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We sure do! We have two, in fact. The current issue of the Bible Advocate Online is available in PDF, plus an archive of the last year’s issues. And Now What? features articles that are more inclusive of non-Christians.
For a brief history, read the article, “Introducing the Church of God (Seventh Day).” For a more detailed account, you can order the booklet The Story of the Church of God (Seventh Day), by Robert Coulter. Send $2.95 (postage paid) to Bible Advocate Press, P.O. Box 33677, Denver, CO 80233.
Both of these church organizations began in the mid-1800’s as outgrowths of the William Miller Adventist movement. The two share several major teachings in common, including these:
- We both believe that the whole Bible, Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God.
- We both believe that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
- We both believe that all of the Ten Commandments are standards for God’s people today and that the seventh-day Sabbath is to be observed on Saturday.
- We both believe there is no consciousness for humans between death and resurrection.
- We both believe that Jesus Christ will soon return physically to the earth.
- We both believe that the wicked will finally be annihilated, not suffer eternal torment in hell.
Most differences between the groups involve the role and writings of Ellen G. White. Mrs. White was a founder of the SDA Church and is regarded by it as a true prophetess. The Church of God (Seventh Day) considers Mrs. White as it would any other writer since the completion of the biblical canon: Her “truth” is mixed with error. It regards neither Mrs. White nor her writings to be an expression of the “Spirit of Prophecy.” This is the fundamental difference between the two churches.
Beyond this basic difference, here are some teachings of the Church of God (Seventh Day) that are not endorsed by Seventh-day Adventists:
- We believe that the year 1844 has no special significance in Bible prophecy. We believe that provision for salvation was completed when Jesus died, rose from the dead, and returned to heaven — not in 1844. Therefore, we believe that SDA teachings about the cleansing of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment are invalid.
- We believe that the earth will be inhabited by the saints — not desolate — during the 1,000-year reign of Christ.
- We believe that the entombment of Christ was for three full days and nights, from Wednesday evening until Sabbath evening.
- We believe that the common celebrations of Christmas and Easter are seen as a compromise with pagan customs and should not be practiced by the Church.
What connections did/does the Church of God (Seventh Day) have with Herbert Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God?
Herbert W. Armstrong was a licensed minister of the Oregon Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) for several years in the 1930s. He was personally known by many of the Church’s ministers at that time and worked in cooperation with them. In the late 1930s, Mr. Armstrong left the Church to begin his own work, which became known as the Radio Church of God and eventually the Worldwide Church of God. The two churches have had unofficial dialogue among leaders in recent years, but no official connection exists between them.
The Church of God (Seventh Day) teaches that Christians are not obligated to observe the feast days, the annual Hebrew holy days of Leviticus 23. Here are seven reasons for this position:
- The annual holy days were part of the Levitical law of the old covenant and were intimately linked to its system of animal sacrifices.
The annual holy days were neither Creation ordinances nor included among the Ten Commandments, but they belong to a portion of law that may be called ceremonial.
- The annual holy days were commanded to the nation of Israel when it departed from Egypt and were to be observed where the Lord placed His name: Jerusalem.
- The annual holy days have an agricultural framework, inextricably tied to the land, crops, and climate of ancient Palestine.
- The annual holy days were observed according to an ancient (Hebrew) calendar that is impossible to decipher from Scripture.
- The purpose of the annual holy days was for the Hebrew nation to celebrate its own history and to anticipate the greater salvation that would come through Messiah.
- Observance of the annual holy days often casts a shadow on the final work of redemption and grace that was accomplished by Christ on the cross.
For a more detailed study of this topic, please request our booklet A Study of the Feast Days Given to Israel.