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The official Adventist fundamental beliefs, adopted in , include the following as statement number 2, "Trinity":. Although it states "There is one God", some point out that missing in this statement is an indication of whether or not the "three co-eternal persons" are of one being or of one essence. This has led to some debate among critics about whether the current Adventist view of the Trinity is orthodox, or if Adventist views are tantamount to the heresy of Tritheism. Despite their problematic history with this touchstone doctrine, the denomination has been "officially" Trinitarian for several decades.

However, there remain small factions and individuals within the church who continue to argue that the authentic, historical Adventist position is semi-Arian. Seventh-day Adventists have traditionally identified Michael the archangel of Jude 9 and Revelation as Jesus Christ. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Michael is another name for the Heavenly Christ, and another name for the Word-of-God as in John 1 before he became incarnate as Jesus.

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According to Adventist theology, Michael was considered the "eternal Word", and not a created being or created angel, and the one by whom all things were created. The Word was then born incarnate as Jesus. Seventh-day Adventists believe the name "Michael" is significant in showing who it is, just as " Immanuel " which means "God with us" is about who Jesus is. They believe that name "Michael" signifies "one who is God" and that as the "Archangel" or "chief or head of the angels" he led the angels and thus the statement in Revelation identifies Jesus as Michael.

Seventh-day Adventists believe that "Michael" is but one of the many titles applied to the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead. According to Adventists, such a view does not in any way conflict with the belief in his full deity and eternal preexistence, nor does it in the least disparage his person and work. In the Seventh-day Adventist view, the statement in some translations of 1 Thessalonians : "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God" identifies Jesus as Archangel, which is Michael.

Seventh-day Adventists believe there is and can only be one archangel and that one Archangel is named Michael and yet in Scripture is shown as doing what also applies to Christ even from the beginning, so is Christ preincarnate.

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There was a perception that Adventists were relegating Jesus to something less than divine or less than God but that is not valid since Seventh-day Adventism theology teaching is expressly Trinitarian. The early Adventists came from many different traditions, and hence there was also diversity on their views of the Holy Spirit. Some held an impersonal view of the Spirit, as emanating from God, or only a "power" or "influence". However the main emphasis at this time was on Adventist distinctives, not on topics such as the Holy Spirit.

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Waggoner called it "that awful and mysterious power which proceeds from the throne of the universe". Yet by the end of the 19th century, Adventists generally agreed the Spirit is a personal being, and part of the Trinity. Ellen White was influential in bringing about an understanding of the Holy Spirit and spoke of "the Third Person of the Godhead" repeatedly [80] and "a divine person". Branson , The Holy Spirit ; G. Wilcox , The Early and the Latter Rain Since the middle of the 20th century, there has been ongoing debate within Adventism concerning the nature of Jesus Christ, specifically whether Jesus Christ took on a fallen or an unfallen nature in the Incarnation.

This was precipitated by the publication of Questions on Doctrine in which some Adventists felt did not agree with what the church held.


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According to Adventist historian George Knight, most early Adventists until believed that Jesus Christ was born with a human nature that was not only physically frail and subject to temptation, but that he also had sinful inclinations and desires. Adventists since believe that Jesus was made in the "likeness of sinful flesh," as He inherited the fallen human nature of Adam, [86] with its physical and mental weaknesses and was tempted on all points.

However His spiritual nature was unfallen and did not have the propensity to sin. Christ was tested by temptation, but did not have ungodly desires or sinful inclinations. Ellen White states: "Those who claim that it was not possible for Christ to sin, cannot believe that He really took upon Himself human nature. But was not Christ actually tempted, not only by Satan in the wilderness, but all through His life, from childhood to manhood? In all points He was tempted as we are, and because He successfully resisted temptation under every form, He gave man the perfect example, and through the ample provision Christ has made, we may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption which is in the world through lust.

The controversy within Adventism over Christ's human nature is linked to the debate over whether it is possible for a "last generation" of Christian believers to achieve a state of sinless perfection. These matters were discussed at the Questions on Doctrine 50th Anniversary Conference.

