History of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Beliefs and History of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in America
The history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in America began in a movement in the 1830s and 1840s during the crucial period of the Second Great Awakening and was officially brought to life in 1863. The church itself has grown tremendously over the years and had its original base in New England and opened itself up to become an international organization. Many new developments that occurred in the 20th century led it to become a powerhouse Christian denomination. While many religious movements were formed in the early 19th century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church opened itself up to the world, which not everyone was open to.
William Miller, who was a Baptist preacher, told his followers that Jesus was returning on October 22, 1844 which shocked many people. They were not simply surprised that there was an official date set for the return of Jesus, but the idea of Him returning was completely unheard of and an extremely radical idea. Most churches in the 19th century preached that the Second Coming of Jesus was simply a myth, and that there was no truth or reality to the claims. However, the Millerites (individuals who followed William Miller’s beliefs) believed that the Second Coming was not only coming, it was inevitable.
They believed that with the new understandings of the seventh-day Sabbath and state of the dead, proved there would be a literal Second Coming. These beliefs caused turmoil in the religious communities all over the country. When October 22, 1844 arrived, William Miller and his followers waited for Jesus to return as for seen in their prophecy. While Jesus did not return in the physical sense, many of his followers believed that He had returned in the spiritual sense and not the literal sense. Then they began to believe that the date was right all along, they simply had predicted the wrong event.
They turned then to the Scripture, seeking truth in what their hearts truly believed. They came to the conclusion that Jesus did not return to earth that day in October, but had started the last phase of his ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. The Adventists truly and firmly held true to the idea that God was puling all of the strings and making all the Earth’s events happen. Regardless of their nay-sayers, the Seventh-day Adventist Church began to grow bigger and fuller of life and hope.
In the 1840s, there were only a few hundred members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. By 1863 there were over 3,000 of them. This was the year they were officially established and became a real denomination. They had the ability to overcome all of the adversity while creating a denomination that is still alive and strong today, but one that has spread to great places all over the world.
Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventists hold the Bible close to their hearts as their only path to the teaching of their Holy Scriptures. The Adventists have 28 fundamental beliefs that they adhere strictly to as these beliefs give them the ability to practice what they believe the Holy Scripture to be all about. While all of them are not listed here today, here are some of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of America.
Number one on their list of 28 fundamental beliefs is the Holy Scripture. They firmly believe that the written Word of God gives divine inspiration through the holy men of God. In essence, the words from the Holy Scripture are in fact the word of God himself, and should be practiced and followed and is the only worthy record of God’s acts in history. This should be the Scripture in which all holy men and women live by and will give them the knowledge necessary to pursue everything they will ever really need throughout their lives.
The second fundamental belief on the list is the Holy Trinity. There is only one God but He is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is immortal, all-knowing, and present in everyday lives. He is infinite, so much that humans are unable to comprehend His existence. He will always be worthy of worship according to the Seventh-day Adventist Church of America.
Understanding the concept of God being the creator of all things is also on the list of fundamental beliefs for Adventists. The Scripture revealed what He did when he created heaven and earth as well as all the living beings on the Earth. On the seventh day of that week, He rested. Then the Sabbath was created as a memorial of His work. The first man and woman were created in the image of God and they were in charge of caring for His new creation.
The Nature of Man is also one of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of America. They firmly believe that both woman and man were created in God’s image and with a unique power to think and do exactly as God would. These individuals are dependent on God for breath, life, and everything they need to exist. If these individuals disobeyed God, they were severely punished and even sentenced to a brutal death. The Adventists believe that one must learn from their mistakes and suffer and adhere to the consequences set by God Himself.
The idea of Church worship is also on the list for the Adventists. They believe that it is a community who believes in Jesus Christ and confess their heart and soul to Him. This is a way to join together with like-minded Christ followers and worship and praise the Lord. Practicing the Holy Scripture in and out of church, is the only true way to live out God’s plan. To the Seventh-day Adventist Church of America, church is the body of Christ and a community where He is the leader and his followers can praise him and show their love and respect to Him.