Our Fundamental Beliefs Page One

As written by the late Uriah Smith

We have no creed but the Bible; but we hold to certain well-defined points of faith, for which we feel prepared to give a reason "to every man that asketh" us. The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principal features of our religious faith, upon which there is, so far as is known, we have entire unanimity.

We believe:

1. That there is one God, a personal, spiritual being, the Creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal; infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth and mercy; unchangeable and everywhere present by his representative, the Holy Spirit. Psalms 139:7.

 

2. That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the eternal Father, the one by whom he created all things, and by whom they do consist; that he took on him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race; that he dwelt among men, full of grace and truth, lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only mediator in the sanctuary in heaven, where through the merits of his shed blood, he secures the pardon and forgiveness of the sins of all those who persistently come to him; and as the closing portion of work as priest, before he takes his throne as king, he will make the great atonement for the sins of all such, and their sins will then be blotted out (Acts 3:19) and born away from the sanctuary, as shown in the service of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in heaven. See Leviticus 16; Hebrews 8:4, 5; 9:6, 7.

 

3. That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, contain a full revelation of his will to man, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

 

4. That baptism is an ordinance of the Christian church, to follow faith and repentance, - an ordinance by which we commemorate the resurrection of Christ, as by this act we show our faith in his burial and resurrection, and through that, in the resurrection of all the saints at the last day; and that no other mode more fitly represents these facts than that which the Scriptures prescribe, namely immersion. Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12.

 

5. That the new birth comprises the entire change necessary to fit us for the kingdom of God, and consists of two parts: First, a moral change wrought by conversion and a Christian life (John 5:3) second, a physical change at the second coming of Christ, whereby, if dead, we are raised incorruptible, and if living, are changed to immortality in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Luke 20, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.

 

6. That prophecy is a part of God's revelation to man; that it is included in that Scripture which is profitable for instruction (2 Timothy 3:16); that it is designed for us and our children (Deuteronomy 29:29); that so far from being enshrouded in impenetrable mystery, it is that which especially constitutes the word of God a lamp to our feet and a light in our path (Psalms 119:105; 2 Peter 1:19); that a blessing is pronounced upon those who study it (Revelation 1:1-3); and that, consequently, it is to be understood by the people of God sufficiently to show them their position in the world's history and the special duties required at their hands.

 

7. That the world's history from specified dates in the past, the rise and fall of empires, and the chronological succession of events down to the setting up of God's everlasting kingdom, are outlined in numerous great chains of prophecy; and that these prophecies are now all fulfilled except the closing scenes.

 

8. That the doctrine of the world's conversion and a temporal millennium is a fable of these last days, calculated to lull men into a state of carnal security, and cause them to be overtaken by the great day of the Lord as by a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:3); that the second coming of Christ is to precede, not follow, the millennium; for until the Lord appears, the papal power, with all its abominations, is to continue (2 Thessalonians 2, 8), the wheat and the tares grow together (Matthew 13:29, 30, 39), and evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, as the word of God declares. 2 Timothy 3:1, 13.

 

9. That the mistake of Adventists in 1844 pertained to the nature of the event then to transpire not to the time; that no prophetic period is given to reach the second advent, but that the longest one, the two thousand and three hundred days of Daniel 8:14, terminated in 1844, and brought us to an event called the cleansing of the sanctuary.

 

10. That the sanctuary of the new covenant is the tabernacle of God in heaven, of which Paul speaks in Hebrews 8 and onward, and of which our Lord, as great high priest, is minister; that this sanctuary is the antitype of the Mosaic tabernacle and that the priestly work of our Lord, connected therewith, is the antitype of the work of the Jewish priests of the former dispensation (Hebrews 8:1-5, etc.); that this, and not the earth, is the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the two thousand and three hundred days, what is termed its cleansing being in this case, as in the type, simply the entrance of the high priest into the most holy place, to finish the round of service connected therewith. By making atonement and removing from the sanctuary the sins of believers (Acts 3:19), and occupies a brief but indefinite space in the first apartment (Leviticus 16; Hebrews 9:22, 23); and that this work in the antitype, beginning in 1844, consists in actually blotting out the sins of believers (Acts 4:19), and occupies a brief but indefinite space of time, at the conclusion of which the work of mercy for the world will be finished, and the second advent of Christ will take place.

 

11. That God's moral requirements are the same upon all men in all dispensations; that these are summarily contained in the commandments spoken by Jehovah from Sinai, engraven on tables of stone, and deposited in the ark, which was in consequence called the "ark of the covenant," or testament (Numbers 10:33; Hebrews 9:4, etc.): that this law is immutable and perpetual, being a transcript of the tables deposited in the ark in the true sanctuary on high, which is also, for the same reason, called the ark of God's testament: for under the sounding of the seventh trumpet we are told that "the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament." Revelation 11-19.

 

12. That the fourth commandment of this law requires that we devote the seventh day of each week, commonly called Saturday, to abstinence from our own labor, and to the performance of sacred and religious duties; that this is the only weekly Sabbath known to the Bible, being the day that was set apart before Paradise was lost (Genesis 2:2, 3), and which will be observed in Paradise restored (Isaiah 66:22, 23); that the facts upon which the Sabbath institution is based confine it to the seventh day, as they are not true of any other day, and that the terms, Jewish Sabbath, as applied to the seventh day, and Christian sabbath, as applied to the first day of the week, are names of human invention, uinscriptural in fact, and false in meaning.

 

13. That as the man of sin, the papacy, has thought to change times and laws (the law of God, Daniel 7:25), and has misled almost all Christendom in regard to the fourth commandment, we find a prophecy of reform in this respect to be wrought among believers just before the coming of Christ. Isaiah 56:1, 2; 1 Peter 1:5; Revelation 14:12, etc.

 

14. That the followers of Christ should be a peculiar people, not following the maxims, nor conforming to the ways, of the world; not loving its pleasures nor countenancing its follies inasmuch as the apostle says that "whosoever therefore will be" in this sense, "a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4); and Christ says that we can not have two masters, or, at the same time, serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

(continued on page two)