What Does it Mean to Live Like an Adventist?

What does it mean to “live like an Adventist?” Here is what inspiration tells us about this name.

“No name which we can take will be appropriate but that which accords with our profession and expresses our faith and marks us a peculiar people. The name Seventh-day Adventist is a standing rebuke to the Protestant world. Here is the line of distinction between the worshipers of God and those who worship the beast and receive his mark. The great conflict is between the commandments of God and the requirements of the beast. It is because the saints are keeping all ten of the commandments that the dragon makes war upon them. If they will lower the standard and yield the peculiarities of their faith, the dragon will be at peace; but they excite his ire because they have dared to raise the standard and unfurl their banner in opposition to the Protestant world, who are worshiping the institution of papacy. The name Seventh-day Adventist carries the true features of our faith in front, and will convict the inquiring mind. Like an arrow from the Lord’s quiver, it will wound the transgressors of God’s law, and will lead to repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. {1Testimonies, p. 224.1}

The “Seventh-day” part of our name is very important because it identifies us as a people who are resting our faith in Jesus as our sole hope of salvation. It is only Jesus who can save us so we rest from our works and observe God’s grace on the Sabbath that He is Lord of (Mark 2:27-28). Remember you can keep the other nine commandments and worship any God you choose. The Sabbath Commandment reminds us Who God is. By observing the Seventh-day Sabbath we show that we want to follow our only example, Jesus Christ, in observing the day that he taught us to observe by example (Luke 4:16). Often we abbreviate the name to just “Adventist” because it is shorter, but I think we rob the world of a wonderful witness and testimony of God’s saving grace and rest from works and legalism when we do this. Satan wants us to forget that Sabbath commandment, and he wants us to forget the “Seventh-day” in our name because both point to God’s saving grace apart from works.

The Adventist part is special too. A true Adventist does not just believe Jesus is coming again, but loves His appearing! We are a people in love with Jesus and want to be with Him. We have a hope for a hurting world that is out of this world. Our name is a beacon of hope, pointing them to the rest that is in Jesus and the hope of His soon return.

Being a Seventh-day Adventist means to live like you are leaving. Living like a Seventh-day Adventist is also about living closer to Jesus in the here and now. This is where our health message comes in. While the December 2005 issue of National Geographic, mentioned that Seventh-day Adventists live on average eight years longer, what the health message is really about is not so much living longer, but living closer to Jesus. Now being a veggie-link eating Adventist will not make you holy. However, eating and drinking healthy, not only makes you physically healthy, but also clears the mind for the Holy Spirit to make greater impressions. When on the cross, Jesus was offered wine to drink (Mark 15:23), and if the health message were only about living longer, Jesus might as well have gone ahead and drunk the wine. He was dying soon anyway. But Jesus was on a mission, and He needed his mind to be clear and focused on His mission. This is why he refused the wine. In the Old Testament priests were especially forbidden to drink wine (See Leviticus 10:9), and the New Testament teaches the priesthood of all believers. (See 1 peter 2:5,9) Therefore as a part of the priesthood, we all are on a sacred mission and should treat our bodies as the temple of the God. Healthy bodies lead to healthy minds, which should lead to healthier decisions.

Speaking of priests and the sanctuary, in the sanctuary service the priests wore jewels on their uniforms “for glory and for beauty“ (Exodus 28:2). In the Bible we read again and again that all glory belongs to God for glory is His character. So the priests officiating in the sanctuary wore jewelry because they were to represent God’s character to the people. The jewelry represented God’s glory and character, which is perfection.

Since we have not reached perfection of character, I believe we are not worthy to wear the jewels. However, just like the prodigal son, when we go home with Jesus, He will give us the jewels to wear (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10). And just as the prodigal son did not place the jewelry on himself but let his father do it, we are not to place the jewels on ourselves. But when we get home, our Father will give us the jewelry to wear.  And even then we will cast our crowns of jewels at His feet because we will feel unworthy to wear them! If we will feel unworthy to wear jewelry in heaven after our characters have been perfected, why would we want to wear it now in our sinful condition?

