, and by him written in a book. But the law of Ten Commandments spoken from Sinai had been written by God Himself on the tables of stone, and was sacredly preserved in the ark. There are many who try to blend these two systems, using the texts that speak of the ceremonial law to prove that the moral law has been abolished; but this is a perversion of the Scriptures. The distinction between the two systems is broad and clear." —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 365.


"Many in the Christian world also have a veil before their eyes and heart. They do not see to the end of that which was done away. They do not see that it was only the ceremonial law which was abrogated at the death of Christ. They claim that the moral law was nailed to the cross. Heavy is the veil that darkens their understanding."—Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 239.


"It was Christ's desire to... disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, pp. 1139, 1140.


The Sabbath

After the Lord had completed the works of creation, He rested on the seventh day. He then blessed it and sanctified it for the benefit of man to keep it holy and to cease from all his secular labor. Thus the Sabbath was instituted as a memorial of the works of the Creator. This is the Lord's day. Genesis 2:1-3; Mark 2:28; Exodus 20:8-11; 16:23; Isaiah 56:2; 58:13. The Sabbath is also a sign of God's spiritual rest in which He wanted Adam and his descendants to take part. To us the Sabbath is, therefore, a sign of rest that we find in Christ. Hebrews 3:18, 19; 4:1-4, 9-11 (cf Matthew 11:28, 29).


"The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the Decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation. Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, 'Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.' So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator's power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God's holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun. 'From one Sabbath to another' the inhabitants of the glorified new earth shall go up 'to worship before Me, saith the Lord.' Matt. 5:18; Isa. 66:23." —The Desire of Ages, p. 283.


"No other institution which was committed to the Jews tended so fully to distinguish them from surrounding nations as did the Sabbath. God designed that its observance should designate them as His worshipers. It was to be a token of their separation from idolatry, and their connection with the true God. But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ. When the command was given to Israel, 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,' the Lord said also to them, 'Ye shall be holy men unto Me.' Ex. 20:8; 22:31. Only thus could the Sabbath distinguish Israel as the worshipers of God.


"As the Jews departed from God, and failed to make the righteousness of Christ their own by faith, the Sabbath lost its significance to them. Satan was seeking to exalt himself and to draw men away from Christ, and he worked to pervert the Sabbath, because it is the sign of the power of Christ. The Jewish leaders accomplished the will of Satan by surrounding God's rest day with burdensome requirements. In the days of Christ the Sabbath had become so perverted that its observance reflected the character of selfish and arbitrary men rather than the character of the loving heavenly Father."—The Desire of Ages, pp. 283-284.


A Sign of Relationship Between God and His People

The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship between God and His people. It designates them as His special, peculiar people who keep His commandments, who are free from idolatry and worship the true God. Exodus 31:16, 17; Ezekiel 20:20.


A Sign of Deliverance and Redemption

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, the Sabbath was declared to be also a sign of deliverance from slavery. Deuteronomy 5:15. It became part of the written law of God—that "fiery law" of ten commandments—which came from the right hand of the Lord. Deuteronomy 33:2. To us, the Sabbath is also a sign of deliverance from the slavery of sin. It is therefore a sign of sanctification and redemption. John 8:32-36; Exodus 31:12, 13; Isaiah 56:1, 2; Ezekiel 20:12 (cf John 17:17).


A Sign of Christ's Righteousness

Since the law of God is the expression of His righteousness (Psalm 119:142, 172), and since the Sabbath is the seal of God's law (Exodus 31:17; Isaiah 8:16), true Sabbath-keeping is also a sign of Christ's righteousness in His followers.


Christ Taught True Sabbathkeeping

The controversy between Jesus and the Pharisees concerning the Sabbath never involved the question whether or not the Sabbath should be observed. The discussion was only over the question as to how the Sabbath was to be kept. Jesus put away all unnecessary human traditions and taught "lawful" Sabbath-keeping by giving us an example. Luke 4:16; Matthew 12:1-12; Luke 13:10-17; John 5:2-11; 7:22, 23. By teaching correct Sabbath-keeping according to the law, Christ confirmed the sacred validity of the Sabbath commandment.


Christ's instruction to His disciples, to pray that their flight would not have to occur on the Sabbath, confirms the Sabbath sacredness in the Christian dispensation. Matthew 24:20. That instruction was given not only for the benefit of the believers living in Judea after Christ's crucifixion (cf Matthew 24:16-18; Acts 8:1), but also for the benefit of those living in the last days. Matthew 24:3, 32, 33.


The Pharisees, who had been watching Christ continually, were not able to find in Him any evidence of Sabbath-breaking. Not even when He stood before Caiaphas could they accuse Him of having violated the Sabbath. They did not even try to use false witnesses against Him on this point. Luke 6:7; Matthew 26:59-66; John 18:28-31.


When the new covenant had already been confirmed by Christ's death on the cross (Hebrews 9:16), and because no change could be made after it had been validated (Galatians 3:15), the disciples still continued resting on the Sabbath in obedience to the fourth commandment. Luke 23:56.


Immediately before His ascension, Christ gave final instructions to His disciples to teach and observe "all things whatsoever I have commanded you." He had never spoken a word about a supposed Sabbath-Sunday change—past, present, or future. Matthew 28:20 (cf Luke 16:17).


The Early Christians Were Faithful Sabbathkeepers

The early Christians kept the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, and held religious meetings consistently on that day. Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 16:13; 17:1-3. For one year and six months Paul preached in Corinth every Sabbath, persuading Jews and Greeks, and there is no indication that he ever tried to introduce a Sabbath-Sunday change. Acts 18:4, 11. Ananias, a church leader, would not have had a good testimony of all the Jews if he had not been a strict Sabbath-keeper. Acts 22:12.


After the ascension of Christ, both Jews and Christians worshiped in the synagogues on the Sabbath day. Acts 9:12; 22:19; 15:21 (cf Matthew 23:1-3; John 16:2). There is no evidence that the early Christians offended the Jews by not keeping the Sabbath. Acts 25:8; 1 Corinthians 10:32.


When there was a conflict in the church over the ceremonial law, there was no disagreement caused by an attempt to change the Sabbath. This shows that such attempt was never made among the early Christians. If some of the leaders had tried to do such a serious thing, the whole book of Acts would be aflame with references to the conflict caused by the attempted deviation. Therefore, complete silence on this question proves that the early Christians knew of no innovation on this point. Acts 15:1-6, 23-29.


On the New Earth

In the earth made new the redeemed will come to worship before the Lord Sabbath after Sabbath. The Sabbath will continue to be a memorial of God's creation throughout eternity. Isaiah 66:22, 23.


Keeping the Sabbath Holy

"Remember the seventh day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt no do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11.


The fourth commandment of the Law of God confirms the validity of the seventh-day of the week as the Sabbath that God had ordained in Eden. After resting upon this day, God blessed and sanctified it. Genesis 2:3. He then set it apart as His Sabbath, a holy day of rest, the memorial of His creation. Mark 2:27. He also made it the sign (Exodus 31:17) of allegiance between man and Himself, as the one and only true God.


True Sabbath-keeping, in conformity with God's holy law, can only take place when God's original purpose in His establishment of the seventh-day Sabbath is clearly understood, and when love for God in the heart is supreme. By keeping the Sabbath holy according to God's instructions in His Word, we confirm our relation and allegiance to Him as our God, Creator, and Heavenly Father.


Blessings of Sabbath-keeping

When God blessed, sanctified, and set apart the seventh day of the week as His holy Sabbath day, He also promised to bless and sanctify all who observed it according to His instructions (Ezekiel 20:12):


"Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." Isaiah 58:12-14.


The fourth commandment prohibits all manner of secular work on the Sabbath that can be done on any other day of the week. This prohibition extends to all the members of the household, visitors staying in our homes, and even our domestic working animals.


Friday, a Day of Preparation

"On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 355-356.


"On Friday the clothing of the children is to be looked after. During the week they should be all laid out by their own hands under the direction of the mother, so that they can dress quietly, without any confusion or rushing about and hasty speeches."—Child Guidance, p. 528.


"There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, 'confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.' James 5:16."—Vol. 6, Testimonies for the Church, p. 356.


"When the Sabbath commences, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord's. We should not do ourselves, nor suffer our children to do, any manner of our own work for a livelihood or anything which could have been done on the six working days. Friday is the day of preparation. Time can then be devoted to making the necessary preparation for the Sabbath and to thinking and conversing about it. Nothing which will in the sight of Heaven be regarded as a violation of the holy Sabbath should be left unsaid or undone, to be said or done upon the Sabbath. God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. The Fourth Commandment is virtually transgressed by conversing upon worldly things or by engaging in light and trifling conversation. Talking upon anything or everything which may come into the mind is speaking our own words. Every deviation from right brings us into bondage and condemnation."—Child Guidance, pp. 529-530.


Things Compatible with Sabbath-keeping (Examples):

Christ attended church meetings on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16) and taught us by example that it is lawful to do good on this day. Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5.


Christ was a true Medical-Missionary and healed many people on the Sabbath. In connection with the healing and welfare ministry He stated: "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27:28.


Therefore, all works of mercy which are in harmony with the purpose of the Sabbath, are permitted. Matthew 25:35-36.


"Physicians need to cultivate a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. It may be necessary to devote even the hours of the holy Sabbath to the relief of suffering humanity. But the fee for such labor should be put into the treasury of the Lord, to be used for the worthy poor, who need medical skill but cannot afford to pay for it.—Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work, page 42."—Medical Ministry, p. 216.


"Often physicians are called upon on the Sabbath to minister to the sick, and it is impossible for them to take time for rest and devotion. The Saviour has shown us by His example that it is right to relieve suffering on this day; but physicians and nurses should do no unnecessary work. Ordinary treatment, and operations that can wait, should be deferred till the next day. Let the patients know that physicians must have one day for rest."—Medical Ministry, p. 214.


"How much the faithful physician needs the sympathy and prayers of the people of God. His claims in this direction are not inferior to those of the most devoted minister or missionary worker. Deprived, as he often is, of needed rest and sleep, and even of religious privileges on the Sabbath, he needs a double portion of grace, a fresh supply daily, or he will lose his hold on God and will be in danger of sinking deeper in spiritual darkness than men of other callings. And yet often he is made to bear unmerited reproaches and is left to stand alone, the subject of Satan's fiercest temptations, feeling himself misunderstood, betrayed by his friends."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 446.


"Acts of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath, the sick and suffering are at all times to be cared for; but unnecessary labor is to be strictly avoided."—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 307-308.


Things Incompatible with Sabbath-keeping (Examples):

Preparation of foods, i.e., cooking, baking, etc. Exodus 16:23.


Carrying burdens, as well as buying, transporting, and selling all manner of merchandise. Nehemiah 13:15-22.


Doing our own pleasure and engaging in conversation inappropriate for the Sabbath. Isaiah 58:13.


Trespassing on God's time during the Sabbath.


"The Sabbath . . . is God's time, not ours; when we trespass upon it we are stealing from God. . . . God has given us the whole of six days in which to do our work, and has reserved only one to Himself. This should be a day of blessing to us--a day when we should lay aside all our secular matters and center our thoughts upon God and heaven."—Heavenly Places, p. 152.


Mending, cleaning, sweeping, washing clothes, polishing shoes, reading secular materials, etc.


General Counsels

The edges of the Sabbath should be carefully guarded. 6T 356.


All differences between family members and brethren should be put away before the Sabbath begins. 6T 356.


Confessions should be made to God and one another. CG 356.


Before the Sabbath begins, all the inmates of the house should gather at the family altar to read the word of God, and worship Him through prayer and song.


Children should take part in family worship service, especially on the Sabbath. 6T 357.


Long prayers and services should be avoided. 6T 357.


All should attend the worship service and the Sabbath school in God's house, where they may become active participants. 6T 367; CG 531.


Everyone has a part in making the Sabbath meetings interesting. 6T 362.


While cooking is not permitted on the Sabbath, it is not necessary to eat cold food. CG 532.


"Provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family do not have every day."—Child Guidance, p. 532.


Plan to go outdoors to see the hand of God in nature. CG 533, 534.


Take time to read the Bible, the Spirit of Prophesy books, etc. CG 532.


Control your thoughts and words, and direct your meditation and conversation upon spiritual subjects. GW (1890 ed) 208.


Remember that visiting the sick and giving Bible studies are in perfect harmony with the spirit of true Sabbath-keeping.


"Those who are not fully converted to the truth frequently let their minds run freely upon worldly business, and, although they may rest from physical toil upon the Sabbath, their tongues speak out what is in their minds; hence these words concerning cattle, crops, losses, and gains. All this is Sabbath breaking. If the mind is running upon worldly matters, the tongue will reveal it, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."—Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 703.


"We should each Sabbath reckon with our souls to see whether the week that has ended has brought spiritual gain or loss."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 356.


"None should permit themselves, through the week, to become so absorbed in their temporal interests, and so exhausted by their efforts for worldly gain, that on the Sabbath they have no strength or energy to give to the service of God. We are robbing the Lord when we unfit ourselves to worship Him upon His holy day. And we are robbing ourselves as well; for we need the warmth and glow of association, as well as the strength to be gained from the wisdom and experience of other Christians."—Child Guidance, p. 530.


"Many need instruction as to how they should appear in the assembly for worship on the Sabbath. They are not to enter the presence of God in the common clothing worn during the week. All should have a special Sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God's house. While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The children of God should be pure within and without."——Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 355.


Sleeping in the house of God?.

"Let none come to the place of worship to take a nap. There should be no sleeping in the house of God. You do not fall asleep when engaged in your temporal business, because you have an interest in your work. Shall we allow the service which involves eternal interests to be placed on a lower level than the temporal affairs of life?"——Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 361.


Suggestions about food preparation for the Sabbath

"We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 357.


Traveling on the Sabbath

"If we desire the blessing promised to the obedient, we must observe the Sabbath more strictly. I fear that we often travel on this day when it might be avoided. In harmony with the light which the Lord has given in regard to the observance of the Sabbath, we should be more careful about traveling on the boats or cars on this day. In these matters we should set a right example before our children and youth. In order to reach the churches that need our help, and to give them the message that God desires them to hear, it may be necessary for us to travel on the Sabbath; but so far as possible we should secure our tickets and make all necessary arrangements on some other day. When starting on a journey we should make every possible effort to plan so as to avoid reaching our destination on the Sabbath."—Vol. 6, Testimonies for the Church, p. 359-360.


Children playing on the Sabbath?

"Parents, above everything take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God's holy day by playing in the house or out-of-doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wander about and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbathbreakers."—Child Guidance, p. 533.


Attending Secular School and Taking Exams on Sabbath.

"Some of our people have sent their children to school on the Sabbath. They were not compelled to do this, but the school authorities objected to receiving the children unless they should attend six days. In some of these schools, pupils are not only instructed in the usual branches of study, but are taught to do various kinds of work; and here the children of professed commandment-keepers have been sent upon the Sabbath. Some parents have tried to justify their course by quoting the words of Christ, that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day. But the same reasoning would prove that men may labor on the Sabbath because they must earn bread for their children; and there is no limit, no boundary line, to show what should and what should not be done...."


"Our brethren cannot expect the approval of God while they place their children where it is impossible for them to obey the fourth commandment. They should endeavor to make some arrangement with the authorities whereby the children shall be excused from attendance at school upon the seventh day. If this fails, then their duty is plain, to obey God's requirements at whatever cost. In some places in Central Europe, persons have been fined and imprisoned for not sending their children to school on the Sabbath. In one place, after a brother had plainly stated his faith, an officer of justice came to his door, and compelled the children to go to school. The parents gave them a Bible instead of their usual text-books, and their time was spent in studying it. But wherever it can be done, our people should establish schools of their own. Where they cannot do this, they should as soon as possible remove to some place where they can be free to keep the commandments of God.


"Some will urge that the Lord is not so particular in his requirements; that it is not their duty to keep the Sabbath strictly at so great loss, or to place themselves where they will be brought in conflict with the laws of the land. But here is just where the test is coming, whether we will honor the law of God above the requirements of men. This is what will distinguish between those who honor God and those who dishonor him. Here is where we are to prove our loyalty. The history of God's dealings with his people in all ages shows that he demands exact obedience...."


"If parents allow their children to receive an education with the world, and make the Sabbath a common day, then the seal of God cannot be placed upon them. They will be destroyed with the world; and will not their blood rest upon the parents? But if we faithfully teach our children God's commandments, bring them into subjection to parental authority, and then by faith and prayer commit them to God, he will work with our efforts; for he has promised it. And when the overflowing scourge shall pass through the land, they with us may be hidden in the secret of the Lord's pavilion."—Historical Sketches of SDA's, pp. 216-217.


"With such special directions as these, how can fathers consent to their children attending school on the Sabbath, or any part of the Sabbath, the same as on any common weekday? Here is a cross to lift. Here the line of separation is drawn between the loyal and the disloyal. This is the sign that there is a people who will not make void the law of God although it is at a sacrifice to themselves. Here we may bear our testimony to the world of our allegiance to the Creator and Governor of the world. Here the testimony is borne to the world of the truthfulness of the Sabbath."—Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 79.


Jewish Yearly Holy Days

The Lord's weekly Sabbath pointed to the past, to God's work of creation, while the seven yearly Jewish holy days, also called sabbaths, pointed to the future, to Christ's work of redemption. God made a clear distinction between these two when He said: "From even to even shall ye celebrate your sabbath(s). . . Besides the sabbaths of the Lord. . . ." Leviticus 23:32, 38. In Romans 14:5, Galatians 4:10, and Colossians 2:16, 17, it is clear, from the context, that Paul refers to the yearly sabbaths of the Jews ("your sabbaths"), not to the weekly Sabbaths of the Lord ("My Sabbaths").


Origin of Evil and the Fall of Lucifer

"God is love." His nature, His law, His government, His dealings with man, and every one of His manifestations are expressions of His love. 1 John 4:16. And God's love is associated with other qualities of His character. See chapter I. Then how could God permit evil to originate?


 All intelligent beings were created free to choose between obedience or disobedience to the great principles of truth, righteousness, and love. Lucifer (meaning "light-bearer"), one of the most exalted cherubim, misused his freedom of choice. Deuteronomy 30:19; Galatians 6:7, 8. This was the beginning of the great rebellion in heaven. Lucifer became Satan (Hebrew Shatan, meaning "adversary"). He set aside the law of God through self-exaltation, deception, lying, and murder. Ezekiel 28:13-15, 17; Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelation 12:7, 8; John 8:44 (cf 1 John 3:15).



When Satan and his angels were expelled from heaven, they found their abode on this earth, where they continued the work of rebellion as our first parents yielded to him. Revelation 12: 9, 12, 13; Job 1:6, 7; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6 (cf Matthew 8:29); Genesis 3:1-15 (cf Romans 5:12).


Satan falsely claims that this earth, with everything that is in it, belongs to him. He became the "god" and "prince of this world," not by right, but by usurpation. Luke 4:5, 6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 12:31; 1 John 5:19.


The final victory of Christ over Satan was obtained in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. John 14:30; 16:11; Hebrews 2:14, 15. As a result Christ's victory, we can also overcome. 1 Corinthians 15:57; James 4:7, 8; Revelation 12:11.


During the millennium (1000 years), Satan will be bound by a chain of circumstances on this earth, and at the end of the millennium he and his followers will be loosened for a short time, and then they will finally be destroyed, and neither root nor branch will be left. Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10; Malachi 4:1, 3; Isaiah 14:15-20; Ezekiel 28:16,18, 19.


Where and How Did Sin Originate?

"The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of 'the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.' Rom. 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God's throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, 'that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' John 3:16."—The Desire of Ages, p. 22.


"Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, 'son of the morning,' was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 35.


Satan puts the following questions into the minds of infidels: If God knew that our first parents would fall into temptation, why did He create them? Or, why didn't He, instead, create a different man and a different woman, who would not fall when tempted? But he does not ask the same questions about himself, since he is the originator of sin, and the one who tempted Adam and Eve to transgress God's command. The origin of sin is a mystery to us. Deuteronomy 29:29.


