The Seventh Day Adventist Church is a denomination with a focus on Christ, the Sabbath day and Christ’s second coming.
The history of the Seventh Day Adventist church cannot be explained without some certain characters. First let’s look at William Miller.
William Miller was born to a Veteran of the America Revolution in 1782 in Pitts-field, Massachusetts. He received his education in Low Hampton, New York. As a young boy, he loved to read books most especially religious books. He considered himself a Baptist Christian.
He married Lucy Smith in 1803 and then moved to Poultney, Vermont. While in Vermont he was elected to several public offices. He became a Deputy Sheriff and eventually Justice of Peace. Miller abandoned his Christian beliefs and became a strong Deism. Miller was enlisted as a lieutenant and rose to the rank of captain during the war of 1812. As the war raged on, Miller reignited his love for religious book most especially the Bible.
In August 1831, he started his preaching career, filling in for pastor’s absence and doing the sermons at his church. As he continues his preaching career, Miller was convinced that the Bible have codes for the future. While studying Daniel 8 and 9, he concluded that the 2,300 years prophecy has passed and that the Second Coming would happen very soon. After more studies, he concluded that Ezra 7:2 explains further that Christ will come in 1844.
In 1840 he began his Millerite Movement. The message was so strong that about 50,000 people followed the movement. He never set an exact date for Christ coming but felt it was around the spring of 1844. When the spring of 1844 passed, Miller was embarrassed but with the help of Samuel S. Snow and other followers, they were convinced that October 22, 1844 was the exact date for Christ second coming.
After October 22, 1844 , William Miller and his followers were disheartened and disappointed. Miller never prophesized again even though he still believed that Christ will come again. In December 20, 1849, he died and was buried in Low Hampton, New York.
After the great disappointment, the millerite divided into three (3) section
The first division believed in ”shut-door theology” which meant the door was shut to gaining salvation, Joseph Turner organized it
The second division held the Albany conference to discuss three purposes: to strengthen the faith of the Advent, how to carry one the congregation, and to convert others to the religion. This group was led by Joshua Vaughan Himes.
The third division also known as the Sabbatarian Group believed that October 22, 1844 was the day that Daniel 8 was talking about the cleansing of the sanctuary of heaven. This was led by Hiram Edison. The third division became what is now known as the Seventh Day Adventist.
Ellen Gould White wiki
The history of the Seventh Day Adventist Church will not be complete without mentioning Ellen Gould Harmon. Ellen was one of the people involved in Millerite movement. She was born on November 26, 1827 in Gotham, Maine. She is one of the eight children of Robert and Eunice Harmon
Ellen had an accident at the age of nine and had medical problems for the rest of her life from the injury. The injury caused her to end her education. She became saved at age 12 and started to attend Adventist meetings and believed in the Advent message that she heard Miller preached about.
After the Great Disappointment, Ellen was seeking to know the truth and she experienced a vision. At seventeen years old, she believed God was prophesying to her. She said Advent people traveling to New Jerusalem and eventually ended with Jesus coming back letting the Adventist to enter Jerusalem. In 1845, she experience a second vision known as the Bridegroom. Then she experienced a third vision about God and the Adventists. Her visions seemed to support the Adventists’ faith with promising prophecies by White describing hope for the second coming of Christ. She reportedly had other visions where she was in the presence of Jesus or angels. Altogether she had 2,000 visions and dreams that lasted from less than a minute to four hours.
When she was 23, she met James White, an Adventist preacher, and they married in 1846. They wrote a 46 page tract called Seventh-day Sabbath that was published by Joseph Bates. They were convinced that the Sabbath day was being neglected and was important to their faith. Six months after publishing her tract, she had another vision that there was a light halo around the fourth commandment and stirred up confidence in her tract and from Adventists. James continued to preach and worked in his spare time. They had a child together, but Ellen soon left to travel to send her message widely throughout the country. They both felt the need to publish works to inspire their faith. James published The Present Truth which was a paper and would contain Ellen’s prophetic views about the church and warning.
