SDA Distinctives

Below is a brief list of Doctrines  held by most SDA members.  Like all church members, not everyone who attends their church, adheres to Seventh Day Adventist beliefs, but they are likely to hold to most of them.

Sabbath Day

1.   Sabbath Day --True Worship must occur on the Saturday Sabbath Day (from sundown to sundown), not on Sunday. Those who worship on Sunday have received the Mark of the Beast.  SDA members believe that the early apostolic Christians worshiped on Saturday, not the First Day of the Week, and that the true worship day was changed from Saturday to Sunday by the apostates. Many SDA members believe that during the end times, Sabbath day worship will be banned and only Sunday worship will be allowed, thus the true saints will be tested on this point by the pain of death.  This is the most distinctive doctrine of SDA members, and usually the last one to go by the way side.

If Paul were to address this issue, he would see their emphasis on this issue no different than the circumcision issue for the Galatians.  The Judaizers, advocating circumcision, were bringing the believers back under the law, by this right of passage.  Circumcision meant that you intended (by covenant) to keep the Law of Moses.  So how would Paul view those who teach that you need to keep the Sabbath and the other commandments in order to be 'Justified' before God?  Would Paul view this as another Gospel? Yes he would, and to those who state that you must keep the Commandments to be Justified, he would say that they have nullified the grace of God, and made the Death of Christ to no effect. (Gal.2:20, 21)


2.   Annihilation--Those who God has rejected will go to Hell and be Annihilated, not tormented forever, as most Protestant and Catholic Churches teach.  The wicked are burnt up in a brief moment and will never exist again.  In this way God is viewed as merciful to the wicked. Most SDA members believe that eternal torment is too severe of a punishment by God, for sinning against Him.

Soul Sleep

3.  Soul Sleep--All the saints  who die will experience soul sleep and at the resurrection God will reconstruct their memory and give them a different body to inhabit again.   This is very similar to what Jehovah Witnesses believe, largely because they come from the same movement, namely, the Millerite movement.

Ellen G. White

4.  EGW--Ellen G. White is the de-facto prophet for the SDA Church.  She is viewed and known as "Spirit of Prophecy".  Her writings, which are several volumes, are considered "on par" with Scripture, because they believe that she was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say and to write these things for those in the Last Days.  Thus, her teachings are considered "extra light" for the saints.  While most members do not consider her teachings to be flawless, they do venerate her writings and use her teachings as the main structure of their faith. Without her writings and influence, there would be no SDA denomination.  In order to be baptized as a member you must believe that Ellen G. White is the "Spirit of Prophecy" for the church and the world in the last days.

The Investigative Judgment

5.  The Investigative Judgment--Here, as EGW taught, Christ moved from the first apartment (The Holy Place) in the Heavenly Temple to the second apartment (The Most Holy Place)in the Temple in heaven on October 22, 1844, to begin the Investigative Judgment.  Thus, Christ does not know who are his sheep, and who is not, but he must search through the records, and consider the evidence recorded here to determine who is worthy to receive eternal life, and who is not worthy.   If Christ finds any sin on our records which he pulls, that person will not be considered worthy.  Thus, it is imperative that the believer live a sinless life and why they stress the need to keep the commandments perfectly. Unfortunately, this turns Christ's role as our High Priest on its head and completely nullifies his role as our Advocate before the Father.

Scape Goat Doctrine

6.  Scape Goat Doctrine--This is part of the Ministry of the Sanctuary concept developed by EGW, as laid out in 'The Great Controversy'.  This is a misconstrued idea extrapolated from the OT practice during Passover.  EGW held that the Jesus is the Lord's goat, and Satan is the Scape Goat and the final bearer of "sin and death" at the end of the age.   She taught that Christ will transfer the sins, which He bears, to Satan, and Satan will carry away 'sin and death' at the end of the age.  As a result, this puts Christ's blood on par with Satan's blood.  It also says that Christ did not finish the work of atonement for sin.  Can we say--Blasphemy!  All cults view the redemptive work of Christ as insufficient and inadequate to save, and in need of additional work and effort to complete the redemption of the lost. Thus, God's arm really is too short to save anyone.

The Law

7. The Law--Most SDA members believe that the Law, the Old Covenant, is divided into three parts: Moral Law(the Ten Commandments), the Ceremonial Law, and the Dietary Law.  Their position is that Christ only did away with the Ceremonial Law, which they believe has to do with sacrifices and offerings. (Unfortunately, the Law {Torah} cannot be segregated so easily.)  As result, the Moral Law, and Dietary Laws are still in effect and all believers in Christ must adhere to these commands to prove that they have been given grace, in order to be worthy to receive eternal life and the forgiveness of sins.  They believe that Christ only freed us from the Ceremonial Part of the Law. Thus, the believer must keep the Moral Commandments and the Dietary Laws today.  One of the main problems here, of course, is that when Paul talked about the Law and being freed from the Law, he often quoted from the Ten Commandments (Rom.7:7, 2Cor.3:7) as an example of the Law!  This shows that Seventh-Day-Advestists have a faulty view of the Law.  And if their view of the Law is corrupted so is their view of grace.  Coupled with this is the idea that the believer needs to help vindicate God's case and struggle against Satan, and that man is able to keep the Law, in order for God to triumph over Satan at the end of the age.  Thus, God needs mans help to overcome Satan.  It should be pointed out that SDA's see themselves as 'probationists'.  Thus, their justification is dependent upon their behavior and ability to keep the commandments.  As a result, there is no assurance of salvation or justification by faith alone.  And Ellen G. White said so!

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