"There are thousands today echoing the same rebellious complaint against God. They do not see that to deprive man of the freedom of choice would be to rob him of his prerogative as an intelligent being, and make him a mere automaton. It is not God's purpose to coerce the will. Man was created a free moral agent. Like the inhabitants of all other worlds, he must be subjected to the test of obedience; but he is never brought into such a position that yielding to evil becomes a matter of necessity. No temptation or trial is permitted to come to him which he is unable to resist. God made such ample provision that man need never have been defeated in the conflict with Satan."—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 331-332.


"The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.


"But there was one [Lucifer] that chose to pervert this freedom. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven."—The Great Controversy, p. 493.


"When the conflict was renewed upon the earth, Satan again won a seeming advantage. By transgression, man became his captive, and man's kingdom also was betrayed into the hands of the archrebel. Now the way seemed open for Satan to establish an independent kingdom, and to defy the authority of God and His Son." —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 331.


"At the time when sin had become a science, when the hostility of man was most violent against heaven, when rebellion struck its roots deep into the human heart, when vice was consecrated as a part of religion, when Satan exulted in the idea that he had led men to such a state of evil that God would destroy the world, Jesus was sent into the world, not to condemn it, but, amazing grace! to save the world. The unfallen worlds watched with intense interest to see Jehovah arise and sweep away the inhabitants of the earth, and Satan boasted that if God did do this, he would complete his plans and secure for himself the allegiance of unfallen worlds. He had arguments ready by which to cast blame upon God, and to spread his rebellion to the world's above; but at this crisis, instead of destroying the world, God sent his Son to save it."—Signs of the Times, February 5, 1894.


"Why was it that Satan's existence was not cut short at the outset of his rebellion? It was that the universe might be convinced of God's justice in His dealing with evil; that sin might receive eternal condemnation."—Education, p. 308.



The Bible teaches that the uni-verse and the various forms of life were created by God through Christ out of things invisible and that “God’s creation is but a reservoir of means made ready for Him to employ instantly” according to His purpose (Lift Him Up, p. 66). Hebrews 11:3; Psalm 33:6, 9; Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Job 26:7–14; 38:36; Isaiah 45:18; Colossians 1:16. We have some comprehension of the invisible God by the visible things He has created. Romans 1:19, 20; Psalm 19:1. God created this world in six literal days. Genesis 1:31; 2:1; Hebrews 1:2; John 1:3; Job 38:4–7; Exodus 20:11.


Human beings cannot number the stars, but, in God’s omniscience, they are all numbered and called by name. Psalm 147:4, 5; Isaiah 40:26; Job 9:9.


God is not only the Creator but also the Sustainer of the things that He brought into existence. He also made, and is still making, provision to sustain His creatures with food. Isaiah 40:12; 42:5; Matthew 5:45; Acts 17:24–28; Genesis 1:29, 30; Psalm 65:9–13; Matthew 6:25–30.


When the works of creation were completed, everything was “very good.” Genesis 1:31; Psalm 8:1, 3, 9; Ecclesiastes 7:29.


The universe, the world, humanity, the animal kingdom, and the plant kingdom are highly organized systems which could not have come into existence by chance. Things which reveal a calculated “purpose” such as a mind to think, eyes to see, ears to hear) came from the “hands” of an Intelligence, an omniscient and omnipotent Being, whom the Bible calls God. Nature clearly reveals a design, and where there is a design there is a designer. A person would certainly need much faith to believe that the shaking or rotation of a gigantic drum containing millions of pieces of metal, over a long period of time, would produce clocks, typewriters, and computers; or that an explosion in a print-shop would produce an encyclopedia. How much more faith, then, would he or she need in order to believe that human beings just happened to come into existence by themselves, as a result of an unconscious, senseless, and aimless interaction of soil–water–wind–fire and nothing else? Therefore, if one disbelieves God, he or she automatically believes Creationthat blind and impotent chance is able to form highly complex things, such as human beings, the world, and the universe. In other words, one needs more belief to disbelieve God than to believe in Him.


“In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to preexisting matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.”—Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 258, 259.


“As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes; but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and rugged, abounding in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do; the sharp, ragged edges of earth’s rocky framework were buried beneath the fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant growth of verdure. There were no loathsome swamps or barren deserts. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. The heights were crowned with trees more majestic than any that now exist. The air, untainted by foul miasma, was clear and healthful. The entire landscape outvied in beauty the decorated grounds of the proudest palace. The angelic host viewed the scene with delight, and rejoiced at the wonderful works of God.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 44.

The Plan of Redemption

Through sin, man was separated from God, the Source of life; and, unless he avails himself of the provision that was made for his restoration, he must die the eternal death (extinction). Isaiah 59:2 (cf John 1:4); Romans 5:12; 6:23 (first part). But he does not have to perish, unless he chooses to. He can find his way back to God, and enjoy eternal life, through Christ (John 6:35, 40, 47, 48; 14:6. By dying on the cross for our sins, Christ redeemed us from the death sentence pronounced by the holy Law of God, which we have transgressed. More than that. Christ imparts to us divine power to unite with human effort. Thus, by faith in Christ (as we accept His life and death for us, and place ourselves under the guidance of His Spirit), and by repentance and regeneration, we regain that which was lost by our first parents.


The plan of redemption was motivated by the love of God for the fallen race. Full provision has been made for our salvation. Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 12:2; 45:22. The accusation that the Pharisees hurled against Christ, "This man receiveth sinners," is our great hope. Luke 15:1; John 3:15; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:9, 10; Titus 3:3-8.


"Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth 'the fruits of the Spirit.' Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 372.


"The proud heart strives to earn salvation; but both our title to heaven and our fitness for it are found in the righteousness of Christ. The Lord can do nothing toward the recovery of man until, convinced of his own weakness, and stripped of all self-sufficiency, he yields himself to the control of God. Then he can receive the gift that God is waiting to bestow. From the soul that feels his need, nothing is withheld. He has unrestricted access to Him in whom all the fullness dwells."—The Desire of Ages, p. 300.




Grace is "a gift of God"—an "unmerited favor." Ephesians 2:8; Romans 5:20, 21; 6:23.


Grace is not a licence for man to continue in sin (Romans 6:1, 2; Galatians 2:17, 18; John 8:11; Hebrews 10:26-29; 1 John 3:3-10), but a provision, a power, for him to render obedience to God. Those who obey the Lord are no longer "under [the penalty or sentence of] the law." Romans 6:14, 15. They are under the grace of Christ, that enables them to obey the commandments of the Almighty. 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Timothy 2:1 (cf Ephesians 6:10); Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:13; 4:13; Titus 2:11, 12; 1 John 3:22; 5:3.


"It is the grace that Christ implants in the soul which creates in man enmity against Satan. Without this converting grace and renewing power, man would continue the captive of Satan, a servant ever ready to do his bidding. But the new principle in the soul creates conflict where hitherto had been peace. The power which Christ imparts enables man to resist the tyrant and usurper. Whoever is seen to abhor sin instead of loving it, whoever resists and conquers those passions that have held sway within, displays the operation of a principle wholly from above."—The Great Controversy, p. 506.


"The greatest manifestation that men and women can make of the grace and power of Christ is made when the natural man becomes a partaker of the divine nature, and through the power that the grace of Christ imparts, overcomes the corruption that is in the world through lust."—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 251-252.


"The only power that can create or perpetuate true peace is the grace of Christ. When this is implanted in the heart, it will cast out the evil passions that cause strife and dissension."—The Desire of Ages, p. 305.


"Without the grace of Christ, the sinner is in a hopeless condition; nothing can be done for him; but through divine grace, supernatural power is imparted to the man, and works in mind and heart and character. It is through the impartation of the grace of Christ that sin is discerned in its hateful nature, and finally driven from the soul temple. It is through grace that we are brought into fellowship with Christ, to be associated with Him in the work of salvation." —Selected Messages, vol. 1, pp. 366-367.



Man is saved by grace through faith. John 3:14-16; Acts 15:11; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 2 Timothy 3:15.


"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1.


"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17.


"Through faith we receive the grace of God; but faith is not our Saviour. It earns nothing. It is the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ, and appropriate His merits, the remedy for sin. And we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, 'Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.' Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon. How, then, are we to be saved? 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,' so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ."—The Desire of Ages, pp. 175-176.



One of the purposes of the plan of redemption is to cause us to cease trusting in our own works of righteousness. Luke 16:15; 2 Timothy 1:9; Galatians 2:16; Titus 3:4-7; Romans 3:27, 28; Hebrews 4:10. The reason is that the only works of righteousness that we can do ourselves without Christ are sin. Isaiah 64:6; Romans 14:23; Luke 18:11, 12; Mark 7:6-13. God intends to daily change our sinful hearts, then Christ produces His works in us. Our faith will be full of good works for "faith without works is dead." Isaiah 26:12; 1 Corinthians 15:31; Galatians 2:20; 5:22, 23; James 2:20-22. Christ's work of righteousness in our hearts renewed by the Holy Spirit becomes our righteousness. Revelation 19:8.




When, by faith, the sinner comes to Christ as he is and confesses his sins, then the merits of Christ's life are credited in his behalf, and he is freely pardoned through the merits of the blood of Christ. 1 John 1:9; Romans 3:23-26, 31; 5:1, 9, 10, 16-19; Galatians 2:16; 3:24; 2 Corinthians 5:19, 21.


"All that man can possibly do toward his own salvation is to accept the invitation, 'Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.' No sin can be committed by man for which satisfaction has not been met on Calvary. Thus the cross, in earnest appeals, continually proffers to the sinner a thorough expiation (MS 50, 1900)." The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1071.


"When God pardons the sinner, remits the punishment he deserves, and treats him as though he had not sinned, He receives him into divine favor, and justifies him through the merits of Christ's righteousness. The sinner can be justified only through faith in the atonement made through God's dear Son, who became a sacrifice for the sins of the guilty world. No one can be justified by any works of his own. He can be delivered from the guilt of sin, from the condemnation of the law, from the penalty of transgression, only by virtue of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. Faith is the only condition upon which justification can be obtained, and faith includes not only belief but trust." —Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 389.


"Faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners; not that there is any virtue in faith whereby salvation is merited, but because faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin. Faith can present Christ's perfect obedience instead of the sinner's transgression and defection. When the sinner believes that Christ is his personal Saviour, then, according to His unfailing promises, God pardons his sin, and justifies him freely. The repentant soul realizes that his justification comes because Christ, as his substitute and surety, has died for him, is his atonement and righteousness."—Selected Messages, vol. 1, pp. 366-367.


"True faith and true prayer—how strong they are! They are as two arms by which the human suppliant lays hold upon the power of Infinite Love."—Gospel Workers, p. 259.


"Through the same faith we may receive spiritual healing. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?' Rom. 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, 'Wilt thou be made whole?' He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is 'dead in trespasses.' Eph. 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin."—The Desire of Ages, p. 203.


"This mercy and goodness is wholly undeserved. The grace of Christ is freely to justify the sinner without merit or claim on his part. Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt God's forgiving grace."—Reflecting Christ, p. 78.


"What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself."—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 456.


"Justification means the saving of a soul from perdition, that he may obtain sanctification, and through sanctification, the life of heaven. Justification means that the conscience, purged from dead works, is placed where it can receive the blessings of sanctification."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 908.


"Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned."—Steps to Christ, p. 62.


"By living faith, by earnest prayer to God, and depending upon Jesus' merits, we are clothed with His righteousness, and we are saved."—Faith and Works, p. 71.



While justification is available as long as Christ is ministering in the sanctuary, it is only when a person is justified that the work of sanctification, a work of a lifetime, begins. With his consent and cooperation, the believer is sanctified by the Holy Spirit, through the truth, as he is led into all truth. 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 16:13; 17:17 (cf Psalm 119:142); John 8:32; 1 Corinthians 15:31 (cf Romans 6:6); Romans 6:18, 22. It is God's plan through sanctification to give man perfect victory over sin in his life. 1 John 1:9; Romans 6:14; Ephesians 4:23, 24; Hebrews 12:14.


"The sanctification of the soul is accomplished through steadfastly beholding Him [Christ] by faith as the only-begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth. The power of truth is to transform heart and character."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1117.


"Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, or a day. It is a continual growth in grace. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. Satan lives, and is active, and every day we need to earnestly cry to God for help and strength to resist him. As long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue, besetments to overcome, and there is no stopping place. There is no point to which we can come and say we have fully attained (RH May 6, 1862)." —SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 947.


"There is no Bible sanctification for those who cast a part of the truth behind them."—Ibid.


"'And hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him.' Here is the only genuine Bible sanctification."—Signs of the Times, July 22, 1875.


"Sanctification is obtained only in obedience to the will of God."—Faith and Works, p. 29.


"Thank God that we are not dealing with impossibilities. We may claim sanctification. We may enjoy the favor of God. We are not to be anxious about what Christ and God think of us, but about what God thinks of Christ, our Substitute. Ye are accepted in the Beloved."—Selected Messages, vol. 2, pp. 32, 33.


"Sanctification means habitual communion with God (RH March 15, 1906)."—SDA Bible Commentary (EGW), vol. 7, p. 908.


"This is true sanctification; for sanctification consists in the cheerful performance of daily duties in perfect obedience to the will of God."—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 360.


"Our sanctification is the work of the Father, he Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the fulfillment of the covenant God has made with those who bind themselves up with Him, to stand with Him, His Son, and His Spirit in holy fellowship. Have you been born again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus? Then cooperate with the three great powers of heaven who are working in your behalf (MS 11, 1901)."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 908.


"True sanctification unites believers to Christ and to one another in the bonds of tender sympathy. This union causes to flow continually into the heart rich currents of Christlike love, which flows forth again in love for one another." —SDA Bible Commentary (EGW), vol. 5, p. 1141.


"Sanctification is the fruit of faith, whose renewing power transforms the soul into the image of Christ."—Signs of the Times, June 7, 1883.


Man has no power to regenerate himself. Job 14:4. It is only through his belief in the merits and sacrifice of Christ that he can be justified (pardoned), and it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit in him that he can be sanctified (made holy, or free from sin) (Titus 3:5), as the mind or character of Christ is implanted in him. Justification and sanctification, working together, may be called regeneration or conversion—a process through which Christ saves us from sin. Matthew 1:21 (cf John 8:11); 1 Peter 1:22, 23; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:22-25; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14.


We become sons and daughters of our heavenly Father (1 John 3:1)—


(a) by adoption: Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:4-6; Ephesians 1:3-5, and


(b) by spiritual birth (regeneration): John 1:12, 13; Hebrews 2:11; John 3:3, 6, 7; James 1:18; 1 John 3:9; 5:18; Romans 8:14.



The sinner's part is to respond to the call of God to repentance. Matthew 4:17; Revelation 3:20; Hebrews 3:15 (cf Matthew 22:14); Mark 2:17; Acts 2:37, 38. It is God who leads him to repent, and he yields to the influence of the Holy Spirit when the call comes to him. Acts 5:31; Romans 2:4. He confesses his sins to God, accepts Christ as his personal Saviour, and receives by faith that which Christ did for him (for his justification) and that which Christ wants to do in him through the work of the Holy Spirit (for his sanctification). 1 John 1:9; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 12:2; Ephesians 4:22-24. He does the will of God by obeying His commandments, not in his own power, but in the power received from on High, which is the grace of God. Matthew 5:19, 20; 7:21; 19:17; 2 Peter 1:3-11. Having in view his own salvation, he is baptized, he watches, he prays, he meditates, he studies the Bible, he works for the salvation of others. Mark 16:16; 13:33-37; 2 Timothy 2:15; Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Timothy 4:12-16; Colossians 1:28, 29. He resists the devil in the name of Christ and by His grace (power). Philippians 2:12, 13; James 4:7, 8; 1 Peter 5:6-9. He strives to be an overcomer. 1 John 3:6; Luke 13:23, 24; Revelation 21:7.


Our prayers to the Father are heard and answered provided we have a proper relationship with Him through the Son and the Holy Spirit. John 14:13; 15:14-16; 16:23; 1 John 3:21-24; 5:14, 15; Revelation 5:8; 8:4.


Outward Manifestation

"Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hard-hearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory. The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven.—(Review and Herald, June 4, 1895.)"—Messages to Young People, p. 35.


"Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own."—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 69.


The Power of the Will

"When Christ took human nature upon Him, He bound humanity to Himself by a tie of love that can never be broken by any power save the choice of man himself. Satan will constantly present allurements to induce us to break this tie—to choose to separate ourselves from Christ. Here is where we need to watch, to strive, to pray, that nothing may entice us to choose another master; for we are always free to do this. But let us keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, and He will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus, we are safe. Nothing can pluck us out of His hand. In constantly beholding Him, we 'are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.' 2 Corinthians 3:18."—Steps to Christ, p. 72.


"Pure religion has to do with the will. The will is the governing power in the nature of man, bringing all the other faculties under its sway. The will is not the taste or the inclination, but it is the deciding power which works in the children of men unto obedience to God or unto disobedience."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 513.


Complete Restoration

"Every living Christian will advance daily in the divine life. As he advances toward perfection, he experiences a conversion to God every day; and this conversion is not completed until he attains to perfection of Christian character, a full preparation for the finishing touch of immortality." —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 505.


"Not only man but the earth had by sin come under the power of the wicked one, and was to be restored by the plan of redemption."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 67.


" There is a work for us to do to fit ourselves for the society of angels. We must be like Jesus, free from the defilement of sin. He was all that he requires us to be; he was a perfect pattern for childhood, for youth, for manhood. We must study the pattern more closely."—Review and Herald, November 17, 1885.



The redeemed will stand without fault before the throne of God. Psalm 37:37; Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:40; Philippians 3:15; 1 Peter 5:10; Jude 24. Before the close of probation, all of God's people will be cleansed from every defilement. At His coming, Christ will not make them, but "find" them, blameless. Revelation 7:13, 14; 14:5; 1 Corinthians 1:7, 8; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 3:12, 14; 1 John 3:2, 3.


"We stand in favor before God, not because of any merit in ourselves, but because of our faith in 'the Lord our righteousness.' Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith. Perfection through our own good works we can never attain. The soul who sees Jesus by faith, repudiates his own righteousness. He sees himself as incomplete, his repentance insufficient, his strongest faith but feebleness, his most costly sacrifice as meager, and he sinks in humility at the foot of the cross. But a voice speaks to him from the oracles of God's Word. In amazement he hears the message, 'Ye are complete in Him.' Now all is at rest in his soul."—Faith and Works, pp. 107-108.



The Bible teaches that the door of mercy—the time in which sinners are given an opportunity to obtain salvation—will not remain open forever. The time of probation will come to an end shortly before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. There will be no second chance after the close of probation. Luke 13:23-27; Matthew 7:22, 23; 25:10-13; Isaiah 55:6; 2 Corinthians 6:1, 2; Jeremiah 8:20; Revelation 22:11.


"Should God save men in disobedience, after granting them a second probation, putting them to the test in this life, they would fail to regard his authority in the future life. Those who are disloyal to Christ in this world would be disloyal to him in the world to come, and would create a second rebellion in heaven. Men have the history of Adam's disobedience and fall before them, and because of this they should be warned against venturing to transgress the law of God. Jesus Christ has died in order that all men may have a chance to make their calling and election sure; but the standard of righteousness in this gospel age is no less than it was in the days of Adam, and heaven will be the reward of obedience."—Review and Herald, September 28, 1897.



Since there is only one God, one Lord, one Spirit, one faith, one hope, and one body, there can be only one symbol (one type of baptism, by immersion) to represent the beginning of a new life and our identification with these great facts of Christianity and our acceptance into the body of Christ, the church. Matthew 3:13-16; Ephesians 4:3-6.


Baptism is an outward sign pointing to an inward spiritual washing, a cleansing from sin by the blood of Christ already experienced by the believer who has accepted Jesus as his personal Saviour. Apart from this relationship with Christ, baptism, like any other rite, is merely a meaningless outward form. The death and burial of the "old man," as well as the resurrection of the "new man" with Christ, for a new life in Him, are represented by this ordinance. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-9; Colossians 2:12, 13; 1 Peter 3:21; Ephesians 4:22-24.


