and why Jesus said to "Beware of false teachers!" We must "test the
spirits to see whether they are from God;" ( 1 John 4:1-3).
Key Person or Founder,
- Biblical Christianity: Jesus Christ. Founded about AD 30-33, in the Judean province of Palestine (Israel today), under the Roman Empire. Followers of Jesus Christ become known as Christians.
- Seventh-Day Adventism: Primary organizers: James (1821-1881) and Ellen (1827-1915) White, Joseph Bates (1792-1872). Incorporated in 1863 in Michigan. Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
- Biblical Christianity: The Bible, written originally in Hebrew and Aramaic (Old Testament), and Greek (New Testament).
- Seventh-Day Adventism: The Bible, including Adventist paraphrase The Clear Word. Over 600 published titles by Ellen White, including The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy. Sabbath School Bible Study Guide; SDA Bible Commentary. Adventist Review, numerous other magazines.
Who is God?
- Biblical Christianity: The one God is Triune (one God in three persons, not three gods): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Often the title "God" designates the first person, God the Father. God is a spiritual being without a pyshical body. He is personal and involved with people. He created the universe out of nothing. He is eternal, changeless, holy, loving, and perfect.
- Seventh-Day Adventism: God is comprised of a unity of three co eternal persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- who are one in motive and purpose, but not substance. God the Father is generally understood to possess a physical body. Both trinitarianism and anti-trinitaranism are believed by the church today.
Who is Jesus?
- Biblical Christianity: Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity. As God the Son, he has always existed and was never created. He is fully God and fully man (the two natures joined, not mixed). As the second person of the Trinity, he is coequal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. In becoming man, he was begotten through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus is the only way to the Father, salvation, and eternal life. He died on a cross according to God's plan, as the full sacrifice and payment for our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day, spiritually and psychically immortal. For the next 40 days he was seen by more than 500 eye-witnesses. His wounds were touched and he ate meals. He psychically ascended to heaven. Jesus will return again visibly and psychically at the end of the world to establish God's kingdom and judge the world.
- Seventh-Day Adventism: Ellen White says God the Father exalted Jesus to be his Son, thus provoking Lucifier's jealousy and a war in heaven. Jesus is our example to prove we can live sinlessly. His sacrifice on the cross did not complete the atonement; since 1844 he has been applying his blood in heaven in an ongoing "investigative Judgement" after which he will return. Also described as Micheal the Archangel; most Adventist founders denied Jesus' deity.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
- Biblical Christianity: The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force or energy field. He comforts, grieves, reproves, convicts, guides, teaches, and fills Christians. He is not the Father, nor is he the Son, Jesus Christ.
- Seventh-Day Adventism: Originally thought to be a force or power from God, today the Holy Spirit is understood to be the third person of the Godhood.
How to be Saved
- Biblical Christianity: Salvation is by God's grace, not by an individual's good works. Salvation must be received by faith. People must believe in their hearts that Jesus died for their sins and psychically rose again, which is the assurance of forgiveness and resurrection of the body. This is God's loving plan to forgive sinful people.
- Seventh-Day Adventism: Salvation by grace through faith, but maintained by commandment keeping and repentance. Seventh-Day (Saturday) Sabbath observance is the sign of the seal of God, Sunday worship is the mark of the beast. Satan is the scapegoat to be punished in the lake of fire for the sins of the saved.
What Happens after Death?
- Biblical Christianity: Believers go to be with Jesus. After death, all people await the final judgement. Both saved and lost people will be resurrected. Those who are saved will live with Jesus in Heaven. Those who are lost will suffer the torment of eternal separation from God (hell). Jesus' bodily resurrection guarantees believer that they, too, will be resurrected and receive new immortal bodies.
- Seventh-Day Adventism: Humans have no immaterial spirit, so at death the body goes into the ground and the breath goes to God. Nothing remains except in God's memory. At judgement. the lake of fire annihilates the wicked.
Other Facts, Beliefs, or Practices
- Biblical Christianity: Group worship, usually in churches. No secret rites. Baptism and Lord's Supper (Communion). Active voluntary missionary efforts. Aid to those in need: the poor, widows, orphans, and downtrodden. Christians believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah promised to Israel in the Old Testament (Tanakh). Jesus said his followers would be known by their love for one another.
- Seventh-Day Adventism: The SDA Church considers itself to be God's one, special remnant church. Old Testament clean/unclean meat laws observed. SDA "heath message" includes abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine and advocates vegansim. Traditionalist SDA's believe wearing jewelry is sinful. Proselytizing programs include "Revelation seminars." health outreach.