According to Woodrow W. Whidden II himself a supporter of the "unfallen" position , proponents of the view that Christ possessed a "fallen" nature include M. Wieland, Thomas Davis, C. Anderson, Leroy E. Froom and W. Seventh-day Adventists have historically preached a doctrine of inherited weakness, but not a doctrine of inherited guilt.

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According to Augustine and Calvin, humanity inherits not only Adam's depraved nature but also the actual guilt of his transgression, and Adventists look more toward the Wesleyan model. By no stretch of the scriptural facts can death be spiritualised as depravity. God did not punish Adam by making him a sinner. The early Adventists such as George Storrs and Uriah Smith wrote articles that de-emphasise the morally corrupt nature inherited from Adam, while stressing the importance of actual, personal sins committed by the individual.

They thought of the "sinful nature" in terms of physical mortality rather than moral depravity. They base their belief on texts such as "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. A few Adventists have adopted a more evangelical view of original sin, which believes in humanity's inherently corrupt nature and spiritual separation from God. They conceive of original sin as a state into which all humans are born, and from which we cannot escape without the grace of God. The Seventh-day Adventist church stands in the Wesleyan tradition which in turn is an expression of Arminianism in regard to its soteriological teachings.

This is significant in two respects. Firstly, there is a very strong emphasis in Adventist teaching on sanctification as a necessary and inevitable consequence of salvation in Christ. Such an emphasis on obedience is not considered to detract from the reformation principle of sola fide "faith alone" , but rather to provide an important balance to the doctrine of justification by faith, and to guard against antinomianism.

Secondly, Adventist teaching strongly emphasises free will; each individual is free either to accept or reject God's offer of salvation. Questions on Doctrine stated that Adventists believe "That man is free to choose or reject the offer of salvation through Christ; we do not believe that God has predetermined that some men shall be saved and others lost. The question of whether Christians can overcome sin and achieve a state of sinless perfection is a controversial topic for Seventh-day Adventists, as it is among the holiness movement and Pentecostalism.

Mainstream Adventists hold that Christ is our example and shows mankind the path to overcome sin, and to manifest Christ's perfect and righteous character. In his book The Sanctuary Service , M. Andreasen taught that sinless perfection can be achieved; [] his theology continues to be influential among Adventists. Some Adventists insist that a final generation of believers, who will live through the "time of trouble" between the close of probation and second coming of Christ , who receive the seal of God mentioned in Revelation , must and will attain a state of sinlessness comparable to the pre- fall condition of Adam and Eve.

They believe that historically this is the authentic Adventist position on the issue as taught by Ellen White, [] [] and that denominational leaders along with Progressive Adventists , have erred in moving away from it. Larry Kirkpatrick and the " Last Generation " movement [4] are representative of this stream of teaching.

Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to be-come perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation.

Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foot-hold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.

The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. As the Son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their life.

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Jesus was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He was hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He shared the lot of man; yet He was the blameless Son of God. He was God in the flesh. His character is to be ours. The Lord says of those who believe in Him, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, the base resting on the earth, and the topmost round reaching to the gate of heaven, to the very threshold of glory.

If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost.

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But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. Made "in the likeness of sinful flesh" Rom. Now by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while by His humanity He reaches us. He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God. Therefore are we to be perfect, even as our "Father which is in heaven is perfect. Are we striving with all our God-given powers to reach the measure of the stature of men and women in Christ?

Are we seeking for His fullness, ever reaching higher and higher, trying to attain to the perfection of His character? However, some Adventist theologians such as Edward Heppenstall have argued the view that this state of absolute sinlessness or perfection is not possible in this life, and that Christians will always rely on forgiving grace—even after the "close of probation". It is argued that "perfection" in the Bible refers to spiritual maturity, having "the continual counteracting presence of the Holy Spirit" to be "victorious over sin and the sinful nature within us", as opposed to absolute sinlessness.

The Adventist Church world church does not officially, at this time, support the ordination of women to ministry within its standard procedures. Instead women pastors in the denomination hold the title of "commissioned" rather than "ordained," which allows them to perform almost all of the pastoral functions their male colleagues perform but with a lesser title. This compromise was reached during the s, with disagreement primarily occurring along cultural lines.

From its formation, Adventists traditionally held to the view that no precedent for the practice of ordaining women can be found in Scripture or in the writings of Ellen G.