Baptism is a covenant with God, by which the candidate declares publicly that he has renounced the world and has decided to become a subject of the kingdom of Christ. Ephesians 2:19; Colossians 3:1-3; Hebrews 8:10-12. As the believing and repentant sinner is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, he shows that he accepted the call out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. His sins have been forgiven. He has put on Christ, he has placed himself under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and he is ready to be united with Christ's visible church on earth. Therefore, baptism is the sign of entrance into Christ's spiritual kingdom. Matthew 28:19, 20; Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9; 3:21; 1 John 1:9; Galatians 3:27; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 2:47.


The Bible does not teach infant baptism. Only those who have reached the age of accountability can be baptized, provided the following conditions have been fulfilled: faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:13, 14; Acts 8:12, 36-37; 18:8); thorough instruction in the truth (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 8:35); repentance (Acts 2:38); conversion—a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21).


"Baptism is a most sacred and important ordinance, and there should be a thorough understanding as to its meaning. It means repentance for sin, and the entrance upon a new life in Christ Jesus. There should be no undue haste to receive the ordinance."—Vol. 6, Testimonies for the Church, p. 93.


After the approval of the church, the act of baptism is performed by an ordained and authorized worker of the gospel. Mark 3:14.


Baptism (Greek baptizein, to dip or immerse) is by immersion in water, preferably in a running stream or clear lake. Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38, 39; John 3:23.


"Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Before man can find a home in the church, before passing the threshold of God's spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the impress of the divine name, 'The Lord our Righteousness.' Jeremiah 23:6. Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized 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."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 91.


"It is the grace of Christ that gives life to the soul. Apart from Christ, baptism, like any other service, is a worthless form. 'He that believeth not the Son shall not see life."—The Desire of Ages, p. 181.


Test of Discipleship

"None can depend upon their profession of faith as proof that they have a saving connection with Christ. We are not only to say, 'I believe,' but to practice the truth. It is by conformity to the will of God in our words, our deportment, our character, that we prove our connection with Him."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 92.


"It should be understood whether [the candidates] are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord's side, to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Before baptism there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidates. Let this inquiry be made, not in a cold and distant way, but kindly, tenderly, pointing the new converts to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Bring the requirements of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 96-97.


"There is not enough careful, prayerful, painstaking investigation in accepting members into the church. . . . There is one thing that we have no right to do, and that is to judge another man's heart or impugn his motives. But when a person presents himself as a candidate for church membership, we are to examine the fruit of his life, and leave the responsibility of his motive with himself. But great care should be exercised in accepting members into the church; for Satan has his specious devices through which he purposes to crowd false brethren into the church, through whom he can work more successfully to weaken the cause of God."—Review and Herald, January 10, 1893.



Although baptism is generally performed only once, a person should be rebaptized upon repentance if he has broken his covenant with God through apostasy. There is also an example of rebaptism for other reasons than apostasy. When Paul found some disciples in Ephesus, they already believed the truth and were already baptized with a correct baptism and in the right manner. But when they received a clearer knowledge of the truth, they were rebaptized. Acts 19:1-5. Honest souls when come to the knowledge of present truth will recognize the need to go through the door to enter Christ's spiritual kingdom.


"Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom." —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 91.


"The honest seeker after truth will not plead ignorance of the law as an excuse for transgression. Light was within his reach. God's word is plain, and Christ has bidden him search the Scriptures. He reveres God's law as holy, just, and good, and he repents of his transgression. By faith he pleads the atoning blood of Christ, and grasps the promise of pardon. His former baptism does not satisfy him now. He has seen himself a sinner, condemned by the law of God. He has experienced anew a death to sin, and he desires again to be buried with Christ by baptism, that he may rise to walk in newness of life. Such a course is in harmony with the example of Paul in baptizing the Jewish converts. That incident was recorded by the Holy Spirit as an instructive lesson for the church." —Sketches From the Life of Paul, p. 133.


"If you have lost your Christlikeness, my brethren and sisters, you can never, never come into communion with God again until you are reconverted and rebaptized. You want to repent and to be rebaptized, and to come into the love and communion and harmony of Christ."—Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, p. 366.


"I speak to our leading brethren, to our ministers, and especially to our physicians. Just as long as you allow pride to dwell in your hearts, so long will you lack power in your work. For years a wrong spirit has been cherished, a spirit of pride, a desire for preeminence. In this Satan is served, and God is dishonored. The Lord calls for a decided reformation. And when a soul is truly reconverted, let him be rebaptized. Let him renew his covenant with God, and God will renew His covenant with him."—Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, p. 262.


The Communion Service


Before the emblems of Christ's body and blood were distributed among the disciples, Christ washed their feet. "By the act of our Lord this humiliating ceremony was made a consecrated ordinance." —Desire of Ages, p. 650. The purpose of this ordinance, which is binding upon all Christians, is to lead the participants to search their hearts, see their own roots of bitterness and other defects of character and clear away misunderstandings between brethren. John 13:1-17.


"This ordinance is Christ's appointed preparation for the sacramental service. While pride, variance, and strife for supremacy are cherished, the heart cannot enter into fellowship with Christ. We are not prepared to receive the communion of His body and His blood. Therefore it was that Jesus appointed the memorial of His humiliation to be first observed." —The Desire of Ages, p. 650.


"The object of this service is to call to mind the humility of our Lord, and the lessons he has given in washing the feet of his disciples. There is in man a disposition to esteem himself more highly than his brother, to work for himself, to serve himself, to seek the highest place; and often evil surmisings and bitterness of spirit spring up over mere trifles. This ordinance, preceding the Lord's Supper, is to clear away these misunderstandings, to bring man out of his selfishness, down from his stilts of self-exaltation, to the humility of spirit that will lead him to wash his brother's feet.


"The ordinance of feet-washing has been especially enjoined by Christ, and on these occasions the Holy Spirit is present to witness and put a seal to his ordinance. He is there to convict and soften the heart. He draws the believers together, and makes them one in heart. They are made to feel that Christ indeed is present to clear away the rubbish that has accumulated to separate the hearts of the children of God from Him." —Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 22, 1897.


"Solemnly Christ said to Peter, 'If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.' The service which Peter refused was the type of a higher cleansing. Christ had come to wash the heart from the stain of sin. In refusing to allow Christ to wash his feet, Peter was refusing the higher cleansing included in the lower. He was really rejecting his Lord." —The Desire of Ages, p. 646.


"The example of washing the feet of his disciples was given for the benefit of all who should believe in him. He required them to follow his example. This humble ordinance was not only designed to test their humility and faithfulness, but to keep fresh in their remembrance that the redemption of his people was purchased upon conditions of humility and continual obedience upon their part." —Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 202.


"The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another's feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet." —Early Writings, p. 15.


"The holy salutation mentioned in the gospel of Jesus Christ by the apostle Paul should ever be considered in its true character. It is a holy kiss. It should be regarded as a sign of fellowship to Christian friends when parting, and when meeting again after a separation of weeks or months. In 1 Thessalonians 5:26 Paul says: 'Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.' In the same chapter he says: 'Abstain from all appearance of evil.' There can be no appearance of evil when the holy kiss is given at a proper time and place." —Early Writings, p. 117.



The Lord's Supper, known as the communion service, is the memorial of Christ's sacrifice and also points forward to His second coming. This service replaces the yearly Passover service of the Old Testament dispensation, but it is to be practiced more frequently, in harmony with our Lord's instructions through Apostle Paul. Matthew 26:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 11:26.


Through the Lord's Supper we participate in the emblems of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus and express our belief in, and acceptance of, His death on the cross as the only provision for our salvation. John 6:53-56, 63; Romans 5:10.


Since leaven and fermentation are often referred to as symbols of sin (1 Corinthians 5:7, 8), the Passover bread had to be unleavened and the Passover wine unfermented. Isaiah 65:8. With that same bread and wine Christ instituted the communion service.


As the Lord's Supper is a symbol of our fellowship with Christ and with one another ("the communion of the body of Christ"), only the members of this body, His organized church on earth, participate in the ordinance service. Exodus 12:48; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17; 12:12, 18, 20, 22.


A spiritual preparation—which includes heart-searching, repentance, confession, reconciliation and unity of faith (Ephesians 4:3, 4)—is required before we can participate in the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:18-20 (mgn); 27-29.


By partaking of the bread and wine, we show our repentance of sin and acceptance of Christ as our personal Saviour. The communion supper commemorates the suffering and death of Jesus and strengthens the church as a body, preserving her in meekness, love, and unity.


"In partaking with His disciples of the bread and wine, Christ pledged Himself to them as their Redeemer. He committed to them the new covenant, by which all who receive Him become children of God, and joint‑heirs with Christ. By this covenant every blessing that heaven could bestow for this life and the life to come, was theirs. This covenant deed was to be ratified with the blood of Christ. And the administration of the sacrament was to keep before the disciples the infinite sacrifice made for each of them individually as a part of the great whole of fallen humanity." —The Desire of Ages, pp. 656-659.


"It is by receiving the life for us poured out on Calvary's cross, that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His word, by doing those things which He has commanded. Thus we become one with Him. 'He that eateth My flesh,' He says, 'and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.' (John 6:54, 56, 57.) To the holy communion this scripture in a special sense applies. As faith contemplates our Lord's great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ." —The Desire of Ages, pp. 660-661.


"The salvation of men depends upon a continual application to their hearts of the cleansing blood of Christ. Therefore, the Lord's supper was not to be observed only occasionally or yearly, but more frequently than the annual passover." —Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 203.


"Our Lord has said, 'Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. . . . For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.' John 6:53-55. This is true of our physical nature. To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament." —Desire of Ages, p. 660.


The Sanctuary

The Lord directed the Israelites to build a sanctuary, or tabernacle, which was a type of the heavenly ministration. Exodus 25:8; Psalm 77:13. It was composed of a court with an altar of burnt offerings and a laver for the priests to wash themselves before entering the sanctuary. The tabernacle itself contained two apartments, the holy place and the most holy place. The service of the priests connected with the sanctuary was a representation of the work of Christ, our great High Priest, in the true tabernacle "which the Lord pitched and not man." Hebrews 8:1-5; 9:19-28.


At His ascension to heaven, Christ began His intercessory ministry in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, where, for over 1800 years, He offered the merits of His blood as an atonement for all confessed sins. John 1:29; Romans 5:8-11; 8:34. In 1844, according to the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, Christ entered upon the second and final phase of His ministry in the most holy place to cleanse it from the sins of the repentant sinners. This work is also called the investigative judgment. Revelation 11:18, 19; 20:12; 22:12. Although the lives of all who have their names written in the book of life, both from among the dead and the living, are to be examined, only the ones who have confessed and forsaken their sins will have their names retained in the book of life and their sins blotted out from the books of record. Daniel 7:9-14; 1 Peter 4:17, 18.


When Christ, through the merits of His own blood, removes the record of the sins of His faithful children from the sanctuary at the close of human probation (Revelation 22:11, 12), He will place those sins upon Satan, the scapegoat, who, in the execution of the judgment, must bear the final responsibility for all the sins that he has caused the saints to commit. Leviticus 16:8-10, 21, 22.


"As a people, we should be earnest students of prophecy; we should not rest until we become intelligent in regard to the subject of the sanctuary, which is brought out in the visions of Daniel and John. This subject sheds great light on our present position and work, and gives us unmistakable proof that God has led us in our past experience. It explains our disappointment in 1844, showing us that the sanctuary to be cleansed was not the earth, as we had supposed, but that Christ then entered into the most holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and is there performing the closing work of His priestly office, in fulfillment of the words of the angel to the prophet Daniel, 'Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'"—Evangelism, pp. 222-223.


"The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God."—The Great Controversy, p. 488.


"The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith."—Evangelism, p. 221.


"We are now living in the great day of atonement. In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart. The light, frivolous spirit indulged by so many professed Christians must be put away. There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Everyone must be tested and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing."—The Great Controversy, pp. 489-490.


"Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon—none know how soon—it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour's admonition: 'Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.' Mark 13:33. 'If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.' Revelation 3:3.


"When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: 'He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.' Revelation 22:11, 12."—The Great Controversy, pp. 490-491.

The Three Angels' Messages

A few years prior to the end of the period of 2300 years (Daniel 8:14), shortly before Christ as our High Priest entered into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, there began a worldwide revival in expectation of the soon coming of Christ. Faithful Advent believers recognized the message of Revelation 14:6-8 as being entrusted to them by God. Although the majority among the Christian denominations rejected the solemn message of preparation, the first angel's message, and thus became Babylon (confusion), the second angel's message, serving as a warning, prepared the way for the third. Revelation 14:9-12. Since then, the everlasting gospel truth, which includes the commandments of God, is being proclaimed to all peoples, nations, and tongues. The gathering of the last church before the second coming of Christ is under way.


The closing work of the Gospel is represented in prophecy as being accomplished by three angels with important messages of present truth for mankind. These angels symbolize the people of God (movements) who proclaim the warnings entrusted to them. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, these messages call for men to make their final decision between truth and error and prepare to stand before the judgment seat of God and to be ready for the second coming of Christ.


"The three angels of Revelation 14 represent the people who accept the light of God's messages and go forth as His agents to sound the warning throughout the length and breadth of the earth."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 455-456.


The First Angel

The message of the first angel, having the "Everlasting Gospel," calls upon all nations to fear God, give glory to Him, and worship Him as the Creator. Romans 1:16; Mark 13:10. It also points to the fact that the time of the investigative judgment has come. Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:12; 1 Peter 4:5, 17. Many, having forgotten God, felt that they were the rulers of their own destiny. Therefore, their allegiance must be called back to their Maker. It is their responsibility to obey God instead of pleasing themselves. This message points to the work of restoration of the original principles and institutions given by God in the beginning. Revelation 14:6, 7; Acts 3:19-21.


The Second Angel

After the great Deluge in the time for Noah, God promised never again to destroy the earth by a flood. Unregenerate man disbelieved the promise of God and began to build the tower of Babel, which resulted in confusion. Genesis 11:1-9. During the early centuries of the Christian era, compromise between Christianity and Paganism led to the development of the papacy as prophesied in Revelation 13:1-10. In the book of Revelation, Babylon, represented by the woman riding upon a scarlet colored beast, together with her harlot daughters, is a fitting symbol of all apostate professed Christian denominations that have turned away from the law of God. The message of the second angel announces the fall of Babylon because they rejected the message of the first angel and denounces the corruption of the Protestant churches which are following the example of the Roman Catholic church. Apostatized Christianity, united with the State, will bring about persecution of the faithful believers and the final crisis. Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:3-6.


The Third Angel

The third angel's message is a strong warning against worshipping the beast and his image and receiving the mark of the beast (deliberate Sunday-keeping). "The papacy has attempted to change the law of God. The second commandment, forbidding image worship, has been dropped from the law, and the fourth commandment has been so changed as to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. But papists urge, as a reason for omitting the second commandment, that it is unnecessary, being included in the first, and that they are giving the law exactly as God designed it to be understood. This cannot be the change foretold by the prophet. An intentional, deliberate change is presented: 'He shall think to change the times and the law.' The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy. For this the only authority claimed is that of the church. Here the papal power openly sets itself above God."—Great Controversy, p. 446.


This angel identifies the remnant people of God living in the last days. When Protestantism in America shall call upon the secular powers to enforce Sunday observance (the false sabbath), then an image to the beast will have been formed. All will then be called to decide between showing allegiance to the law of God on the one hand or accepting the decree of the beast (the Antichrist) on the other hand. And God will honor the choice of each individual. He will render eternal life to those who, in spite of the death decree, keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and eternal death to those who disobey Him. Revelation 14:9-12; 13:11-18.


"The third angel's warning is: 'If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.' 'The beast' mentioned in this message, whose worship is enforced by the two-horned beast, is the first, or leopardlike beast of Revelation 13--the papacy."—The Great Controversy, p. 443.


The Image of the Beast

"The 'image to the beast' represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas."—The Great Controversy, p. 445.


"The professed Protestant world will form a confederacy with the man of sin, and the church and the world will be in corrupt harmony."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 975.


"When the Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution; when the state shall use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church--then will Protestant America have formed an image to the papacy, and there will be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin (ST March 22, 1910)."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 976.


The Mark of the Beast

"The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord's memorial of creation. The mark of the beast is the opposite of this--the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 117.


"John was called to behold a people distinct from those who worship the beast and his image by keeping the first day of the week. The observance of this day is the mark of the beast (Letter 31, 1898)."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 979.


The third angel identifies the remnant people of God by the following three main characteristics:


(a) The patience of saints, which is developed under great tribulation. Romans 5:3, 4; James 1:3; 1 Peter 1:7.


(b) The keeping of the commandments of God, including the seventh-day Sabbath, which is the seal of the living God and the special sign between Him and His people. Matthew 5:17-20; Luke 16:17; James 2:10-12.


(c) The upholding of the faith of Jesus which is the everlasting gospel and faith in His power to save to the uttermost those who accept Him as their personal Saviour. Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 1:9; 2:1-6; Ephesians 2:8.


"What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs to the third angel's message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin-pardoning Saviour. He was treated as we deserve to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins that we might take His righteousness. And faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus."—Selected Messages, bk 3, p. 172.


"The proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages has been located by the Word of Inspiration. Not a peg or pin is to be removed. No human authority has any more right to change the location of these messages than to substitute the New Testament for the Old. The Old Testament is the gospel in figures and symbols. The New Testament is the substance. One is as essential as the other. The Old Testament presents lessons from the lips of Christ, and these lessons have not lost their force in any particular.


"The first and second messages were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are now under the proclamation of the third; but all three of the messages are still to be proclaimed. It is just as essential now as ever before that they shall be repeated to those who are seeking for the truth. By pen and voice we are to sound the proclamation, showing their order, and the application of the prophecies that bring us to the third angel's message. There cannot be a third without the first and second."—Selected Messages, vol. 2, pp. 104-105.


"Prophecy declares that the first angel would make his announcement to 'every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.' The warning of the third angel, which forms a part of the same threefold message, is to be no less widespread. It is represented in the prophecy as being proclaimed with a loud voice, by an angel flying in the midst of heaven; and it will command the attention of the world."—The Great Controversy, pp. 449-450.


"The three angels of Revelation 14 are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, symbolizing the work of those who proclaim the first, second, and third angels' messages. All are linked together. The evidences of the abiding, ever-living truth messages, that means so much to the church, that have awakened such intense opposition from the religious world, are not extinct. Satan is constantly seeking to cast a shadow about these messages, so that the people of God shall not clearly discern their import, their time and place; but they live and are to exert their religious power upon our religious experience while time shall last."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 17-18.


"The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.'"—Early Writings, pp. 258-259.

That Other Angel

Another angel (Revelation 18:1) joins the third angel to give added power to the proclamation of the warning against the beast and his image. The second angel's message is repeated with the statement of the additional corruptions that have entered the Christian churches since the beginning of his work in 1844. Revelation 18:2, 3. The work of this angel began with the proclamation of the message "Christ Our Righteousness" in 1888, which is to lighten the earth with the glory of God. Exodus 33:18, 19; Haggai 2:9, 7; Colossians 1:27; Habakkuk 2:14.


The rejection of this message led to open apostasy among the Advent people when the requirements of men were openly placed above the commandments of God. The work of this "other" angel, together with the continued presentation of the message to Laodicea, leads to the outpouring of the "Latter Rain" and the proclamation of the final warning with a loud voice ("Loud Cry"). This prepares the people of God to stand in the final test before the close of human probation and during the time of Jacob's trouble. Revelation 3:14-20; Daniel 12:1; Jeremiah 23:6; Hosea 6:1-3; Joel 2:23.


The coming of the "other angel," to strengthen the third angel's message, became necessary because this message was rapidly losing its power in the hands of the people to whom it had been first entrusted. Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 60:1, 2.


"I know that a work must be done for the people, or many will not be prepared to receive the light of the angel sent down from heaven to lighten the whole earth with his glory."—Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 468, 469.


"Those who can ignore all the evidences which God has given them, and change that blessing into a curse, should tremble for the safety of their own souls. Their candlestick will be removed out of its place unless they repent. The Lord has been insulted. The standard of truth, of the first, second, and third angels' messages has been left to trail in the dust."—Selected Messages, bk. 2, p. 394.