Ellen wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books. She is the most translated author in literature and the most translated American author
Below are some books she wrote
- Patriarchs and Prophets – Reflections on the first half of the Old Testament
- Prophets and Kings – Reflections on the second half of the Old Testament
- The Desire of Ages – Reflections on the life of Christ
- The Acts of the Apostles – Reflections on the early New Testament church
- The Great Controversy – Reflections on Christian history and prophecies about the end times
- Steps to Christ – an evangelistic book explaining how to have a living connection with Jesus Christ
- Christ’s Object Lessons – an exposition of the meaning of the parables of Jesus
- Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing – an exposition of Jesus’ lessons in the Sermon on the Mount
- Testimonies for the Church
- Early Writings
- Selected Messages
- The Ministry of Healing
James White died on August 6, 1881 while Ellen G White died July 16, 1915. They were both buried side by side in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan.
Seventh Day Adventist Church was officially founded in 1863. Prominent figures in the early church includes Hiram Edson, James Springer White and his wife Ellen, Joseph Bates, and J. N. Andrews.
The Seventh Day Adventists believe a variety of different things. The religion as a whole agrees on the 28 fundamentals. These 28 fundamentals include the doctrine of God, the doctrine of Humankind, the doctrine of Salvation, the doctrine of Church, the doctrine of Christian life, the doctrine of the Last Things.
- The Doctrine of God
1. Holy Scriptures – are divine inspiration of the word of God.
2. Trinity or Godhead – there is one God in three persons.
3. Father – is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation.
4. Son – is God the eternal son Jesus through him salvation exists.
5. Holy Spirit – inspired the words of Scripture and was active during reincarnation, incarnation, and redemption.
- The Doctrine of Humankind
6. Creation – God is the creator of all things & the Bible is creation’s history.
7. Nature of Man – Men and women are made in the image of God and have free will. They became subject to death after they sinned and their ancestors shared their fate.
- The Doctrine of Salvation
8. Great Controversy – All humanity is now involved with a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, his law, and His sovereignty over the universe.
9. Life, Death, and Resurrection – Christ was perfect and he have his life as the atonement for human’s sin.
10. Experience of Salvation – Christ gave his life and Christians can experience salivation through his death. Jesus delivered them from sin.
11. Growing in Christ – Walk with Jesus and do not live in darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaningless of our former life. Meditate on his word, sing praises, gather for worship, and participate in the Church’s mission.
- The Doctrine of the Church
12. Church – The church is a community of believers who confess Jesus as Lord and Savior.
13. Remnant and Its Mission – The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
14. Unity in the Body of Christ – The church is one body with many members called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
15. Baptism – By Baptism we confess our faith in the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in the newness of life.
- The Doctrine of the Church (continued)
16. Lord’s Supper – The Lord’s Supper is a participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Savior.
17. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries – God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity.
18. The Gift of Prophecy – the Holy Spirit gives the gift of prophecy and was a key mark of the first church with Ellen White’s prophecies.
- The Doctrine of the Christian Life
19. Law of God – The 10 commandments are the laws of God and are shown in Christ’s life.
20. Sabbath – The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The Sabbath must be upheld and requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath.
21. Stewardship – We are all God’s stewards entrusted by him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources.
22. Christian Behavior – We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heave. We must involve ourselves only with things that produce Christ like purity, health, and joy in our lives.
23. Marriage and the Family – Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship. A Christian marriage is to God and our spouse and should only be shared between people of a common faith.
- The Doctrine of Last Things
24. Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary – There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man.
25. Second Coming of Christ – The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The time of the event has not been revealed, and we must be ready at all times.
26. Death and Resurrection – The wages of sin is death. Death is an unconscious state for all people and the righteous dead will be resurrected when Christ returns.
27. Millennium and the End of Sin – The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. The wicked will be judged during this time, and the world will be desolate. The righteous dead will be resurrected. Satan and his angels will be destroyed.
28. New Earth – On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in his presence. God will dwell among his people and death and suffering will not exist anymore.
According to the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research – General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist (2016)
- CHURCH MEMBERSHIP BY WORLD DIVISIONS
- North American
- Northern Asia-Pacific
- South American
- South Pacific
- Southern Africa-Indian Ocean
- Southern Asia
- Southern Asia-Pacific
- West-Central Africa
- Attached to the General Conf:
Middle East and North Africa Un
- Israel Field
- Total Church Membership – 19,126,438
- Union Conferences and Missions –132
Local Conferences and Missions— 632
Working Training Institution –49
Total ———- ——————-7,792
- Health Care Institutions
Hospitals and Sanitariums —–175
Clinics and Dispensaries ——-385
Nrsg Homes, Retirement Centers, Orphanages, Children’s Homes —169
- Companies ———————–69,213
The facts and figures are subject to change