Baptist and Adventist Comparison

Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists Compared

compare 4Some people confuse Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists because they have similar names. The groups have some things in common, but there are differences in their history, teachings, and how they are organized.  Seventh Day Baptists began in England in the 1600s. Similar groups existed even earlier. The first Seventh Day Baptist church in North America was organized in 1671. Early Seventh Day Baptists discarded traditions that were not supported by Scripture. They restored Bible doctrines that others groups had abandoned.  Seventh Day Baptists emphasize five central truths and endured persecution in Great Britain and North America because of these teachings:

  1. Salvation is God’s gift to those who believe in Christ’s atoning sacrifice.
  2. The Bible must be the Christian’s only authority for doctrine and practice.
  3. God gave the moral law (the Ten Commandments) for all people in all time periods.
  4. The seventh-day Sabbath is part of God’s moral law. No human authority has the right to change the day of rest and worship.
  5. Government should not have authority over the church (“separation of church and state”).

compare 2Seventh-day Adventists developed during the “Great Awakening” revival movement that swept through America in the 1830’s and 1840’s.  The revival was led by William Miller, an American Baptist minister, whose prediction of the second coming of Christ was incorrect and resulted in the “Great Disappointment”.  Among the disappointed followers were the future leaders of Seventh-day Adventism. Their reinterpretation of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation were accepted by many Millerites.  James and Ellen G. White, as well as other early Adventist leaders, preached this new message.  Much of it was based on Mrs. White’s own personal visions, which were soon accepted as prophetic guidance.  The Sabbath truth was brought by Seventh Day Baptists and added to the Adventist message.  Mrs. White wrote many books, often borrowing from other authors as was common in the 19th century.  Her visions were claimed to resolve various doctrinal issues resulting in her being accepted as the authority in biblical interpretation for her church. The simultaneous belief in Sola Scriptura (scripture is the final authority) and the prophetess gift of Ellen G. White has led to contradictions in practice of both Seventh-day Adventist ministry and laity.

Some Similarities:

       compare 3 Both groups 

●  Observe the original Sabbath of the Bible, the seventh day of the week, commonly called “Saturday.”

●  Support religious freedom and the separation of government and church.

●  Practice baptism by immersion.

Some Differences:


Seventh Day Baptists view the Bible as the final authority in all matters of faith and practice both for  the individual Christian and for the church as a   whole.

Seventh-day Adventists believe scripture as the final authority, but also teach that Ellen G. White was an inspired prophetess.  Considering her teachings and writing as authoritative has led to various internal church disputes among both ministers and laity.

Interpretation of the Bible

Seventh Day Baptists consider liberty of thought under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be essential to Christian belief and practice. They encourage unhindered study and open discussion of Scripture. They uphold the individual’s freedom of conscience in seeking to understand and apply God’s Word.

Seventh-day Adventists require acceptance of all doctrinal position of the church for membership.  Much of what Ellen G. White wrote is official church doctrine, but all church doctrine is based on scripture.  Members are not free to reinterpret scripture and hold their own doctrinal positions on any official church doctrines.


Seventh Day Baptists teach that Christ’s atoning work was finished when He died on the cross. Eternal life is not something we earn through good works. It is a gift through God’s grace. The believer is free from condemnation because of this finished atoning work of Christ. While all people should do good works, salvation is never dependent on our efforts.

Seventh-day Adventists stress the “third angel’s message” (Revelation 14:9-12). They teach that Christ entered the “heavenly sanctuary” in 1844 and is completing His atonement through the judgement of all people. They call this process the “investigative judgment” which will be culminated by the second coming of Christ.  They believe in salvation by faith, but are adamant that works are a demonstration of faith and not the means of salvation.

Prophecy and the Second Coming

Seventh Day Baptists believe that Christ will return to earth in power at an undisclosed time in the future. They place the same emphasis on Bible prophecy as they do on the many other important topics in the Bible. SDBs avoid setting up timetables for prophetic events.

Seventh-day Adventists believe Christ will come when the judgement is completed and take both the raised dead and the transformed living to heaven for the millennial period to understand the results of God’s judgement. They, with Christ, will return to earth at the end of the millennium to witness the destruction of sin and the creation of a new earth and new heavens, the final home of the saved.

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13 thoughts on “Baptist and Adventist Comparison”

  1. Thank you so much pastor. You did help me years ago to better understand my Adventism. Yet, had been a Sunday Baptist from 1959 to 2015 until I had talk with you and the Centerville Ohio SDA.