Therefore: "Another mighty angel [was] commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. . . .The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel's message as it swells to a loud cry."—Early Writings, p. 277.


"[Revelation 18:1, 2, 4 quoted] This scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844. . . . God still has a people in Babylon; and before the visitation of His judgments these faithful ones must be called out, that they partake not of her sins and 'receive not of her plagues.' Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon."—The Great Controversy, pp. 603, 604.


"The third angel's message must be strengthened and confirmed. The eighteenth chapter of Revelation reveals the importance of presenting the truth in no measured terms but with boldness and power."—Evangelism, p. 230.


"Satan has laid every measure possible that nothing shall come among us as a people to reprove and rebuke us, and exhort us to put away our errors. But there is a people who will bear the ark of God. . . .  The truth will not be diminished or lose its power in their hands. They will show the people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins."—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 411.


Preparation for the Latter Rain

 "I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God's people at the present time, and the reason it has not accomplished a greater work is because of the hardness of their hearts. But God has given the message time to do its work. The heart must be purified from sins which have so long shut out Jesus. This fearful message will do its work. When it was first presented, it led to close examination of heart. Sins were confessed, and the people of God were stirred everywhere. Nearly all believed that this message would end in the loud cry of the third angel. But as they failed to see the powerful work accomplished in a short time, many lost the effect of the message. I saw that this message would not accomplish its work in a few short months. It is designed to arouse the people of God, to discover to them their backslidings, and to lead to zealous repentance, that they may be favored with the presence of Jesus, and be fitted for the loud cry of the third angel. As this message affected the heart, it led to deep humility before God. Angels were sent in every direction to prepare unbelieving hearts for the truth. The cause of God began to rise, and His people were acquainted with their position. If the counsel of the True Witness had been fully heeded, God would have wrought for His people in greater power. Yet the efforts made since the message has been given, have been blessed of God, and many souls have been brought from error and darkness to rejoice in the truth."—Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 186.


The Loud Cry 

The Loud Cry of the third angel had its beginning with the coming of the angel of Revelation 18 in 1888. Its culmination will not be seen until the fullness of the Holy Spirit is poured out in the Latter Rain. Revelation 18:1-4.


"While Satan is working with his lying wonders, the time has come [that was] foretold in the Revelation, when the mighty angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory will proclaim the fall of Babylon and call upon God's people to forsake her."—Selected Messages, bk. 3, pp. 406, 407.


"The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth."—Ibid., bk. 1, p. 363.


"All who are laborers together with God will contend most earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. They will not be turned from the present message, which is already lightening the earth with its glory. . . . We are to sound the messages of the [three] angels, which are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, with the last warning to a fallen world. . . . [Revelation 18:1-5 quoted]. Thus the substance of the second angel's message is again given to the world by that other angel who lightens the earth with its glory." —Ibid., bk. 2, pp. 114-116.


"The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are 'the times of refreshing' to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said: 'Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out [in the investigative Judgment], when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus.' Acts 3:19, 20.


"Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand."—The Great Controversy (1888 edition), pp. 611, 612.


The Voice From Heaven 

In connection with the proclamation of the threefold angels' message, another voice from heaven (under the power of the Holy Spirit) is heard through that movement represented by that mighty angel. Before probation closes, he makes the final call to God's faithful people still in Babylon to come out of her before the plagues of God are poured out upon her. Revelation 18:4, 5.


"As foretold in the eighteenth of Revelation, the third angel's message is to be proclaimed with great power by those who give the final warning against the beast and his image: [Revelation 18:1-6 quoted].


"This is the message given by God to be sounded forth in the loud cry of the third angel."—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 118.


"Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6‑12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work. When those that 'believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness' (2 Thessalonians 2:12), shall be left to receive strong delusion and to believe a lie, then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in Babylon will heed the call: 'Come out of her, My people' (Revelation 18:4)."—The Great Controversy, p. 390.


"God still has a people in Babylon . . . [and] these faithful ones must be called out. . . .  Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from Heaven, lightening the earth with his glory, and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard, 'Come out of her, my people.' As these warnings join the third angel's message, it swells to a loud cry."—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, p. 422.


"God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant."—Early Writings, p. 261.


"The third angel's message must go over the land, and awaken the people, and call their attention to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Another angel unites his voice with the third angel, and the earth is lighted with its glory. The light increases, and it shines out to all the nations of the earth. It is to go forth as a light that burneth. It will be attended with great power, until its golden beams have fallen upon every tongue, every people, and every nation upon the face of the whole earth. Let me ask you, What you are doing to prepare for this work? Are you building for eternity? You must remember that this angel represents the people that have this message to give to the world. Are you among that people? "—The Review and Herald, August 18, 1885.


"The question of most vital importance for this time is, 'Who is on the Lord's side? Who will unite with the angel in giving the message of truth to the world? Who will receive the light that is to fill the whole earth with its glory?' "Ibid., November 5, 1889.


Preparation for Jacob's Trouble 

"As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, 'the time of Jacob's trouble,' they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of His Spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attend the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel."—The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments] vol. 7, p. 984.


" 'The commencement of that time of trouble,' here mentioned does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the 'latter rain,' or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out."—Early Writings, pp. 85, 86.

The Sealing

During the time of the end, a special sealing work began with the proclamation of the everlasting gospel as revealed in the three angels' messages. Revelation 14:6-12. One hundred and forty-four thousand servants of God are sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads. Revelation 7:1-4; 14:1 (cf Exodus 34:5-7). Those who allow the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth receive the seal of God (John 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; Ephesians 1:13), which is a sign of recognition (Ezekiel 20:20; 2 Timothy 2:19). 

All the faithful believers who died in the faith of the third angel's message, keeping the Sabbath, are a part of the 144,000 and will come up in a special resurrection before the coming of Christ. Revelation 14:13; Daniel 12:2. These will be among the living saints at His coming.


As the character of God, revealed in His law, is imprinted upon their hearts by the Holy Spirit, they are sanctified in the truth. Isaiah 8:16; Jeremiah 31:33; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 17:17 (cf Psalm 119:142). When these conditions are fully met, then Sabbathkeeping is a sign of sanctification, as well as a sign of distinction. It identifies us as worshipers of the true God and distinguishes us from the children of disobedience. Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Exodus 31:16-18; Ezekiel 9:4-6.


The mark of the beast is a counterfeit of the seal of God. Two main apostate religio-political powers (Revelation 13:3, 4, 8, 11-17) are about to control the so-called Christian world with man-made laws in conflict with the law of God. Then those who obey God will suffer fierce persecution (the wrath of the dragon). On the other hand, those who disobey God will receive the mark of the beast (counterfeit sabbath-Sunday), and they, together with the beast, will suffer the consequences of their choice in the seven last plagues (the wrath of God). Revelation 14:9-11; 15:1; 16:1, 2, 10, 11.


A comparison between Revelation 6:12-17 and Revelation 14:14-16 (cf Matthew 13:39) reveals that the sealing message, which includes a warning against the mark of the beast, belongs to the time of the end. It began in 1844.


The Seal of the Living God

"What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 968


"The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God."—The Great Controversy, p. 605.


"Only those who receive the seal of the living God will have the passport through the gates of the Holy City."—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 970.


"Christ, only Christ and His righteousness, will obtain for us a passport into heaven."—Last Day Events, p. 283


"An angel with a writer's inkhorn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered and sealed."—Early Writings, p. 279.


"Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand (RH March 9, 1905)."—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p.970.


The Mark of the Beast

"If the light of truth has been presented to you, revealing the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and showing that there is no foundation in the Word of God for Sunday observance, and yet you still cling to the false sabbath, refusing to keep holy the Sabbath which God calls my 'holy day,' you receive the mark of the beast. When does this take place? When you obey the decree that commands you to cease from labor on Sunday and worship God, while you know that there is not a word in the Bible showing Sunday to be other than a common working day, you consent to receive the mark of the beast, and refuse the seal of God."—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 980.


"There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of 'the third angel' shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast."—The Signs of the Times, November 8, 1899.


"But Christians of past generations observed the Sunday, supposing that in so doing they were keeping the Bible Sabbath; and there are now true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion, who honestly believe that Sunday is the Sabbath of divine appointment. God accepts their sincerity of purpose and their integrity before Him. But when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshipping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome—'the mark of the beast.' And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive 'the mark of the beast.'"—Great Controversy, p. 449.


Special Resurrection

'Graves are opened, and 'many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth. . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.' Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel's message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. 'They also which pierced Him' (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ's dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient."—The Great Controversy, p. 637.


"The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus' coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people."—The Great Controversy, p.640.


"Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake."—Early Writings, p. 15.


The Gift of Prophecy

After Christ's ascension, and after the disciples had surrendered themselves fully to God, through faith and prayer, and after they had come into perfect unity, the Holy Spirit was poured out on them in fullness. Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1-4. Spiritual gifts were then committed to them, to be used for the common good of the church and for the advancement of the work of God. The gifts that were bestowed on the early Christians, by the Spirit, included apostleship, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, discerning of spirits, miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, teaching, administration, and charity (pure love in action). Amos 3:7; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7, 8, 11; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.


While advising the church to "covet earnestly the best gifts," the apostle Paul put emphasis on "a more excellent way"—charity. 1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:1-8, 13. Then he added: "Desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." 1 Corinthians 14:1. The sure word of prophecy is the basis of our faith. Proverbs 29:18; Hosea 12:10, 13; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Matthew 10:41; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:19-21.


The gifts of the Spirit are to be restored to the faithful remnant before the second coming of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:7, 8.


In keeping with the promise of God, the gift of prophecy was restored to the true church in these last days. Joel 2:28; Acts 2:14-21; Revelation 12:17 (cf Revelation 19:10). Soon after the second great disappointment in 1844, Ellen G. White was called of God to the prophetic ministry among the early Adventists, and her work has stood the test of Isaiah 8:20 and Matthew 7:16, 20.


The main purpose of Ellen G. White's writings is to bring men and women back to the neglected Word of God, impressing upon their hearts the truths already revealed in the Bible, and to keep believers from drifting away from these truths.


"God has, in His Word, promised to give visions in the 'last days'; not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people, and to correct those who err from Bible truth."—Early Writings, p. 78.


"In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will and the course that He would have them pursue. " —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 147.


"In His word the Lord has plainly revealed His will to those who have riches. But because His direct commands have been slighted, He mercifully presents their dangers before them through the Testimonies. He does not give new light, but calls their attention to the light that has already been revealed in His word." —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 660-661.


"If you had made God's word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies. It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with God's inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 605.


"The word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the word of God their study are found living in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the word that they have neglected to follow."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 554-455.


"The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy and also the Testimonies should be introduced into every Sabbathkeeping family, and the brethren should know their value and be urged to read them."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 390.


"God's Word is the unerring standard. The Testimonies are not to take the place of the Word. Great care should be exercised by all believers to advance these questions carefully, and always stop when you have said enough. Let all prove their positions from the Scriptures and substantiate every point they claim as truth from the revealed Word of God."—Evangelism, p. 256.


"Satan is . . . constantly pressing in the spurious—to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God."—Selected Messages, bk 1, p. 48.



God saw that is was not good for man to be alone. Genesis 2:18. Therefore, He established the marriage institution and enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. God Himself gave Adam one wife as a companion. "He ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above." Ministry of Healing, p. 356. According to the plan of God, in the marriage relationship, every man should consider his wife as his second self, "bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh." Genesis 2:18, 23, 24; Mark 10:6-8; Ephesians 5:28, 29; Colossians 3:19.


Although it was degraded by sin, this divine institution must be restored to its original condition among God's people before the second coming of Jesus. Acts 3:20, 21; Mark 10:5-9.


When marriage is conducted according to the will of God:


a. It guards the moral purity of men and women and ensures the happiness of mankind. Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:2-9; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 5:18; 31:10-31.


b. It provides for man's social needs. Genesis 2:18.


c. It elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature of the human beings. Proverbs 18:22; 19:14; 1 Peter 3:1, 7.


d. It ensures the survival and multiplication of the human race in a moral and healthy manner. Genesis 1:27, 28.


It has been God's purpose from the very beginning that the marriage vow should bind both man and woman to each other by indissoluble ties "for life." Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18. Therefore, divorce is not in harmony with the will of God. Malachi 2:14-16. In case of separation, both are to remain single until the death of the other partner or until they are reconciled to each other. Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-15, 39. (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 are explained in separate publications.


Christians should be united in marriage only with those of like faith. Marriage with an unbeliever (non-member) is a serious sin and a separation from Christ. Exodus 34:12, 16; Deuteronomy 7:3, 4; Nehemiah 13:23-27; 2 Corinthians 6:14.


"As a child of God, a subject of Christ's kingdom, the purchase of His blood, how can you connect yourself with one who does not acknowledge His claims, who is not controlled by His Spirit? The commands I have quoted are not the word of man, but of God. Though the companion of your choice were in all other respects worthy (which he is not), yet he has not accepted the truth for this time; he is an unbeliever, and you are forbidden of heaven to unite yourself with him. You cannot, without peril to your soul, disregard this divine injunction." —Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 364, 365.


"In the youthful mind, marriage is clothed with romance, and it is difficult to divest it of this feature, with which imagination covers it, and to impress the mind with a sense of the weighty responsibilities involved in the marriage vow. This vow links the destinies of the two individuals with bonds which nought but the hand of death should sever."—Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 506, 507.


Although polygamy was tolerated in the Old Testament times contrary to God's original purpose, only monogamous marriages are accepted under the Christian Dispensation. 1 Corinthians 7:2; Ephesians 5:23, 33; Matthew 19:4-6; Malachi 2:15.


"Polygamy was practiced at an early date. It was one of the sins that brought the wrath of God upon the antediluvian world."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 338.


The marriage relationship represents the union that exists between Christ and His church. Isaiah 54:4, 5; Jeremiah 3:14; Ephesians 5:24-28; Hosea 2:19, 20.


"God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. 'Marriage is honorable' (Hebrews 13:4); it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the Fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man's social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature." —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 46.


"The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth. It was designed to be a blessing to mankind. And it is a blessing wherever the marriage covenant is entered into intelligently, in the fear of God, and with due consideration for its responsibilities."—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 356, 357.



"Before assuming the responsibilities involved in marriage, young men and young women should have such an experience in practical life as will prepare them for its duties and its burdens. Early marriages are not to be encouraged. A relation so important as marriage and so far‑reaching in its results should not be entered upon hastily, without sufficient preparation, and before the mental and physical powers are well developed.


"The parties may not have worldly wealth, but they should have the far greater blessing of health. And in most cases there should not be a great disparity in age. A neglect of this rule may result in seriously impairing the health of the younger. And often the children are robbed of physical and mental strength. They cannot receive from an aged parent the care and companionship which their young lives demand, and they may be deprived by death of the father or the mother at the very time when love and guidance are most needed.


"It is only in Christ that a marriage alliance can be safely formed. Human love should draw its closest bonds from divine love. Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish affection."—The Ministry of Healing, p. 358.


Sacred Circle

"Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven.


Purity and Happiness

"To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." 1 Corinthians 7:1.


"Marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the [human] race." —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 46.


"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Hebrews 13:4.


Every Christian should carefully consider the guidelines contained in the Bible and in the Testimonies. 1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:1-13, 27, 28, 39; Colossians 3:18, 19.


"Around every family there is a sacred circle that should be kept unbroken. Within this circle no other person has a right to come. Let not the husband or the wife permit another to share the confidences that belong solely to themselves."—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 360, 361.


"Avoid the first approach to danger. The soul's interests cannot be trifled with. Your capital is your character. Cherish it as you would a golden treasure. Moral purity, self-respect, a strong power of resistance, must be firmly and constantly cherished. There should not be one departure from reserve; one act of familiarity, one indiscretion, may jeopardize the soul in opening the door to temptation, and the power of resistance becomes weakened."—Adventist Home, p. 404.


"How careful should the husband and father be to maintain his loyalty to his marriage vows! . . . Here is where many are delinquent. Their heart imaginings are not of the pure, holy character which God requires. . . .  To married men I am instructed to say, It is to your wives, the mothers of your children, that your respect and affection are due."—Ibid., pp. 336, 337.


"If [our sisters] occupy this position [of humbleness, modesty, reserve], they will not be burdened with undue attention from gentlemen in the church and out. All will feel that there is a sacred circle of purity around around these God-fearing women. . . ."Ibid., p. 334.


"Many parents do not obtain the knowledge that they should in the married life. They are not guarded lest Satan take advantage of them and control their minds and their lives. They do not see that God requires them to control their married lives from any excesses. But very few feel it to be a religious duty to govern their passions. They have united themselves in marriage to the object of their choice, and therefore reason that marriage sanctifies the indulgence of the baser passions. Even men and women professing godliness give loose rein to their lustful passions, and have no thought that God holds them accountable for the expenditure of vital energy, which weakens their hold on life and enervates the entire system."—Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 472.


"Those professing to be Christians . . . should duly consider the result of every privilege of the marriage relation, and sanctified principle should be the basis of every action. In very many cases the parents . . . have abused their marriage privileges, and by indulgence have strengthened their animal passions. It is carrying that which is lawful to excess that makes it a grievous sin." —The Adventist Home, p. 122.


"By accepting Christ as His personal Saviour, man is brought into the same close relation to God, and enjoys His special favor as does His own beloved Son. He is honored and glorified and intimately associated with God, his life being hid with Christ in God. O what love, what wondrous love! This is my teaching of moral purity."—Education, p. 255.


"The grace of Christ, and this alone, can make [the marriage] institution what God designed it should be—an agent for the blessing and uplifting of humanity. And thus the families of earth, in their unity and peace and love, may represent the family of heaven."—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, p. 65.


Sexual Immorality

All immoral sexual practices, such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, and incest are condemned in the word of God as an abomination. Romans 1:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Leviticus 18:6–24; Jude 7.


The Christian Family

After creating Adam and Eve, God joined them together as husband and wife, blessed them, and then told them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." Genesis 1:28. It was God's purpose that the earth should be populated with beings created in His own image, composed of families that would bring glory to Him and become members of the larger family in heaven. Isaiah 45:18; Ephesians 3:14, 15. Although God's original purpose was sidetracked as a result of man's sin, its ultimate fulfillment is certain. Romans 8:28; Revelation 21:3, 5.


The family is the beginning of society. The Christian family is one in which God is recognized as the supreme object of worship. He is the head, protector, guide, and instructor of such families. The Christian family is the smallest organic unit of God's church on earth. Matthew 18:20. The Christian family is also a school where its members are both teachers and students who share their knowledge and learn from each other. The Word of God, together with the book of nature, should be the main source of instruction in the family school. The object of the family firm should be to prepare its students for usefulness in this life and for graduation to the school above. Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 128:1-6.


A special work of restoration in the family has been prophesied to take place before the second coming of Christ. Malachi 4:5, 6.


The Husband and Father

The Christian husband, as the father and priest of the family, is its protector, instructor, guide, and provider. Genesis 3:19; 1 Corinthians 11:3. This is the role assigned to him by God. He is responsible for the spiritual, mental, and physical welfare of his family. Ephesians 6:4; 5:28-31, 33; 1 Timothy 5:8; 1 Peter 3:7.


In conjunction with his wife, he is to teach his children to love and obey God, and train them for usefulness in this life and the life to come, according to instructions given in the Bible. As the priest in the family, the father is the chief one responsible for the religious instruction and training of his children. He is also the one to lead out in the family morning and evening worship services. Genesis 18:19; 35:2-4; Joshua 24:15; Colossians 3:21.


The Wife and Mother

The Christian wife, as mother, is the main teacher of the children in the family, especially in their early years. She has a great and important responsibility in training and educating them in accordance with the instructions given her in the Word of God. Together with her husband, she is responsible for their spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing, and to develop a character in her children after the divine similitude for time and eternity. While the father is the houseband of the family, the mother is the homemaker. Proverbs 31:10-31; Ephesians 5:22-24, 33; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Timothy 5:4; Titus 2:4, 5.


