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Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is an evangelical Protestant Christian denomination that grew out of the prophetic Millerite movement in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century. According to historians of the movement, this group gained its more recent name from the teaching that the expected return of Jesus Christ in 1844 had been fulfilled in a way that had not previously been understood. Prophetess Ellen G. White[?] received a vision that Jesus had entered into an "investigative judgment" of the world: a process through which there is an examination of the heavenly records to "determine who, through repentence of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement." (from "The Great Controversy" by Ellen G. White page 422,1911 edition) after which Jesus will return to earth. This completion of the return of Christ may occur very soon, according to the church's teaching.

In addition to orthodox Trinitarian Protestant theology, Seventh-day Adventists:

  • Believe in a literal six day creation process, culminating in a seventh day sabbath of rest, which is still to be observed on Saturday, in accordance with Scripture.
  • Maintain that there is no biblical mandate for the change from Saturday Sabbath to Sunday observance, which is to say that Sundaykeeping is merely a Tradition of men.
  • Believe that death is a sleep during which the "dead know nothing" (Ecclesiastes 9:5), which is to say that nothing of a person survives death, that the dead simply cease to exist until they are resurrected, either at the second coming of Jesus (in the case of the righteous) or after the millennium of Rev. 20 (in the case of the wicked).
  • Health message includes vegetarianism and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine

The Seventh-day Adventist Church was initially noted for its antagonism towards Roman Catholicism. In particular it has claimed that the pope is the Antichrist, using as evidence a claim that one of the pope's titles is Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God in latin) which when numerised produces the number 666, a number featured in the Book of Revelations as the number of the antichrist. It is claimed as evidence that that form of words exists on the Papal Tiara or a papal mitre[?]. Though the Seventh-day Adventist Church has spent over a century seeking to prove the existence of the title on a mitre or tiara, no such evidence has ever been found, while the specific tiara on it is claimed the words exist was not manufactured until fifty years after it was supposedly seen containing the words.1 Historians and the Roman Catholic Church have dismissed the claim that the pope possesses the title Vicarius Filii Dei. The Seventh-day Adventist claim regarding the tiara or mitre widely dismissed as an anti-Roman Catholic urban myth.

Since the 1970s the Seventh-day Adventist Church has officially abandoned its traditional anti-catholic stance and like most mainstream protestant churches now accredits delegates to various religious organisations to which Roman Catholicism is also accredited.

Note

1 Details of when the words were supposedly seen on a papal tiara are in Uriah Smith, Thoughts, Critical and Practical on the Book of Revelation (published in 1865 by the Seventh Day Adventists). Seventh-day Adventist websites claim all popes are crowned with the same tiara and that specifically the tiara used to crown Pope Pius XII contained the words. In fact, numerous different tiaras were used. In 1834, the occasion of the first 'sighting' of the words, only two tiaras existed. Neither contain any writing and are on public display. A third tiara existed by the time of the second sighting in 1845. It too contains no writing. The tiara used in the coronation of Pope Pius XII in 1939, and which some Seventh-day Adventists insists contain the writing, was in fact not manufactured until 1877. It too contains no writing and had been on public display in the Vatican and on tours of Vatican Art treasures around the world, including the United States, where the fact that it contains no writing was witnessed by thousands of people. Claims that the writing existed on a mitre have also undermined by the fact that though vast numbers of mitres exist and are displayed none contain the title. Indeed the Seventh-day Adventists witnesses mentioned a 'three-tiered' mitre. Mitres are never three tiered (only the papal tiara is) and it would be almost impossible to make a three-tiered mitre because, given that a mitre is made of cloth, even stiffened cloth would have difficulty holding the weight involved without collapsing.

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