The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Christian sect that bases its identity on a particular understanding of biblical prophecy. Seventh-day Adventists are especially concerned with end-times prophecies -– those they associate with the time right before the return of Jesus Christ. The Seventh-day Adventist Church holds 28 fundamental beliefs that form its core theology. The Church founded the Biblical Research Institute in 1975 to promote the study and practice of the theology and lifestyle of the church.
The 28 Fundamental Beliefs
The 28 fundamental beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists make up its understanding of the Scriptures. These beliefs deals with basic doctrines about God, humanity, the church, salvation and the Christian life. The last of the fundamental beliefs concerns the doctrines of the last days, which include Christ's second coming, death and resurrection, the millennial reign of Christ and the New Earth. The church can make revisions and additions to the 28 fundamental beliefs at the church's General Conference session.
Foundation of Scriptures
Seventh-day Adventists believe that the Bible is foundational to their mission, purpose and message. They claim it is the message of God recorded by human writers and believe is a “reliable report” of God's activities in the creation of the world and all its inhabitants. To them, it serves as a revelation of God's will and infallible guide for proper living.
Divinity of Jesus Christ
According to the official website of the church, Seventh-day Adventists believe that both the Old and New Testaments bear witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ. They refer to Jesus as “God among us” and say that he is the ultimate revelation in the scriptures.
Second Coming of Jesus
Ekkehardt Mueller, Th.D., D.Min., the Deputy Director at the Biblical Research Institute, published a report for the church titled “Christ's Second Coming.” It said that Jesus will come visibly and audibly back to earth along with his angels. Mueller said that Christ will come back to fulfill his promise to return and complete the plan of salvation that includes the resurrection of people. “This will bring the earth's history to an end and will mark the transition to eternity,” he said. Although they do not know the date of his second coming, Adventists warn against mentally postponing his return to the earth “indefinitely.”
Speaking in Tongues
Seventh-day Adventists believe in the practice of glossolalia, or speaking in tongues. This practice involves the speaking of a language unknown to them. They believe it is one of the supernatural gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:4-10. In his report on “Speaking in Tongues” for the Biblical Research Institute, Harry Lowe detailed the history of speaking in tongues as recorded in the Bible and in historical sources. He concluded that God gave the gift of speaking in tongues to the early church so that people from foreign lands could hear the gospel of salvation.
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