The Children in the Family

Children are the heritage of the Lord. Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 17:6. They are the future of society and of the church of God on earth. They have been entrusted to fathers and mothers with the object of being trained, and educated by them to become members of the Lord's family above, and useful members of society while here on earth. Psalm 144:12; Isaiah 8:18. Children are to learn to love, honor and respect their parents and obey them as it is fit in the Lord. Exodus 20:12. They should also learn to love and obey God, and to respect ministers, teachers, rulers and all others to whom God has delegated authority. Children should be educated and encouraged to prepare themselves to become co-workers with God on earth by learning trades and/or professions which could help to advance His kingdom and hasten the coming of Christ. Leviticus 19:32; 2 Kings 2:23, 24; Psalm 78:2-7; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20.


"God created man for His own glory, that after test and trial the human family might become one with the heavenly family. It was God's purpose to re-populate heaven with the human family, if they would show themselves obedient to His every word. Adam was to be tested, to see whether he would be obedient, as the loyal angels, or disobedient."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1082.


"In early times the father was the ruler and priest of his own family, and he exercised authority over his children, even after they had families of their own. His descendants were taught to look up to him as their head, in both religious and secular matters. This patriarchal system of government Abraham endeavored to perpetuate, as it tended to preserve the knowledge of God. It was necessary to bind the members of the household together, in order to build up a barrier against the idolatry that had become so widespread and so deep-seated. Abraham sought by every means in his power to guard the inmates of his encampment against mingling with the heathen and witnessing their idolatrous practices, for he knew that familiarity with evil would insensibly corrupt the principles. The greatest care was exercised to shut out every form of false religion and to impress the mind with the majesty and glory of the living God as the true object of worship."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 141.


"In order for parents and teachers to do this work [educating their children], they must themselves understand 'the way' the child should go. This embraces more than merely having a knowledge of books. It takes in everything that is good, virtuous, righteous, and holy. It comprehends the practice of temperance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love to God and to one another. In order to attain this object, the physical, mental, moral, and religious education of children must have attention."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, pp. 131-132.


"Too much importance cannot be placed upon the early training of children. The lessons learned, the habits formed, during the years of infancy and childhood, have more to do with the formation of the character and the direction of the life than have all the instruction and training of after years."—Ministry of Healing, p. 380.


Mothers may have acquired knowledge of many things, but they have not acquired the essential knowledge unless they have a knowledge of Christ as a personal Saviour. If Christ is in the home, if mothers have made Him their counselor, they will educate their children from their very babyhood in the principles of true religion."—Child Guidance, p. 472.


"The greatest evidence of the power of Christianity that can be presented to the world is a well-ordered, well-disciplined family."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 304.


The Good Way Series

This series of 13 articles presents in more detail the major differences between the SDA Church and the SDA Reform Movement. It is also available in printed form. Click on the subject of your choice.


"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein."

Christian temperance

Christian temperance has to do with all facets of our life here on earth and recognizes the intimate relation that exists between the spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of our being. The condition of the body affects the mind, and the condition of the mind affects not only the body but also man's spiritual relationship to God. True temperance may be defined as dispensing entirely all things which are harmful and making a judicious use of those things which are healthful. The general principle concerning temperance in all things has been outlined in the word of God by the apostle Paul. 1 Corinthians 10:31.


A Lesson From the Greek Athletes

"In referring to [the Grecian races] as a figure of Christian warfare, Paul emphasized the preparation necessary to the success of the contestants in the race—the preliminary discipline, the abstemious diet, the necessity for temperance. 'Every man that striveth for the mastery,' he declared, 'is temperate in all things.' The runner put aside every indulgence that would tend to weaken the physical powers, and by severe and continuous discipline trained their muscles to strength and endurance, that when the day of the contest should arrive, they might put the heaviest tax upon their powers. How much more important that the Christian, whose eternal interests are at stake, bring appetite and passion under subjection to reason and the will of God! Never must he allow his attention to be diverted by amusements, luxuries, or ease. All his habits and passions must be brought under the strictest discipline. Reason, enlightened by the teachings of God's word and guided by His Spirit, must hold the reins of control. . . .


"Paul presents the contrast between the chaplet of fading laurel received by the victor in the foot races, and the crown of immortal glory that will be given to him who runs with triumph the Christian race. 'They do it,' he declares, 'to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.' To win a perishable prize, the Grecian runners spared themselves no toil or discipline. We are striving for a prize infinitely more valuable, even the crown of everlasting life. How much more careful should be our striving, how much more willing our sacrifice and self-denial!"—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 311-312.


Health Reform from a Biblical Perspective

As a healthy mind is to a large degree developed in a healthy body, health reform has its place in the plan of redemption. Ecclesiastes 10:17; 3 John 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23. God's Word beseeches us to take good care not only of our souls but also of our bodies. Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 9:25, 27.


The general principles related to eating and drinking, and to anything that may affect our physical, mental, or spiritual health, are outlined in the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.


As a part of the third angel's message, health reform is as closely connected with it as is the right arm with the body (cf Revelation 14:12; 2 Peter 1:6). Exodus 15:26; Proverbs 3:7, 8; 4:20-22.


Health reform is equated with the moderate use of good things. True temperance requires complete abstinence from all things which are harmful to the system, such as: flesh foods (including fish), animal fat, harmful chemicals added to ready-made foods (such as monosodium glutamate), alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee, caffeinated drinks, tobacco, narcotics et cetera. Since the longest list would still be incomplete, we give only a few examples. Hundreds of new products are launched on the market year after year; therefore, each person should find out for himself which ones are to be rejected. See examples in Judges 13:4, 7; Daniel 1:8, 12-16, 20.


Also marital excesses and all forms of sexual perversion are condemned in the Word of God. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Romans 1:24, 26, 27; 13:11-14; 1 Peter 4:2, 3.


"God requires His people to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. All those who are indifferent and excuse themselves from this work, waiting for the Lord to do for them that which He requires them to do for themselves, will be found wanting when the meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgments, are hid in the day of the Lord's anger."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 33.


"All who occupied positions of sacred responsibility [in Israel] were to be men of strict temperance that their minds might be clear to discriminate between right and wrong, that they might possess firmness of principle and wisdom to administer justice and to show mercy. The same obligation rests upon every follower of Christ. The apostle Peter declares, 'Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.' 1 Peter 2:9. We are required by God to preserve every power in the best possible condition, that we may render acceptable service to our Creator."—Patriarchs and Prophets, 362.


"A strict compliance with the requirements of God is beneficial to the health of body and mind. In order to reach the highest standard of moral and intellectual attainments, it is necessary to seek wisdom and strength from God, and to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 32.


"We wish to present temperance and health reform from a Bible standpoint and to be very cautious not to go to extremes in abruptly advocating health reform. Let us be careful not to graft into health reform one false shoot according to our own peculiar overstrained ideas and weave into it our own strong traits of character making these as the voice of God and passing judgment on all who do not see as we do."—Selected Messages, bk. 3, pp. 284-285.


"The health reform is one branch of the great work which is to fit a people for the coming of the Lord. It is as closely connected with the third angel's message as the hand is with the body. The law of Ten Commandments has been lightly regarded by man; yet the Lord will not come to punish the transgressors of that law without first sending them a message of warning. Men and women cannot violate natural law by indulging depraved appetites and lustful passions, without violating the law of God. Therefore He has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us, that we may realize the sinfulness of breaking the laws which He has established in our very being."—Counsels on Health, p. 20.


"In the ten commandments God has laid down the laws of His kingdom. Any violation of the laws of nature is a violation of the law of God."—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1105.


"The laws governing the physical nature are as truly divine in their origin and character as the law of the ten commandments. Man is fearfully and wonderfully made; for Jehovah has inscribed his law by his own mighty hand on every part of the human body.


"It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the ten commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God's law.


"The human being who is careless and reckless of the habits and practices that concern his physical life and health, sins against God.


"A violation of these laws is a violation of the immutable law of God, and the penalty will surely follow."—Healthful Living, p. 21.


Christian temperance involves our entire lifestyle and wellbeing. On this subject we recommend the reading of the following books: The Ministry of Healing, Counsels on Health, Counsels on Diet and Foods, Temperance, Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, and Healthful Living.


Our Bodies

The human body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19, 20. Therefore, it is our duty before God, not only to be very careful in preserving our spiritual health, but also our physical health. All those who are led by the Holy Spirit will conform to the principles of Christian temperance, which is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Acts 24:25; Galatians 5:22, 23.


Flesh Eating in the Last Days

Although the use of the flesh of "clean animals" was tolerated in the days of the apostles, it is the purpose of the gospel to restore all things including the original Edenic diet. Acts 3:19-21. As the Lord wanted His people to give up the use of flesh foods before entering the land of Canaan, He now requires us to discard all flesh foods in the time of the end as part of our preparation for the coming of Christ and for the heavenly Canaan. Numbers 11:4-20, 31-34; Psalm 78:17-32; 106:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 10:5, 6, 11 (cf Isaiah 22:12-14, 20-22; Revelation 3:7, 8). Isaiah 22:12-14 has a special application during the antitypical day of atonement, which began in 1844.


Those who persist in eating pork, guinea pigs, rats, and other abominations and/or forbidden things, while being aware of the prohibition, will be destroyed. Leviticus 11:7; Isaiah 66:15-17 (cf 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9); Acts 15:20; Leviticus 3:17.


The instructions coming from the Spirit of Prophecy concerning meat eating in these last days are in harmony with the Bible:


"God's people are to take a firm stand against meat eating."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 383 (1902).


"You may ask, Would you do away entirely with meat eating? I answer, It will eventually come to this, but we are not prepared for this step just now. Meat eating will eventually be done away. The flesh of animals will no longer compose a part of our diet; and we shall look upon a butcher's shop with disgust." —Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 407.


"Those who use flesh meat disregard all the warnings that God has given concerning this question. They have no evidence that they are walking in safe paths."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 383 (1902)


Although the light on health reform had already come to the people of God, and the main reasons why meat eating should be discarded had been stated, at the turn of the century (1899-1900) the Advent people were not yet prepared to accept all the light on the question of diet. "My brother, you are not to make a test for the people of God upon the question of diet."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 205 (1901).


In 1909 the church was instructed not "to make the use of flesh food a test of fellowship" (9T 159), because many ministers and leaders were still meat eaters (9T 160). For this reason, the strictly vegetarian diet could not be imposed as a test for new members. "The time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 163.


At the same time, however, a more advanced step, which would demand the giving up of improper articles of diet, was predicted:


"Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and that self‑denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 153-154(1909).


"Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it. I cannot think that in the practice of flesh eating we are in harmony with the light which God has been pleased to give us."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 380-381(1890).


"Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God's people to walk no more with them."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 382 (1902).


"No meat will be used by His people."—Counsels on Diets and Foods, p. 82 (1884).


"The meat diet is the serious question. Shall human beings live on the flesh of dead animals? The answer, from the light that God has given is, No, decidedly No."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 388.


"It is for their own good that the Lord counsels the remnant church to discard the use of flesh meats, tea, and coffee, and other harmful foods. There are plenty of other things on which we can subsist that are wholesome and good." —Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 381.


"At this stage of the earth's history meat-eating is dishonoring to God. It is meat-eating and liquor-drinking that are making the world as it was in the days of Noah."—Bible Training School, July 1, 1902.


Now, when the coming of Christ is so near, we believe we have reached a time when those who "make a covenant with God by sacrifice will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful." Therefore, the half converted ones, who still want to eat meat, cannot be united with God's remnant people (CD 382). It is evident to us that the time has come for "the strictest diet [to] be prescribed."


"The diet reform should be progressive. As disease in animals increases, the use of milk and eggs will become more and more unsafe. An effort should be made to supply their place with other things that are healthful and inexpensive. The people everywhere should be taught how to cook without milk and eggs, so far as possible, and yet have their food wholesome and palatable."—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 365.


While the diseases among the animals increase in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men, it is evident that the use of animal products is not safe anymore. It is evident to us that the time has come for the "strictest diet (to) be prescribed."


Restoration of the Original Diet

At the beginning of the world, before the entrance of sin, God said to our first parents:


"Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Genesis 1:29


"Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator."—Ministry of Healing, p. 296 (CD 310)


"When flesh food is discarded, its place should be supplied with a variety of grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, that will be both nourishing and appetizing."—Ministry of Healing, p. 316 (CD 315)


Those who insist that meat eating is not forbidden in the Bible, although it is disapproved (Proverbs 23:20; Romans 14:21; cf James 4:17), should understand that "from the beginning it was not so" (Matthew 19:8) and that it will not be so when the work of restoration is completed (Acts 3:21) and when all things are made new (Revelation 21:5).


"In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored."—Prophets and Kings, p. 678


In the Kingdom of Glory

In the earth made new, after the wicked have been destroyed, even the carnivorous (flesh-eating) animals will all be herbivorous (feeding on plants), as they were in the beginning. Genesis 1:30; Isaiah 11:4-9; 65:25; Ezekiel 47:12.


Dealing with Disease

We are God's property by creation (Genesis 1:27; 2:7) and by redemption (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). Man was made in God's own image out of dust. This living machinery consist of three components—body, soul and spirit—that are governed by specific natural laws. It is God's plan to sanctify and preserve them blameless. 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Every person needs to have knowledge in taking care of his body which is God's temple. Life and health are God's gift to us.


When our body is abused sickness results. In such a case, the cause should be ascertained, the detrimental environment should be changed, and wrong habits corrected. Nature will then be assisted to eliminate the toxins and to reestablish the balance in the body. Both in prevention and in dealing with diseases, the best method is to use the natural remedies God has provided for us such as: diet, hygiene, pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, water, herbs, clay, and trust in divine power. Genesis 1:29; 3:18; 2 Peter 1:6; Mark 6:31; Genesis 2:15; 2 Kings 5:10, 14; 20:7; John 9:6, 7; Psalm 103:2, 3; Mathew 8:6-13; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 5:20, 24, 25; Psalm 104:14.


"To many of the afflicted ones who received healing, Christ said, 'Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.' John 5:14. Thus He taught that disease is the result of violating God's laws, both natural and spiritual. The great misery in the world would not exist did men but live in harmony with the Creator's plan."—The Desire of Ages, p. 824.


"Many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would live out the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used."—Medical Ministry, p. 259.


The advice to use natural preventive and healing methods should not be confused with acute health problems. Emergencies should be handled by medical professionals. Let us heed the warning:


"My voice shall be raised against novices undertaking to treat disease professedly according to the principles of health reform. God forbid that we should be the subjects for them to experiment upon!" Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 375.


The main reason why the Lord sent us light on the principle of health reform is that, since 1844, we have been living in the antitypical Day of Atonement (Daniel 8:14), when our bodies are to be presented as "a living sacrifice wholly acceptable unto God." Romans 12:1.


Dress and Cosmetics

Since God has the health of the entire human being in view, all articles of dress that have a definite adverse effect on our health are clearly prohibited in the word of God. For example: anything that restricts free-breathing, that causes curvature of the spine or any deformity of the body, and unhealthful chemicals placed on the body such as those used for dying the hair and cosmetics. Exodus 15:26.


Healthful Dress

"In order to secure the most healthful clothing, the needs of every part of the body must be carefully studied. The character of the climate, the surroundings, the condition of health, the age, and the occupation must all be considered. Every article of dress should fit easily, obstructing neither the circulation of the blood nor a free, full, natural respiration. Everything worn should be so loose that when the arms are raised the clothing will be correspondingly lifted."—Ministry of Healing, p. 293.


"The suffering caused among women by unhealthful dress cannot be estimated. Many have become life-long invalids through their compliance with the demands of fashion. Health and life have been sacrificed to the insatiable goddess. Many seem to think that they have a right to treat their bodies as they please; but they forget that their bodies are not their own. The Creator who formed them has claims upon them that they cannot lightly throw off. Every needless transgression of the laws of our being is virtually a transgression of the law of God, and is sin in the sight of Heaven. The Creator knew how to form the human body. He did not need to consult the mantua-makers in regard to their ideas of beauty. God, who created everything that is lovely and glorious in nature, understood how to make the human form beautiful and healthy. The modern improvements upon his plan are insulting to the Creator. They deform that which he made perfect."—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pp. 87-88.


Separation From the World

Separation from the world means a coming out from its ideas, theories, habits, practices, worldly associations and everything that is contrary to the word of God. John 17:15, 16; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17; Revelation 18:4.


"There is a distinct line drawn by God Himself between the world and the church, between commandment keepers, and commandment breakers. They do not blend together."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 602.


"To protect the people of God from the corrupting influence of the world, as well as to promote physical and moral health, the dress reform was introduced among us. It was not intended to be a yoke of bondage, but a blessing; not to increase labor, but to save labor; not to add to the expense of dress, but to save expense. It would distinguish God's people from the world, and thus serve as a barrier against its fashions and follies."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 634.


"God will test the fidelity of His people. Many of the mistakes that are made by the professed servants of God are in consequence of their self-love, their desire of approval, their thirst for popularity. Blinded in this manner, they do not realize that they are elements of darkness rather than of light. 'Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.' These are the conditions upon which we may be acknowledged as sons of God—separation from the world and renunciation of those things which delude, and fascinate, and ensnare." —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 12-13.


"Christ's followers are required to come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and they have the promise of being the sons and daughters of the Most High, members of the royal family. But if the conditions are not complied with on their part, they will not, cannot, realize the fulfillment of the promise."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 441.


"As soon as any have a desire to imitate the fashions of the world, that they do not immediately subdue, just so soon God ceases to acknowledge them as His children. They are the children of the world and of darkness."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 137.


"Jesus is coming; and will He find a people conformed to the world? And will He acknowledge these as His people that He has purified unto Himself? Oh, no. None but the pure and holy will He acknowledge as His."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 133.


Dress Reform

One of the conditions on which God promises to accept us as His people is separation from the world. Matthew 6:24; James 4:4; 2 Peter 1:4. As the children of Israel were required to wear a ribbon of blue as a sign of distinction between themselves and the idolatrous nations around them, so God's church today is to observe the principles of dress reform. Numbers 15:37-41. Believers should dress modestly, healthfully, tastefully, and neatly, thus representing the principles of the heavenly kingdom.


"To protect the people of God from the corrupting influence of the world, as well as to promote physical and moral health, the dress reform was introduced among us. It was not intended to be a yoke of bondage, but a blessing; not to increase labor, but to save labor; not to add to the expense of dress, but to save expense. It would distinguish God's people from the world, and thus serve as a barrier against its fashions and follies. He who knows the end from the beginning, who understands our nature and our needs—our compassionate Redeemer—saw our dangers and difficulties, and condescended to give us timely warning and instruction concerning our habits of life, even in the proper selection of food and clothing."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 634.


"Our words, our actions, and our dress are daily, living preachers, gathering with Christ or scattering abroad. This is no trivial matter to be passed off with a jest. The subject of dress demands serious reflection and much prayer. Many unbelievers have felt that they were not doing right in permitting themselves to be slaves of fashion; but when they see some who make a high profession of godliness dressing as worldlings dress, enjoying frivolous society, they decide that there can be no wrong in such a course."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 641.


The Bible places emphasis on modesty and self-respect, forbidding the extravagant and immodest fashions and customs of the world in both men and women. Although in time past fashion was mostly a problem with women, unfortunately as we approach the end, Satan is even destroying the experience of some men on this point. Such designs as tight revealing clothing, slits, shorts, and see-through fabrics (exposing nakedness), unhealthful footwear, jewelry and following modern trends for the sake of fashion is detrimental to the Christian's experience and is prohibited in the word of God. Through these things we exert a negative influence upon others, and we would have to answer to God for leading souls to decide against the truth by thus living in contradiction with our profession of faith. Genesis 35:1-4; Isaiah 3:16-24; 1 Timothy 2:9, 10; 1 Peter 3:1-5.


Men and women are not to cause confusion of the sexes either by their conduct, by wearing their clothing or having their appearance (length of hair) resemble that of the opposite sex, for God pronounces it an abomination. "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Corinthians 11:14, 15.


"There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible, and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. 'In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety.' 1 Timothy 2:9."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 421.


From the very beginning of the creation of mankind, God placed a difference between men and women and He wants this distinction to be maintained. Genesis 1:27. "God designed that there should be a plain distinction between the dress of men and women, and has considered the matter of sufficient importance to give explicit directions in regard to it; for the same dress worn by both sexes would cause confusion and great increase of crime. Were the apostle Paul alive, and should he behold women professing godliness with this style of dress, he would utter a rebuke. 'In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.' The mass of professed Christians utterly disregard the teachings of the apostles, and wear gold, pearls, and costly array."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 460.


