What are the differences between Church of God (Seventh Day) and the Seventh-day Adventist Church?

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.

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