    Yet, I no longer attend there because of a disagreement with pompous members thinking they are so righteous.

    So as of 7/2019 I resigned my membership.

    Question: can the Columbus Church brewing me into your fold.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    (937) 291.1712

  2. Wow, I actually didn’t realize how fundamentally different the two religions core tenets are, or at least the motivation or at least seeming reasoning behind them. Thanks for that thorough, yet concise killa breakdown

    -Dr. Sarah E. C.

  3. The Seventh Day Baptists are fair, balanced, and Biblical in their teachings (and easy to understand). The Seventh Day Adventists often misinterpret the Bible; are arrogant, judgmental, works oriented, and
    depend upon Ellen White instead of the Holy Spirit for Bible interpretation. (Remember, Ellen White was
    hit on the head with a rock and started having faulty visions when a youth, and never got over it.)

  4. I’m a adventist and we don’t pay any attention to e g white but when people at our church talk about her writings they never contradict with scripture.

    1. The distinctions made between SDB’s and SDA’s as they relate to Ellen White and the investigative judgment are inaccurate.

      1. Believing in a contemporary prophet whose works are not integrated into scripture is no different from believing in the inspiration of the prophets we read of in New Testament times whose prophecies were never integrated into the canon. Adventists do not base their fundamental beliefs on Ellen White and they believe that her prophecies are not identical to scripture on that score.

      2. The investigative judgment is not a work of “completing” the atonement but “applying” it. Adventists believe that Christ’s atonement was complete at the cross and salvation is sure for those who truly believe in Christ. Once you are saved upon having faith you can be sure of eternal bliss with Christ. That is what Adventists believe. They believe that the investigative judgment is a heavenly and priestly work of Christ at which time he “reveals” to the heavenly beings what his judgment is in respect of the saved, as already decided upon each soul giving itself to Christ. It is not a time when God for the first time decided on each soul. In that sense “investigative” as a term is a misnomer and the term “revelatory” or “affirmative” is better. It is investigative from the perspective of the angels but revelatory from God’s perspective. Nevertheless, Adventists believe in the completed work of atonement at the cross as was symbolised in the Old Testament priestly sacrifices on the bronze altar but then had to enter the sanctuary (heaven) as priests in order to apply the atonement. There is therefore no conflict between SBD’s and SDA’s in terms of the assurance of salvation, but Adventists go further.

  5. The word of God is complete period!
    God never needed man to convey his message nor give their personal interpretation.
    The Bible clearly says we are NOT to add to nor take away from the word of God.
    Somehow those who continue to do so must have missed these God given orders.
    They will soon find out the truth!

    1. I agree with that view to the extent that it is consistent with the New Testament regime of gifts which include prophets etc as demonstrable through Eph 4:11-12, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”.

  6. SDA’s investigative judgment teaching is heresy. Jesus never stated an IJ to Nicodemus in John 3, Martha in John 11, nor to the repentant thief on the cross in Luke 23. Everlasting life is a gift from a loving, all-knowing God. No where in the Bible do you find that you must pass an investigative judgment besides accepting Jesus to be saved. Acts
    16:30-31 proves this. Only SDAs wrongly teach passing an IJ to be saved. By doing so they are the laughing stock of Christianity. Ellen White promotes the IJ heresy in her book called The Great Controversy. We must believe what Jesus said and not her. Amen?

    1. Instead of debating, I will let the official position of the church speak on what the investigative judgment means. You will see below that no where does it say one needs to pass the investigative judgment before being accepted by Christ.

      Here is a direct quote from what is called the Church Manual and gives the official position of Adventists (number 24 out of 28 fundamentals) 👇🏽

      “24. Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary
      There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle that the Lord set up and not humans. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross.

      At His ascension, He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the holy place of the earthly sanctuary.

      In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary.

      It is a work of investigative judgment, which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus.

      The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection.

      It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom.

      This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent.

      (Lev. 16; Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Heb. 1:3; 2:16, 17; 4:14-16; 8:1-5; 9:11- 28; 10:19-22; Rev. 8:3-5; 11:19; 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:11, 12.)“

      You might differ from Adventists and dispute their interpretation of scripture, that is up to you, but at least be truthful regarding what they say.

  7. I was intrigued & I truly wanted to see the similarities & differences between Seventh Day Adventist & the sdb. But, I was quite disappointed in your comparison. You did exactly what all other commentators have done…attacking the SDA beliefs. And in the same breath, praising sdb.
    How sad.


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