Moreover, when they come into the presence of God for their worship services, there is yet to be a further distinction in their manner of dress. Exodus 3:5; 20:26; 28:42, 43. As a sign of reverence and respect, when we come to the house of worship we should wear appropriate attire. John 21:7; Genesis 3:7, 21; Isaiah 6:2; Psalm 89:7.


"I am often pained as I enter the house where God is worshiped, to see the untidy dress of both men and women. If the heart and character were indicated by the outward apparel, then certainly nothing could be heavenly about them. They have no true idea of the order, the neatness, and the refined deportment that God requires of all who come into His presence to worship Him. What impressions do these things give to unbelievers and to the youth, who are keen to discern and to draw their conclusions?


"In the minds of many there are no more sacred thoughts connected with the house of God than with the most common place. Some will enter the place of worship with their hats on, in soiled, dirty clothes. Such do not realize that they are to meet with God and holy angels. There should be a radical change in this matter all through our churches. Ministers themselves need to elevate their ideas, to have finer susceptibilities in regard to it. It is a feature of the work that has been sadly neglected. Because of the irreverence in attitude, dress, and deportment, and lack of a worshipful frame of mind, God has often turned His face away from those assembled for His worship."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 498-499.


The followers of Christ, knowing that God has taken garments as a type of righteousness (Revelation 19:8), cannot be disorderly and untidy in their dress.


Even things which are lawful in themselves, if practiced in a wrong way, with the wrong crowd, in the wrong place, and at the wrong time, may work as a snare of Satan. But, in the first place, we should shun the most evident evils, such as worldly associations, worldly music, worldly games, worldly amusements, worldly fashions, involvement in politics, and the corrupting influence of satanic "garbage" coming through the mass media, which generally appeals to weak minds.


"It should be understood whether those who profess to be converted are simply taking the name of Seventh‑day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord's side to come out from the world and be separate and touch not the unclean thing. When they give evidence that they fully understand their position, they are to be accepted. But when they show that they are following the customs and fashions and sentiments of the world, they are to be faithfully dealt with. If they feel no burden to change their course of action, they should not be retained as members of the church. The Lord wants those who compose His church to be true, faithful stewards of the grace of Christ."—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 128.


"Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. . . . Our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline. If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 647.


"The words, the dress, the actions, should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all around them, and even unbelievers will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 634.


"There should be no carelessness in dress. For Christ's sake, whose witness we are, we should seek to make the best of our appearance."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 96.



God has made His people a light in this world. As such, they are to enter into social relations with the people around them with the purpose of bringing the gospel message to them. Matthew 5:13-16; John 17:15. But God has also made a definite distinction between His people and the world. If we want to be identified with Christ, we will shun the society of worldlings, which would be detrimental to our Christian experience. We cannot place ourselves where Christ cannot go with us. Ezekiel 44:23; Amos 3:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.


Professed Christians who do not understand this principle, and who love that which they should abominate, will be classified with the evil servant. Matthew 24:48-51. Separation from the world also involves separation from secret societies, political parties, participation in labor unions, business partnerships with unbelievers and any other confederacy with the world. Isaiah 8:12; John 8:23; 18:36.


"Those only who deny self, and live a life of sobriety, humility, and holiness, are true followers of Jesus; and such cannot enjoy the society of the lovers of the world."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 633.


"There are persons with a diseased imagination to whom religion is a tyrant, ruling them as with a rod of iron. Such are constantly mourning over their depravity and groaning over supposed evil. Love does not exist in their hearts; a frown is ever upon their countenances. They are chilled by the innocent laugh from the youth or from anyone. They consider all recreation or amusement a sin and think that the mind must be constantly wrought up to just such a stern, severe pitch. This is one extreme. Others think that the mind must be ever on the stretch to invent new amusements and diversions in order to gain health. They learn to depend on excitement, and are uneasy without it. Such are not true Christians. They go to another extreme. The true principles of Christianity open before all a source of happiness, the height and depth, the length and breadth of which are immeasurable."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 565.


"I do not condemn the simple exercise of playing ball; but even this, even in its simplicity, may be overdone."—The Adventist Home, p. 499


"Let several families living in a city or village unite and leave the occupations which have taxed them physically and mentally, and make an excursion into the country to the side of a fine lake or to a nice grove where the scenery of nature is beautiful. They should provide themselves with plain, hygienic food, the very best fruits and grains, and spread their table under the shade of some tree or under the canopy of heaven. The ride, the exercise, and the scenery will quicken the appetite, and they can enjoy a repast which kings might envy.


"On such occasions parents and children should feel free from care, labor, and perplexity. Parents should become children with their children, making everything as pleasant for them as possible. Let the whole day be given to recreation. Exercise in the open air for those whose employment has been withindoors and sedentary will be beneficial to health. All who can, should feel it a duty to pursue this course. Nothing will be lost, but much gained." —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 514-515.


Our Duty Toward Civil Authorities

It is the duty of every Christian to obey the laws of the land as long as they do not conflict with the law of God. Romans 13:1-7.


"The ten precepts of Jehovah are the foundation of all righteous and good laws. Those who love God's commandments will conform to every good law of the land. But if the requirements of the rulers are such as conflict with the laws of God, the only question to be settled is: Shall we obey God, or man?"—Testimony for the Church, vol. 1, p. 362.


Christians will respect the authorities (Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13, 14, 17), will pay their taxes faithfully (Matthew 22:17-21; Romans 13:7), and will pray for the men in the government, so that God may bless the country with justice, order, peace, and religious liberty. 1 Timothy 2:1-3.


The Word of God does not allow us to take part in political plans, partisan activities, riots, bloodshed, or war. Luke 9:56; John 18:36; Matthew 26:51, 52; Exodus 20:13; Romans 12:18-21. However, we are prepared to contribute to the welfare of society as conscientious objectors, performing work of national importance under civilian direction, in a manner which is not inconsistent with our beliefs.


It is the will of God that impartial justice be rendered to all, so that the religious conscience of each citizen may be respected. In case we are requested to act contrary to a "Thus saith the Lord," we must follow the example of the servants of God in the past—to obey God rather than man. Daniel 3:14-18; Acts 4:18-20; 5:29.


"The banner of truth and religious liberty held aloft by the founders of the gospel church and by God's witnesses during the centuries that have past since then, has, in this last conflict, been committed to our hands. The responsibility for this great gift rests with those whom God has blessed with a knowledge of His word. We are to receive this word as supreme authority. We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God's word must be recognized as above all human legislation. A 'Thus saith the Lord' is not to be set aside for a 'Thus saith the church,' or a 'Thus saith the state.' The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates.


"We are not required to defy authorities. Our words, whether spoken or written, should be carefully considered, lest we place ourselves on record as uttering that which would make us appear antagonistic to law and order. We are not to say or do anything that would unnecessarily close up our way. We are to go forward in Christ's name advocating the truths committed to us."—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 68-69.


"It is our duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spoke with an audible voice from Sinai, and afterward engraved on stone with His own finger. 'I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people.' He who has God's law written in the heart will obey God rather than men, and will sooner disobey all men than deviate in the least from the commandment of God."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 361.


"It is our work to magnify and exalt the law of God. The truth of God's holy word is to be made manifest. We are to hold up the Scriptures as the rule of life. In all modesty, in the spirit of grace, and in the love of God we are to point men to the fact that the Lord God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. In the name of the Lord we are to go forward, unfurling His banner, advocating His word. When the authorities command us not to do this work, when they forbid us to proclaim the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, then it will be necessary for us to say as did the apostles: 'Whether it be right in the sight of God to hear ken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we can not but speak the things which we have seen and heard.' Acts 4:19, 20."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 395.


"We acknowledge God and recognize His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and throughout His earthly dominions. His authority should be kept distinct and plain before the world, and no laws are to be acknowledged that come in collision with the laws of Jehovah. If in defiance of God's arrangements the world be allowed to influence our decisions or our actions, the purpose of God is defeated. However specious the pretext, if the church waver here, there is written against her in the books of heaven a betrayal of the most sacred trusts, and treachery to the kingdom of Christ. The church is firmly and decidedly to hold her principles before the whole heavenly universe and the kingdoms of the world; steadfast fidelity in maintaining the honor and sacredness of the law of God will attract the notice and admiration of even the world, and many will, by the good works which they shall behold, be led to glorify our Father in heaven."—Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 16-17.


The Church of God

In every age, from the beginning of the world, the church of God has been constituted of faithful souls. Genesis 4:26; 1 Peter 2:9; Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 1:2. Through these chosen ambassadors, His spokesmen, He has been speaking to the children of men, revealing to them the "manifold wisdom of God." Ezekiel 33:7-9; Acts 20:28. Through the church, the gospel has brought light and truth to all men, showing them the way back to God and to His glorious kingdom. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Acts 16:17.


"During ages of spiritual darkness the church of God has been as a city set on a hill. From age to age, through successive generations, the pure doctrines of heaven have been unfolding within its borders."—Acts of the Apostles, p. 12.


The Foundation

God is truth; Christ is the truth; His Holy Spirit is the truth; His Gospel is the word of truth; His law is the truth. Deuteronomy 32:4; John 14:6; 16:13; 1 John 5:6; Ephesians 1:13; Psalm 119:142. Therefore, all those who are begotten through the word of truth form the true church, "the pillar and ground of the truth." 1 Timothy 3:15.


Referring to Himself, Christ said: "Upon this rock I will build My church." That Rock is Christ Himself. 1 Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 44:8 (mgn); 1 Corinthians 3:10, 11; Matthew 7:24, 25; 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25.


"We build on Christ by obeying His word."—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 149.


"The word of God is the only steadfast thing our world knows. It is the sure foundation."—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 148.


The kingdom of God on earth is established on two basic principles—love toward God and love toward our neighbor. These principles are clearly enunciated in the Word of God. Matthew 22:36-40; Luke 10:25-28; Matthew 7:12.


So long as the believers remain upon this foundation, the gates of **** cannot prevail against them, because the presence of Christ is with them. But those who turn away from the foundation of truth cannot claim the presence of Christ. Thus the church of Christ on earth is a succession of true believers. 2 Timothy 2:19; Matthew 16:16-18; Jeremiah 11:4; John 8:31; Luke 12:32; Romans 11:1-6; 9:27; 2 Chronicles 15:2.


"'Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.' 1 Corinthians 3:11. 'Upon this rock,' said Jesus, 'I will build my church.' (Matthew 16:18). In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of ****, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself—His own body, for us broken and bruised. (1 Corinthians 10:4). Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of **** shall not prevail."—The Desire of Ages, p. 413.


"Descent from Abraham was proved, not by name and lineage, but by likeness of character. So the apostolic succession rests not upon the transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spiritual relationship. A life actuated by the apostles' spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of apostolic succession. This is what constitutes men the successors of the first teachers of the gospel."—The Desire of Ages, p. 467.



"The church is God's appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God's plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to 'the principalities and powers in heavenly places,' the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 9.


"Christ has given to the church a sacred charge. Every member should be a channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that the Saviour desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and His character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour's love. All heaven is waiting for men and women through whom God can reveal the power of Christianity.


"The church is God's agency for the proclamation of truth, empowered by Him to do a special work; and if she is loyal to Him, obedient to all His commandments, there will dwell within her the excellency of divine grace. If she will be true to her allegiance, if she will honor the Lord God of Israel, there is no power that can stand against her."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 600.


"The church is God's fortress, His city of refuge which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to the church, and the gates of **** have not been able to prevail against His people."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 11.


"We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 974.


"In order to be happy ourselves, we must live to make others happy." —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 251.


The Spiritual Building

Christ is the head of the body, the church. Colossians 1:18. He is also the Chief Corner Stone of the spiritual temple. Ephesians 2:20. All those who by faith accept Christ as their Saviour, showing repentance and conversion, are led into all truth. Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 2:38; John 16:13. The Holy Spirit "adds" them to the church, the body of Christ, bringing them in through profession of faith and baptism. Acts 2:47. Established upon the eternal foundation of truth, they grow into a holy temple. 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 2:21, 22; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 12, 16, 17.



"Connection with Christ. . . involves connection with His church."—Education, p. 268.


"All who believe are to be gathered into one church."—The Desire of Ages, p. 821.


"The church is very precious in His sight. It is the case which contains His jewels, the fold which encloses His flock, and He longs to see it without spot or blemish or any such thing."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 261.


"God's Spirit convicts sinners of the truth, and He places them in the arms of the church."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 69.


"We should all feel our individual responsibility as members of the visible church and workers in the vineyard of the Lord."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 16.


"Church-membership will not guarantee us Heaven. We must abide in Christ, and his love must abide in us."—Review and Herald, June 3, 1884.



Read Psalm 133:1; John 17:21-23; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:2-5; 1 John 1:7.


"If the world sees a perfect harmony existing in the church of God, it will be a powerful evidence to them in favor of the Christian religion. Dissensions, unhappy differences, and petty church trials dishonor our Redeemer. All these may be avoided if self is surrendered to God and the followers of Jesus obey the voice of the church. Unbelief suggests that individual independence increases our importance, that it is weak to yield our own ideas of what is right and proper to the verdict of the church; but to yield to such feelings and views is unsafe and will bring us into anarchy and confusion. Christ saw that unity and Christian fellowship were necessary to the cause of God, therefore He enjoined it upon His disciples. And the history of Christianity from that time until now proves conclusively that in union only is there strength. Let individual judgment submit to the authority of the church."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 19.


"The cause of division or discord in the church is separation from Christ. The secret of unity is union with Christ. Christ is the great Center. We shall approach one another just in proportion as we approach the Center. United with Christ, we shall surely be united with our brethren in the faith. To be a Christian means a great deal more than is supposed. A Christian is Christlike. Membership in the church does not make us Christians."—The E.G. White 1888 Materials, p. 1125.


"When the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd's voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together and present to the enemy a united front."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 401.


"Unity is the sure result of Christian perfection."—Sanctified Life, p. 85.


"We are to unify, but not on a platform of error."—Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, p. 259.


Apostolic Succession

Apostolic succession rests, not upon mere lineal descent or transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spiritual relationship or likeness of character. Exodus 33:13-16; Matthew 3:9; John 8:39; Romans 9:6-8; Galatians 3:7. Only those who comply with the conditions set forth in the Word of God, doing His will and keeping His commandments, can claim apostolic succession. Exodus 19:5; Matthew 7:21; Luke 3:8; John 8:31.


The "Gates of ****" Will Not Prevail 

"The apostles built upon a sure foundation, even the Rock of Ages. To this foundation they brought the stones that they quarried from the world. Not without hindrance did the builders labor. Their work was made exceedingly difficult by the opposition of the enemies of Christ. They had to contend against the bigotry, prejudice, and hatred of those who were building upon a false foundation."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 596.


"The enemy of righteousness left nothing undone in his effort to stop the work committed to the Lord's builders. But God 'left not Himself without witness.' Acts 14:17. Workers were raised up who ably defended the faith once delivered to the saints."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 598.



The God we worship is a God of order. Consequently, God expects order and discipline to be carried out in all facets of church life. 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40. The first step in the organization of the New Testament church was the ordination of the twelve apostles. Mark 3:14. Further steps were taken later. The apostolic church was blessed with "spiritual gifts" described by the apostle Paul: "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." 1 Corinthians 12:28. The necessity of church organization is confirmed by different symbols in the Bible, showing that the church is an organized unit. Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:20-27 (a body, not scattered bones); John 10:16 (a fold, not scattered sheep); 1 Corinthians 10:17 (a loaf of bread, not scattered crumbs); Ephesians 2:19-22 (a building, not scattered stones).


"The spirit of pulling away from fellow laborers, the spirit of disorganization, is in the very air we breathe. By some, all efforts to establish order are regarded as dangerous--as a restriction of personal liberty, and hence to be feared as popery. These deceived souls regard it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently. They declare that they will not take any man's say-so, that they are amenable to no man. I have been instructed that it is Satan's special effort to lead men to feel that God is pleased to have them choose their own course independent of the counsel of their brethren....


"Oh, how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this people and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organization and order that has been built up by wise, careful labor. License must not be given to disorderly elements that desire to control the work at this time."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 257.


"Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man's being independent....


"Some workers pull with all the power that God has given them, but they have not yet learned that they should not pull alone. Instead of isolating themselves, let them draw in harmony with their fellow laborers. Unless they do this, their activity will work at the wrong time and in the wrong way. They will often work counter to that which God would have done, and thus their work is worse than wasted.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 257-259.



"God has invested His church with special authority and power which no one can be justified in disregarding and despising, for in so doing he despises the voice of God."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 417.


"Christ would have His followers brought together in church capacity, observing order, having rules and discipline, and all subject one to another, esteeming others better than themselves."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 445.


"The Redeemer of the world does not sanction experience and exercise in religious matters independent of His organized and acknowledged church, where He has a church. Many have the idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of His acknowledged followers in the world. But this is condemned by Jesus in His teachings and in the examples, the facts, which He has given for our instruction."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, pp. 432-433.


"No such thing is countenanced as one man's starting out upon his own individual responsibility and advocating what views he chooses, irrespective of the judgment of the church. God has bestowed the highest power under heaven upon His church. It is the voice of God in His united people in church capacity which is to be respected."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, pp. 450-451.


"On the church has been conferred the power to act in Christ's stead. It is God's instrumentality for the preservation of order and discipline among His people. To it the Lord has delegated the power to settle all questions respecting its prosperity, purity, and order. Upon it rests the responsibility of excluding from its fellowship those who are unworthy, who by their un-Christlike conduct would bring dishonor on the truth. Whatever the church does that is in accordance with the directions given in God's word will be ratified in heaven."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 263.


"When every specification which Christ has given has been carried out in the true, Christian spirit, then, and then only, Heaven ratifies the decision of the church, because its members have the mind of Christ, and do as He would do were He upon the earth."—Selected Messages, bk 3, p. 22.


The Mission of God's Church on Earth

(a) Through their godly lives, the true followers of Christ bear a powerful testimony to the world. Isaiah 43:10; Matthew 5:13-16; John 12:35; 13:34, 35; 1 Peter 2:9-12.


(b) The believers in Christ uphold and teach the truth, working for the salvation of souls. 2 Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 28:19, 20; Romans 1:14-16; 1 Corinthians 9:16; Ephesians 3:8-11; 1 Timothy 2:3-7; Mark 16:15; Luke 14: 21, 23; Ezekiel 33:7-9.


(c) The remnant church has a specific message, the present truth, to be given to the house of Israel, to the fallen churches and to the world in general. Matthew 10:6; 2 Peter 1:12; Revelation 14:6-12; 18:1-4; Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 60:1; Matthew 24:14.


(d) The members of the body of Christ have been called to relieve suffering. Isaiah 58:7, 8; Matthew 10:8; 25:34-40; Mark 14:7; James 1:27.


(e) The most important work that God wants to accomplish through the faithful remnant in these last days is the preparation of a people for the soon coming of Christ. Ephesians 5:26, 27; Amos 4:12; Matthew 24:44; Luke 1:17; 2 Peter 1:3-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 14-23; Titus 2:11-14.


Responsibilities of Church Members

All Christian responsibilities are based upon mutual love and respect between the disciples (John 13:34-35) and is considered a privilege as well as a duty. Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 5:5-6.


(a) Maintain our connection to Jesus Christ. Romans 11:17-24; John 15:1-8; Galatians 2:20.


(b) Share the gospel message of salvation with others. Mark 16:15, 16; Matthew 28:19, 20.


(c) Regularly support the cause of truth with our finances in tithes and liberal offerings. Deuteronomy 14:22; Leviticus 27:30-32; Numbers 18:21; Malachi 3:7-10; Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11; Hebrews 7:8 (cf Revelation 1:18).


(d) Regularly attend the appointed services of the church. Hebrews 10:25-26; Psalm 27:4; 122:1.


(e) Prepare our hearts and faithfully participate in the washing of the feet and the Lord's Supper. John 13:1-17; Matthew 26:21-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29; John 6:53, 54.


(f) Faithfully carry out the responsibilities received. 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2.


(g) Respect the church officers and cooperate with them in caring for the flock. Ephesians 4:11-13; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13.


"The faith of most Christians will waver if they constantly neglect to meet together for conference and prayer. If it were impossible for them to enjoy such religious privileges, then God would send light direct from heaven by His angels, to animate, cheer, and bless His scattered people. But He does not propose to work a miracle to sustain the faith of His saints. They are required to love the truth enough to take some little pains to secure the privileges and blessings vouchsafed them of God."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, pp. 106-107.


"When our brethren voluntarily absent themselves from religious meetings, when God is not thought of and reverenced, when He is not chosen as their counselor and their strong tower of defense, how soon secular thoughts and wicked unbelief come in, and vain confidence and philosophy take the place of humble, trusting faith."—Vol. 5, Testimonies for the Church, pp. 426-427.


"Every believer should be wholehearted in his attachment to the church. Its prosperity should be his first interest, and unless he feels under sacred obligations to make his connection with the church a benefit to it in preference to himself, it can do far better without him."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 18.


"Let those who attend committee meetings remember that they are meeting with God, who has given them their work. Let them come together with reverence and consecration of heart."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 256.


"Those who take no interest in the business meetings, generally have no real interest in the cause of God, and these are the ones who are tempted to believe that the management of our various enterprises is not just what it should be.


"Brethren and sisters, if we love the truth, which has brought us from the darkness of error to the observance of the law of God, we shall highly estimate everything connected with its interests. At our business meetings everything is laid open, so that all may understand how our institutions and various enterprises are conducted and sustained; and when they have this opportunity to know, and yet fail to improve it, ignorance is sin."—Review and Herald, April, 29, 1884.


Church Discipline

(a) Church discipline is based upon the ordinance given by Jesus in Matthew 18:15, 16. It is the responsibility of every church member to both give exhortation in love as well as to receive it according to the truths received in the word of God—especially from the gospel ministers. Proverbs 15:31, 32; 10:17; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9; 2:15.


(b) Although we have a responsibility to exhort one another, we must remember that all admonition, in order to be effective and long lasting, is to be given distinctly and in the spirit of love; "considering thyself, let thou also be tempted." Galatians 6:1; Revelation 3:19. This spirit of love is the attitude manifested in the willingness to lay down our life for the erring while giving them rebuke. John 13:34; 15:12, 13.


(c) The discipline of the church, unlike disfellowshipment, places restrictions upon a member for a time while he considers his condition and takes steps to correct his ways. Hebrews 12:5-12.


"If the erring one repents and submits to Christ's discipline, he is to be given another trial. And even if he does not repent, even if he stands outside the church, God's servants still have a work to do for him. They are to seek earnestly to win him to repentance. And however aggravated may have been his offense, if he yields to the striving of the Holy Spirit, and by confessing and forsaking his sin gives evidence of repentance, he is to be forgiven and welcomed to the fold again. His brethren are to encourage him in the right way, treating him as they would wish to be treated were they in his place, considering themselves, lest they also be tempted."—Gospel Workers, p. 501.


"Do you feel, when a brother errs, that you could give your life to save him? If you feel thus, you can approach him and affect his heart; you are just the one to visit that brother."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 166.


"In this work we are to co-operate. 'If a man be overtaken in a fault, . . . restore such an one.' Galatians 6:1. The word here translated 'restore' means to put in joint, as a dislocated bone. How suggestive the figure! He who falls into error or sin is thrown out of relation to everything about him. He may realize his error, and be filled with remorse; but he cannot recover himself. He is in confusion and perplexity, worsted and helpless. He is to be reclaimed, healed, re-established. 'Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one.' Only the love that flows from the heart of Christ can heal. Only he in whom that love flows, even as the sap in the tree or the blood in the body, can restore the wounded soul."—Education, pp. 113-114.


"The effort to earn salvation by one's own works inevitably leads men to pile up human exactions as a barrier against sin. For, seeing that they fail to keep the law, they will devise rules and regulations of their own to force themselves to obey. All this turns the mind away from God to self. His love dies out of the heart, and with it perishes love for his fellow men. A system of human invention, with its multitudinous exactions, will lead its advocates to judge all who come short of the prescribed human standard. The atmosphere of selfish and narrow criticism stifles the noble and generous emotions, and causes men to become self-centered judges and petty spies."—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, p. 123.


"In seeking to correct or reform others we should be careful of our words. They will be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. In giving reproof or counsel, many indulge in sharp, severe speech, words not adapted to heal the wounded soul. By these ill-advised expressions the spirit is chafed, and often the erring ones are stirred to rebellion. All who would advocate the principles of truth need to receive the heavenly oil of love. Under all circumstances reproof should be spoken in love. Then our words will reform but not exasperate. Christ by His Holy Spirit will supply the force and the power. This is His work."—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 337.


(d) Disfellowshipment is also based upon the ordinance of Christ. Matthew 18:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; Romans 16:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10, 11. The church is obliged, before God, to remove from its membership those whose conduct is in open and persistent contradiction to the principles of our faith.


"The names of those who sin and refuse to repent should not be retained on the church books, lest the saints be held accountable for their evil deeds. Those who pursue a course of transgression should be visited and labored with, and if they then refuse to repent, they should be separated from church fellowship, in accordance with the rules laid down in the Word of God.


"Those who refuse to hear the admonitions and warnings given by God's faithful messengers are not to be retained in the church. They are to be disfellowshiped; for they will be as Achan in the camp of Israel--deceived and deceiving."—SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1096.


"'Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven' (Matt. 18:18). When every specification which Christ has given has been carried out in the true, Christian spirit, then, and then only, Heaven ratifies the decision of the church, because its members have the mind of Christ, and do as He would do were He upon the earth.—Letter 1c, 1890."—Selected Messages, bk 3, p. 22.


(e) It is only the church of which the person is a member, under the guidance of an ordained minister (elder when authorized), in consultation with the president of the conference or his representative, that is authorized to perform the disfellowshipment in a lawful manner and in harmony with the Word of God. 1 Timothy 1:19, 20; 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Titus 3:10, 11.


(f) In this process, we need to ensure that Matthew 18:15-17 is followed in the case of personal sins. Some public sins may require a different approach, with immediate action, that the church be not reproached. 1 Timothy 5:20. See Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, pp. 14, 15.


(g) Once a person has been disfellowshipped from the fold and is no longer a member, we need to treat him in the same way as we would regard "an heathen man and a publican" (i.e. an outsider). But a special work needs to be done for his reconversion and restoration. Luke 15:4-6. We are not to associate any further with those who are causing division in the church. Romans 16:17.


"Whatever the character of the offense, this does not change the plan that God has made for the settlement of misunderstandings and personal injuries. Speaking alone and in the spirit of Christ to the one who is in fault, will often remove the difficulty. Go to the erring one, with a heart filled with Christ's love and sympathy, and seek to adjust the matter. Reason with him calmly and quietly. Let no angry words escape your lips. Speak in a way that will appeal to his better judgment. Remember the words, 'He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.' [James 5:20.]...


"'But if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.' If he will not heed the voice of the church, if he refuses all the efforts made to reclaim him, upon the church rests the responsibility of separating him from fellowship. His name should then be stricken from the books."—Gospel Workers, p. 499.


"Elders and deacons are chosen to have a care for the prosperity of the church; yet these leaders, especially in young churches, should not feel at liberty, on their own judgment and responsibility, to cut off offending members from the church; they are not invested with such authority. Many indulge a zeal like that of Jehu and rashly venture to make decisions in matters of grave importance, while they themselves have no connection with God. They should humbly and earnestly seek wisdom from the One who has placed them in their position, and should be very modest in assuming responsibilities. They should also lay the matter before the president of their conference and counsel with him. At some appointed time the subject should be patiently considered. In the fear of God, with much humility and sorrow for the erring, who are the purchase of the blood of Christ, with earnest, humble prayer the proper officers should deal with the offenders. How different has been the course when, with self-assumed authority and a hard, unfeeling spirit, accusations have been made and souls have been thrust out of the church of Christ." (Manuscript 1, October 1878)—Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, p. 113.


"No church officer should advise, no committee should recommend, nor should any church vote, that the name of a wrong-doer shall be removed from the church books, until the instruction given by Christ has been faithfully followed. When this has been done, the church has cleared herself before God. The evil must then be made to appear as it is, and must be removed, that it may not become more and more widespread. The health and purity of the church must be preserved, that she may stand before God unsullied, clad in the robes of Christ's righteousness."—Gospel Workers, p. 501.


"Whosesoever sins ye remit,' said Christ, 'they are remitted; . . . and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.' Christ here gives no liberty for any man to pass judgment upon others. In the Sermon on the Mount He forbade this. It is the prerogative of God. But on the church in its organized capacity He places a responsibility for the individual members. Toward those who fall into sin, the church has a duty, to warn, to instruct, and if possible to restore. 'Reprove, rebuke, exhort,' the Lord says, 'with all long-suffering and doctrine.' 2 Tim. 4:2. Deal faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. 'They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.' Gal. 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God's word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself."—Desire of Ages, p. 805-806.


"He [God] would teach His people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to Him and are not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when His people are found in sin they should at once take decided measures to put that sin from them, that His frown may not rest upon them all. But if the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions, His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for those sins. In His dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs. One sinner may diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 265.


"If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, pp. 265-266.


"The one that has strayed from the fold is not followed with harsh words and a whip but with winning invitations to return."—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 198.


"Not until you feel that you could sacrifice your own self-dignity, and even lay down your life in order to save an erring brother, have you cast the beam out of your own eye so that you are prepared to help your brother. Then you can approach him and touch his heart. No one has ever been reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach; but many have thus been driven from Christ and led to seal their hearts against conviction."—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, pp. 128-129.



"While confession is good for the soul, there is need of moving wisely.... Many, many confessions should never be spoken in the hearing of mortals; for the result is that which the limited judgment of finite beings does not anticipate. Seeds of evil are scattered in the minds and hearts of those who hear, and when they are under temptation, these seeds will spring up and bear fruit, and the same sad experience will be repeated. For, think the tempted ones, these sins cannot be so very grievous; for did not those who have made confession, Christians of long standing, do these very things? Thus the open confession in the church of these secret sins will prove a savor of death rather than of life.


"There should be no reckless, wholesale movements in this matter, for the cause of God may be made disreputable in the eyes of unbelievers. If they hear confessions of base conduct made by those who profess to be followers of Christ, a reproach is brought upon His cause....


"There are confessions of a nature that should be brought before a select few and acknowledged by the sinner in deepest humility. The matter must not be conducted in such a way that vice shall be construed into virtue and the sinner made proud of his evil doings. If there are things of a disgraceful nature that should come before the church, let them be brought before a few proper persons selected to hear them, and do not put the cause of Christ to open shame by publishing abroad the hypocrisy that has existed in the church. It would cast reflections upon those who has tried to be Christlike in character. These things should be considered.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 645-646.


Special Warning

"In a trial for murder the accused was not to be condemned on the testimony of one witness, even though circumstantial evidence might be strong against him. The Lord's direction was, 'Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.' Numbers 35:30. It was Christ who gave to Moses these directions for Israel; and when personally with His disciples on earth, as He taught them how to treat the erring, the Great Teacher repeated the lesson that one man's testimony is not to acquit or condemn. One man's views and opinions are not to settle disputed questions. In all these matters two or more are to be associated, and together they are to bear the responsibility, 'that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' Matthew 18:16."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 516.


"God understands the perversity of the human heart. Personal enmity, or the prospect of personal advantage, has ruined the reputation and usefulness of thousands of innocent men, and in many cases has resulted in their condemnation and death. The worthless lives of violent and wicked men have been preserved by a bribe, while those who were guilty of no crime against the laws of the nation have been made to suffer. By their wealth or power, men of rank corrupt the judges and bring false witness against the innocent. The provision that none should be condemned on the testimony of one witness, was both just and necessary. One man might be controlled by prejudice, selfishness, or malice. But it was not likely that two or more persons would be so perverted as to unite in bearing false witness; and even should they do so, a separate examination would lead to a discovery of the truth.


"This merciful provision contains a lesson for the people of God until the close of time. It was Christ who gave to Moses those explicit directions for the Hebrew host; and when personally with his disciples on earth, the great Leader repeated the same lesson as he taught them, how to treat the erring. One man's testimony was not to acquit or to condemn. One man's views and opinions were not to settle disputed questions. In all these matters, two or more were to be associated, and together they were to bear the responsibility in the case. God has made it the duty of his servants to be subject one to another. No one man's judgment is to control in any important matter. Mutual consideration and respect imparts proper dignity to the ministry, and unites the servants of God in close bonds of love and harmony. While they should depend upon God for strength and wisdom, ministers of the gospel should confer together in all matters requiring deliberation. 'That by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'"—Signs of the Times, January 20, 1881.


"If persons are as deserving of being separated from the church as Satan was of being cast out of heaven, they will have sympathizers. There is always a class who are more influenced by individuals than they are by the Spirit of God and sound principles; and, in their unconsecrated state, these are ever ready to take sides with the wrong and give their pity and sympathy to the very ones who least deserve it. These sympathizers have a powerful influence with others; things are seen in a perverted light, great harm is done, and many souls are ruined. Satan in his rebellion took a third part of the angels. They turned from the Father and from His Son, and united with the instigator of rebellion. With these facts before us we should move with the greatest caution. What can we expect but trial and perplexity in our connection with men and women of peculiar minds? We must bear this and avoid the necessity of rooting up the tares, lest the wheat be rooted up also."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, pp. 114-115.



According to Psalm 24:1, everything belongs to the Lord. 1 Chronicles 29:11, 12. However large or small our possessions, they are ours only in trust. For our life, strength, skill, time, talents, opportunities, and means, we must render an account to God. 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2; Matthew 25:14-30.


"Men... seem to think that they have a right to do with their means just as it pleases them, no matter what the Lord has commanded, or what may be the need of their fellow men. They forget that all they claim as theirs, has simply been entrusted to them."—Counsels on Stewardship, p. 112.


"Our money has not been given us that we might honor and glorify ourselves. As faithful stewards we are to use it for the honor and glory of God. . . .  All we possess is the Lord's, and we are accountable to Him for the use we make of it. In the use of every penny, it will be seen whether we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.


"Money has great value, because it can do great good. In the hands of God's children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing for the naked. It is a defense for the oppressed, and a means of help to the sick. But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ."—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 351.


"Let us surrender ourselves a living sacrifice, and give our all to Jesus. It is His; we are His purchased possession. Those who are recipients of His grace, who contemplate the cross of Calvary, will not question concerning the proportion to be given, but will feel that the richest offering is all too meager, all disproportionate to the great gift of the only-begotten Son of the infinite God. Through self-denial, the poorest will find ways of obtaining something to give back to God.—(RH July 14, 1896.)"—Counsels on Stewardship, p. 200.


Faithful and Wise Stewards

A wise and faithful steward is careful with that which God has given him. Matthew 24:45-47; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13; Proverbs 11:24, 25.


Even though we believe that Jesus is coming soon, we also receive instruction that "if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." Therefore, as individuals, we should presently make provision for the uncertain future till our Saviour shall appear. Luke 19:13; 1 Timothy 5:8.



In recognition of God's ownership of all things, we are required to return to Him one-tenth (a tithe) of all our increase. Leviticus 27:30-33; Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 9:14. The Bible teaches that withholding the tithe is a violation of the eight commandment (Exodus 20:15). Malachi 3:8, 9.


Under the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec, God still claims our tithes. Hebrews 7:1-8 (cf Revelation 1:18). The Lord's tenth must be returned to Him regularly through the storehouse, the church, of which one is a member or attending. Deuteronomy 12:5, 6; Nehemiah 13:11, 12. Our prosperity depends upon our faithfulness to this principle. Proverbs 3:9, 10; Malachi 3:10, 11.


"Let each regularly examine his income, which is all a blessing from God, and set apart the tithe as a separate fund, to be sacredly the Lord's. This fund should not in any case be devoted to any other use; it is to be devoted solely to support the ministry of the gospel. After the tithe is set apart, let gifts and offerings be apportioned, 'as God hath prospered' you."—Ibid., p. 81.


"A very plain, definite message has been given to me for our people. I am bidden to tell them that they are making a mistake in applying the tithe to various objects which, though good in themselves, are not the object to which the Lord has said that the tithe should be applied. Those who make this use of the tithe are departing from the Lord's arrangement. God will judge for these things.


"One reasons that the tithe may be applied to school purposes. Still others reason that canvassers and colporteurs should be supported from the tithe. But a great mistake is made when the tithe is drawn from the object for which it is to be used—the support of the ministers. There should be today in the field one hundred well qualified laborers where now there is but one."—Testimonies,  vol. 9, pp. 248, 249.


"Provision is to be made for these other lines of work. They are to be sustained, but not from the tithe. God has not changed; the tithe is still to be used for the support of the ministry. The opening of new fields requires more ministerial efficiency than we now have, and there must be means in the treasury."—Ibid., p. 250.


"Our conferences look to the schools for educated and well‑trained laborers, and they should give the schools a most hearty and intelligent support. Light has been plainly given that those who minister in our schools, teaching the word of God, explaining the Scriptures, educating the students in the things of God, should be supported by the tithe money."—Ibid., vol. 6, p. 215.


"Many confessed that they had not paid tithes for years; and we know that God cannot bless those who are robbing Him, and that the church must suffer in consequence of the sins of its individual members."—Counsels on Stewardship, p. 95.


"If all would take the Scripture just as it reads, and open their hearts to understand the word of the Lord, they would not say, 'I cannot see the tithing question. I cannot see that in my circumstances I should pay tithes.' 'Will a man rob God?' The consequence of doing so is plainly stated, and I would not risk the consequence. All who take a wholehearted, decided position to obey God; who will not take the Lord's reserved funds—His own money—to settle their debts; who will render to the Lord the portion that He claims as His own, will receive the blessing of God which is promised to all who obey Him.—Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, pp. 9, 10 [August, 1896]."—Ibid., pp. 92, 93.


"One tenth of all the increase was claimed by the Lord as His own, and to withhold the tithe was regarded by Him as robbery."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 336.


First Fruits

As God saved the first-born in the last plague in Egypt, He claims as His the first portion of all our increase. Exodus 23:19; Leviticus 23:10; Proverbs 3:9.


Freewill Offerings

While God claims one-tenth of our increase as our duty to Him, He gives us the remaining nine-tenths to use as our love for Him will suggest. One measure of our love for God is revealed in the freedom and joy with which we give to His cause on earth in freewill offerings, which should be proportionate to our prosperity. Exodus 25:2; Deuteronomy 16:16, 17; 1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 96:8.


"Practical benevolence will give spiritual life to thousands of nominal professors of the truth who now mourn over their darkness. It will transform them from selfish, covetous worshipers of mammon to earnest, faithful co-workers with Christ in the salvation of sinners."—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 387.


"The contributions required of the Hebrews for religious and charitable purposes amounted to fully one-fourth of their income. So heavy a tax upon the resources of the people might be expected to reduce them to poverty; but, on the contrary, the faithful observance of these regulations was one of the conditions of their prosperity."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 527.


"Some have excused themselves from aiding the cause of God because they were in debt. Had they closely examined their own hearts, they would have discovered that selfishness was the true reason why they brought no freewill offering to God. Some will always remain in debt. Because of their covetousness, the prospering hand of God will not be with them to bless their undertakings. They love this world better than the truth. They are not being fitted up and made ready for the kingdom of God."—Counsels on Stewardship, p. 93.


"In the days of Israel the tithe and freewill offerings were needed to maintain the ordinances of divine service. Should the people of God give less in this age? The principle laid down by Christ is that our offerings should be in proportion to the light and privileges enjoyed."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 528.


"Well, says one, the calls keep coming to give to the cause; I am weary of giving. Are you? Then let me ask: Are you weary of receiving from God's beneficent hand? Not until He ceases to bless you will you cease to be under bonds to return to Him the portion He claims. He blesses you that it may be in your power to bless others. When you are weary of receiving, then you may say: I am weary of so many calls to give. God reserves to Himself a portion of all that we receive. When this is returned to Him, the remaining portion is blessed, but when it is withheld, the whole is sooner or later cursed. God's claim is first; every other is secondary."—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 150.



"All that we have is the Lord's. Our money, our time, talents and ourselves, all belong to him. He has lent them to us, to test and prove us, and to develop what is in our hearts. If we selfishly claim as our own the favors God has graciously intrusted to us, we shall meet with great loss, for we rob God, and in robbing him, we rob ourselves of heavenly blessings, and the benediction Christ will give the faithful and obedient: 'Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.' "—The Signs of the Times, April 1, 1875.


The Second Coming of Christ

The keynote of the Holy Scripture is the doctrine of Christ's second coming to complete the work of redemption and set up the reign of righteousness. This prophesied event—which has been the great hope of God's servants in all ages—is repeated many times both in the Old and New Testaments. Job 19:25-27; Psalms 50:3; 97:3-5; Isaiah 66:15 (cf 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10); Acts 1:11; Hebrews 9:28; 10:37; Jude 14; Revelation 22:20.


The Purpose of Jesus' Coming

The main purpose of Christ's coming is to take His people with Him to the heavenly mansions in the New Jerusalem. Isaiah 25:9; John 14:1-3; Matthew 24:31; 25:31-34; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 22:12. He will then bring to an end the kingdoms of this world, execute judgment upon the wicked, and give the kingdom unto the saints forever. Daniel 2:44, 45; 7:27; Jude 15; Acts 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.


Signs of the Saviour's Second Advent

Many signs point to the nearness of Christ's coming, but we do not know the exact time of that great event. Isaiah 24:4-6, 17-21; Joel 1:15-20; 2:30, 31; 3:9-16; Matthew 24:2-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5. Satan will try to personate the coming of Christ, but he will not be able to deceive the elect. Matthew 24:23-26; 2 Corinthians 11:14.


Preparation for the Second Advent

At His coming, Christ will receive only those that are "ready." He will not then make us faultless; He is to "find" us faultless. We must be made blameless while the door of probation is open, so that we may "be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude 24; Matthew 25:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 3:11, 12, 14; 1 John 3:2, 3; Ephesians 5:27; Revelation 21:27.


The Manner of Jesus' Coming

The coming of Christ will be personal, literal, visible, audible, and universal. Luke 9:26; Matthew 24:27, 30; Titus 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 1:7; 6:15-17; 19:11-16. It cannot be counterfeited by Satan. 1 Thessalonians 4:16.


Some of the Important Events Connected with the Second Advent

The door of probation is closed shortly before the second coming of Christ. Matthew 7:22, 23; 25:6-13; Luke 13:23-25; Revelation 22:11.


The fullness of the wrath of God will come upon the earth in the seven last plagues. When the sixth plague is poured out, then the way is prepared for the battle of Armageddon. A mighty earthquake will shake the whole earth at the beginning of the seventh plague. Revelation 16:1-21. (The Great Controversy, p. 637.)


There will be a partial resurrection a short time before Christ's return. Daniel 12:2; Matthew 26:64; Revelation 1:7


"Graves are opened, and 'many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth . . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.' Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel's message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. 'They also which pierced Him' (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ's dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient."—The Great Controversy, p. 637.


At the coming of Christ, the righteous dead will be resurrected immortal and the righteous living will be changed from mortal to immortal. They meet the Lord in the air and taken to heaven where they will stand before the throne of God. John 5:25, 28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; Philippians 3:20, 21; Revelation 7:4, 9-12.


"The living righteous are changed 'in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.' At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air."—Ibid., p. 645.


The unrighteous that will survive the seven last plagues will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. Isaiah 24:6; Luke 17:29, 30; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 6:15-17 (cf Isaiah 2:19-21). There will be no second chance for them. Isaiah 26:10; Jeremiah 8:20; Luke 13:24-28; 2 Corinthians 6:2.


The whole earth will be made desolate. Isaiah 13:6-13; Jeremiah 4:23-25; 2 Peter 3:10.


Identifying the Antichrist

Read Matthew 24:23-25.


"We are warned that in the last days [Satan] will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue these wonders until the close of probation that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not of darkness."—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1099.


"Satan came as an angel of light in the wilderness of temptation to deceive Christ; and he does not come to man in a hideous form, as he is sometimes represented, but as an angel of light. He will come personating Jesus Christ, working mighty miracles; and men will fall down and worship him as Jesus Christ. We shall be commanded to worship this being, whom the world will glorify as Christ. What shall we do?—Tell them that Christ has warned us against just such a foe, who is man's worst enemy, yet who claims to be God; and that when Christ shall make His appearance, it will be with power and great glory, accompanied by ten thousand times ten thousand angels and thousands of thousands; and that when He shall come, we shall know His voice."—The Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.


"In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God's holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, 'Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.' "—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 62.


The True Christ

"One of the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ's second coming to complete the great work of redemption."—The Great Controversy, p. 299.


"The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers." —Ibid., p. 302.


"The proclamation of the judgment is an announcement of Christ's second coming as at hand. And this proclamation is called the everlasting gospel. Thus the preaching of Christ's second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message."—Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 227, 228.


"Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man's hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. . . . As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye beholds the Prince of life. No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head; but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun. 'And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.' Revelation 19:16."—The Great Controversy, pp. 640, 641.


The Origin, Nature, and Destiny of Man

God made man as a living soul, a free moral agent, formed in the image of God, created for His glory. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7; Psalm 8:4-6; Isaiah 43:7. He was not endowed with natural and unconditional immortality. Only by obeying God and by eating of the tree of life could he perpetuate his existence. Genesis 2:9, 16, 17. Due to his disobedience, he forfeited his access to the tree of life, came short of the glory of his Maker, and was separated from the source of life. Sin brought death to Adam and all his descendants. Genesis 3:19, 22-24; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 5:12, 17; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23.


Made in God's Image

"God created man in His own image. Here is no mystery. There is no ground for the supposition that man was evolved by slow degrees of development from the lower forms of animal or vegetable life. Such teaching lowers the great work of the Creator to the level of man's narrow, earthly conceptions. Men are so intent upon excluding God from the sovereignty of the universe that they degrade man and defraud him of the dignity of his origin. He who set the starry worlds on high and tinted with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came to crown His glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as ruler of the fair earth, did not fail to create a being worthy of the hand that gave him life. The genealogy of our race, as given by inspiration, traces back its origin, not to a line of developing germs, mollusks, and quadrupeds, but to the great Creator. Though formed from the dust, Adam was 'the son of God.' "—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 45.


Conditional Immortality 

"Immortality, promised to man on condition of obedience, had been forfeited by transgression. Adam could not transmit to his posterity that which he did not possess; and there could have been no hope for the fallen race had not God, by the sacrifice of His Son, brought immortality within their reach."—The Great Controversy, p. 533.


"The only one who promised Adam life in disobedience was the great deceiver. And the declaration of the serpent to Eve in Eden—'Ye shall not surely die'—was the first sermon ever preached upon the immortality of the soul. Yet this declaration, resting solely upon the authority of Satan, is echoed from the pulpits of Christendom and is received by the majority of mankind as readily as it was received by our first parents."—Ibid.


"Adam, in his innocence, had enjoyed open communion with his Maker; but sin brought separation between God and man, and the atonement of Christ alone could span the abyss and make possible the communication of blessing or salvation from heaven to earth. Man was still cut off from direct approach to his Creator, but God would communicate with him through Christ and angels."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 67.


"The eyes of Adam and Eve were opened, but to what?—To see their own shame and ruin, to realize that the garments of heavenly light that had been their protection were no longer around them as a safeguard. They saw that nakedness was the result of transgression. As they heard the voice of their Creator in the garden, they hid themselves from Him; for they anticipated that which before they had not known,—the condemnation of God."—The Signs of the Times, May 29, 1901.


"After his transgression Adam at first imagined himself entering upon a higher state of existence. But soon the thought of his sin filled him with terror. The air, which had hitherto been of a mild and uniform temperature, seemed to chill the guilty pair. The love and peace which had been theirs was gone, and in its place they felt a sense of sin, a dread of the future, a nakedness of soul. The robe of light which had enshrouded them, now disappeared, and to supply its place they endeavored to fashion for themselves a covering; for they could not, while unclothed, meet the eye of God and holy angels."—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 57.


Immortality Obtainable Only Through Christ

As a consequence of Adam's fall, man became mortal, subject to death; and his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-18; Mark 7:20-23; Jeremiah 17:9. Man can be made free from sin, the character of God can be restored in him, and he can regain his original position before God (Matthew 5:48), only through Christ. Romans 3:23-26; Acts 4:12; John 8:36; 14:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Titus 2:13, 14; 3:3-6.


Those who accept this provision, seeking for life everlasting, will receive immortality at the second coming of Christ, when the sleeping saints will be called back to life by the voice of the Archangel. Romans 2:6, 7; 6:22, 23; 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.


"In Eden, man fell from his high estate and through transgression became subject to death. It was seen in heaven that human beings were perishing, and the compassion of God was stirred. At infinite cost He devised a means of relief. He 'so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' John 3:16. There was no hope for the transgressor except through Christ."—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 25.


"The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man's experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Co-operation with that power is man's greatest need."—Education, p. 29.


"Christ's teachings are to be to us as the leaves of the tree of life. As we eat and digest the bread of life, we shall reveal a symmetrical character."—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1135.


The Dead Are Unconscious

The first death, to which we all are subject, is a state of total lifelessness and is represented as a deep sleep. Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; Psalm 6:5; 115:17; 146:4; Ecclesiastes 3:20; Isaiah 38:18, 19; John 11:11-14.


The Dead Are in the Grave

At death, a good man does not go to heaven; and an evil man does not go to hell (lake of fire). All, whether good or evil, go to the grave. Job 7:9, 10; 14:10-14; 17:13-16; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 89:48; 104:29; Acts 2:29, 34; Daniel 12:13; Hebrews 11:13; Revelation 11:18.


Life After Death Only Through Resurrection

The righteous dead will be resurrected. Job 14:14, 15; 19:25-27; Hosea 13:14; Hebrews 11:39, 40; John 11:38, 39, 43; 1 Corinthians 15:51; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8; John 11:25. At the second coming of Christ, they will be taken to heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 14:1-3. The wicked dead are not in a place of torment. 2 Peter 2:9; John 5:28, 29. They will be resurrected at the end of the millennium. Revelation 20:5, 6.


"Christ represents death as a sleep to His believing children. Their life is hid with Christ in God, and until the last trump shall sound, those who die will sleep in Him."—The Desire of Ages, p. 527.


"Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave,—not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal."—Ibid., p. 388.


"Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection, though not the same particles of matter or material substance as went into the grave. The wondrous works of God are a mystery to man. The spirit, the character of man, is returned to God, there to be preserved. In the resurrection every man will have his own character. God in His own time will call forth the dead, giving again the breath of life, and bidding the dry bones live. The same form will come forth, but it will be free from disease and every defect. It lives again bearing the same individuality of features, so that friend will recognize friend. There is no law of God in nature which shows that God gives back the same identical particles of matter which composed the body before death. God shall give the righteous dead a body that will please Him. Paul illustrates this subject by the kernel of grain sown in the field. The planted kernel decays, but there comes forth a new kernel. The natural substance in the grain that decays is never raised as before, but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him. A much finer material will compose the human body, for it is a new creation, a new birth."—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1093.


The Destiny of the Wicked

After the wicked are judged (Revelation 20:4), they suffer the second death (destruction, extermination, extinction, or annihilation) which will be meted out to them at the end of the millennium—the 1000 years of Revelation 20. Revelation 20:9, 15, 14; Malachi 4:1, 3; Psalm 37:9, 10, 20, 38; Obadiah 15, 16.


The Millennium

The millennium begins at the second coming of Jesus, when the righteous dead will be resurrected. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16. The living wicked will then be destroyed. 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8; Isaiah 11:4; Jeremiah 25:31-33. The righteous will be taken to heaven. John 14:1-3. And Satan will be bound.


During the millennium, the earth will remain in a state of desolation, devoid of human inhabitants, and Satan will therefore be "bound" by a chain of circumstances for one thousand years. Isaiah 24:22; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Revelation 20:2, 3.


While the saints will be reigning with Christ in heaven, for one thousand years, they will judge the wicked. 1 Corinthians 6: 2, 3; Revelation 20:4.


At the end of the millennium, our Lord returns to the earth with the redeemed and a retinue of angels. The wicked dead will be resurrected and arise with the same spirit of rebellion with which they went down to the grave. The New Jerusalem descends from heaven, and Christ, with the redeemed and the angels, enters the holy city. Zechariah 14:4. Satan being loosed from his prison, still claiming to be the rightful owner of this world, proposes to his followers to take possession of the city. Then fire comes down from God upon His enemies and consumes them leaving neither root nor branch. Revelation 21:1-5; 20:5, 7-9, 14; Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:7-10; Ezekiel 28:18, 19.


Desolation of Earth

"Now the event takes place foreshadowed in the last solemn service of the Day of Atonement. When the ministration in the holy of holies had been completed, and the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, then the scapegoat was presented alive before the Lord; and in the presence of the congregation the high priest confessed over him 'all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.' Leviticus 16:21. In like manner, when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in the presence of God and heavenly angels and the hosts of the redeemed the sins of God's people will be placed upon Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit. And as the scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, so Satan will be banished to the desolate earth, an uninhabited and dreary wilderness."—The Great Controversy, pp. 657, 658.


"The earth looked like a desolate wilderness. Cities and villages, shaken down by the earthquake, lay in heaps. Mountains had been moved out of their places, leaving large caverns. Ragged rocks, thrown out by the sea, or torn out of the earth itself, were scattered all over its surface. Large trees had been uprooted and were strewn over the land. Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. Here he will be confined, to wander up and down over the broken surface of the earth and see the effects of his rebellion against God's law. For a thousand years he can enjoy the fruit of the curse which he has caused. Limited alone to the earth, he will not have the privilege of ranging to other planets, to tempt and annoy those who have not fallen. During this time, Satan suffers extremely. Since his fall his evil traits have been in constant exercise. But he is then to be deprived of his power, and left to reflect upon the part which he has acted since his fall, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future, when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for all the sins that he has caused to be committed."—Early Writings, p. 290.


Judgment of the Wicked

"During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place. The apostle Paul points to this judgment as an event that follows the second advent. . . . It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, 'the saints shall judge the world.' 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death."—The Great Controversy, pp. 660, 661.


Second Resurrection 

"At the close of the 1000 years, Christ again returns to the earth. He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death."—Ibid., p. 662.


"Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives, whence, after His resurrection, He ascended, and where angels repeated the promise of His return. Says the prophet: 'The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee.' 'And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, . . . and there shall be a very great valley.' 'And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.' Zechariah 14:5, 4, 9. As the New Jerusalem, in its dazzling splendor, comes down out of heaven, it rests upon the place purified and made ready to receive it, and Christ, with His people and the angels, enters the Holy City."—Ibid., pp. 662, 663.


"Satan consults with his angels, and then with those kings and conquerors and mighty men. Then he looks over the vast army, and tells them that the company in the city is small and feeble, and that they can go up and take it, and cast out its inhabitants, and possess its riches and glory themselves. Satan succeeds in deceiving them, and all immediately begin to prepare themselves for battle."—Early Writings, p. 293.


Destruction of the Wicked

"Then the wicked saw what they had lost; and fire was breathed from God upon them and consumed them. This was the execution of the judgment. The wicked then received according as the saints, in unison with Jesus, had meted out to them during the one thousand years."—Ibid., p. 54.


"Said the angel, 'Satan is the root, his children are the branches. They are now consumed root and branch. They have died an everlasting death. They are never to have a resurrection, and God will have a clean universe.' "—Ibid., pp. 294, 295.


The New Earth

After this earth has been cleansed by fire at the end of the millennium, the promise given to our spiritual forefathers with reference to the new earth will be fulfilled. Genesis 12:7; 17:7, 8; Exodus 6:5-8; Acts 7:2, 5; Romans 4:13; Hebrews 11:9, 10, 13-16, 39; 13:14. This earth will be redeemed and restored to its original, Edenic condition. All things will be made new. Isaiah 11:1-11; 32:16-18; 35:4-8; 65:17-25; Psalm 37:11, 29; Micah 4:8; Matthew 5:5; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:1-5; Daniel 2:35, 44; 7:27 (cf Revelation 11:15).


"The heritage that God has promised to His people is not in this world. Abraham had no possession in the earth, 'no, not so much as to set his foot on.' Acts 7:5. . . .  The gift to Abraham and his seed included not merely the land of Canaan, but the whole earth. So says the apostle, 'The promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.' Romans 4:13. And the Bible plainly teaches that the promises made to Abraham are to be fulfilled through Christ. All that are Christ's are 'Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise'—heirs to 'an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away'—the earth freed from the curse of sin. Galatians 3:29; 1 Peter 1:4. For 'the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;' and 'the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.' Daniel 7:27; Psalm 37:11."—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 169, 170.


"'O Tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto Thee shall it come, even the first dominion.' Micah 4:8. The time has come to which holy men have looked with longing since the flaming sword barred the first pair from Eden, the time for 'the redemption of the purchased possession.' Ephesians 1:14. The earth originally given to man as his kingdom, betrayed by him into the hands of Satan, and so long held by the mighty foe, has been brought back by the great plan of redemption. All that was lost by sin has been restored. 'Thus saith the Lord . . . that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.' Isaiah 45:18. God's original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. 'The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.' Psalm 37:29."—The Great Controversy, p. 647.


On the new earth, which will be the eternal home of the redeemed, there will be no more suffering, "for the former things are passed away." Sin and its author have ceased to exist, and the great controversy is ended. Revelation 21:1-7.


In the New Jerusalem there will be no night because of the presence of God, whose light and glory will cover the city. Revelation 21:25; 22:3-5.


"The people of God are privileged to hold open communion with the Father and the Son."—Ibid., p. 676.


From Sabbath to Sabbath, all will meet before God throughout all eternity. Isaiah 66:22, 23. The place that God has prepared for the redeemed is described as follows: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9.


"The same fire from God that consumed the wicked purified the whole earth. The broken, ragged mountains melted with fervent heat, the atmosphere also, and all the stubble was consumed. Then our inheritance opened before us, glorious and beautiful, and we inherited the whole earth made new. We all shouted with a loud voice, 'Glory; Alleluia!' "—Early Writings, p. 54.


"Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare mansions for them in the Father's house. Those who accept the teachings of God's word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode."—The Great Controversy, p. 675.


"The work of redemption will be complete. In the place where sin abounded, God's grace much more abounds. The earth itself, the very field that Satan claims as his, is to be not only ransomed but exalted. Our little world, under the curse of sin the one dark blot in His glorious creation, will be honored above all other worlds in the universe of God. Here, where the Son of God tabernacled in humanity; where the King of glory lived and suffered and died,—here, when He shall make all things new, the tabernacle of God shall be with men, 'and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.' And through endless ages as the redeemed walk in the light of the Lord, they will praise Him for His unspeakable Gift,—Immanuel, 'God with us.' "—The Desire of Ages, p. 26.


"We are still amidst the shadows and turmoil of earthly activities. Let us consider most earnestly the blessed hereafter. Let our faith pierce through every cloud of darkness and behold Him who died for the sins of the world. He has opened the gates of paradise to all who receive and believe on Him. To them He gives power to become the sons and daughters of God. Let the afflictions which pain us so grievously become instructive lessons, teaching us to press forward toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ. Let us be encouraged by the thought that the Lord is soon to come. Let this hope gladden our hearts. 'Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.' Hebrews 10:37. Blessed are those servants who, when their Lord comes, shall be found watching.


"We are homeward bound. He who loved us so much as to die for us hath builded for us a city. The New Jerusalem is our place of rest. There will be no sadness in the city of God. No wail of sorrow, no dirge of crushed hopes and buried affections, will evermore be heard. Soon the garments of heaviness will be changed for the wedding garment. Soon we shall witness the coronation of our King. Those whose lives have been hidden with Christ, those who on this earth have fought the good fight of faith, will shine forth with the Redeemer's glory in the kingdom of God."—Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 286-288.


"The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love."—The Great Controversy, p. 678.