Now before we  start pointing fingers, let’s keep in mind that the problem with jewelry is pride. For too long, Seventh-day Adventists have told people to take off their jewelry but not get rid of their pride. So the pride just showed up in other places, like expensive cars or watches. Some Adventists are proud that they don’t wear jewelry, and that is still pride! So why is it wrong for a young woman to wear a nice set or earrings, but okay for the rich elder to make sure everyone saw the hundred-dollar bill he causally tossed in the offering plate? Both can be a sign of pride. And yet we cannot judge the wearers of jewelry, because we cannot judge hearts.

To live like a Seventh-day Adventist means keeping our eyes on Jesus and not people. This means we neither imitate or judge our brothers or sisters. Living like a Seventh-day Adventist means having a balanced work week which also includes a Sabbath rest. It means to live practical lives day to day, while keeping in mind that Jesus is coming and this world is not our home. It means having a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, so that we live closer to Jesus and not just longer. Our only glory is in the cross, and not in what we wear or don’t wear.

As Seventh-day Adventists, we believe our salvation in Jesus alone, and we demonstrate that by seeking to follow Jesus’ example of holiness and humbleness.


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What Does it Mean to Live Like an Adventist? — 26 Comments

  1. I believe Christ's name should be lifted up and not Seventh-day Adventist name.
    A lot of church members do not understand what genuine faith, true salvation, Christ our righteousness is but they bring the Seventh-day Adventist name. Try making a survey and people will tell you who the Seventh-day Adventists are. Promoting the group name would be easy for our people to understand like they understand how important it is to be loyal to the company you are working for. When the world sees the fruit of the spirit in our people that would turn the world upside down. King James' version of love one another is almost telling a lie (basing it on John 21:15) because people will take it as using their known 'love' which is actually a fondness and not 'agape' which is unconditional, the fruit of the spirit.

  2. There are other reasons for living the health message: we can do more for God. Regarding jewelry, I know people who wear jewelry just get attention like they do for the clothes they wear or the car they drive, etc. And with the jewelry, it doesn’t matter if it is plastic or real!
    I love the idea: We have a hope for a hurting world that is out of this world. We need to present the gospel first so that the 2nd coming becomes their hope.
    And William so many other good ideas. Thanks so much!
    There are many Seventh-day Adventists members that don’t agree with the gospel, our own doctrines and standards and this is causing troubles in the church. In some cases it causes a split and people leaving the church. This is heart wrenching, but others will come in and fill their spot. We have to hang on to our faith.

    • My hope is built on nothing less then JESUS and His righteousness. I'm a Christ follower that worships a living God on the Sabbath. Most times when I enter a "SDA" Sabbath keeping church, I have to strain the world out of most of what is presented in "Jesus name" and our missions. We are so full of ourselves, we [myself included] shame the Word of God Made Flesh with our interpretation.

    • Wearing the jewelry is not the problem. It is just a manifestation of not really receiving the GOOD NEWS of salvation. That is why giving the gospel in its fullness is important than giving them the do's and don'ts. The good news of the gospel should not be mistaken with the good Christian living. The second is the result of the the first. The person who is interested in cooking would be jumping for joy if you give him a recipe. If I'd be lifted up I will draw men unto me. You can't beat that. It is by our daily surrendering into His control that we could please him. If we promote the good things mentioned above people will try their best to abide with it using their own strength. We need to be controlled by the spirit of Christ. Rom 8:9 The good deeds are only acceptable to God if the Holy Spirit is doing them in us not by our own strong will power. It would be easy for the world to understand what the Seventh-day Adventist name mean when they see the love of Christ (the agape love not our own conditional love) in His people. Happy Sabbath to you all.

      • Caeser well said. We must live a life that speaks of the one we follow and then those that are seeing will be able to identify us rather than telling them who we are while "our" lives contradicts it.

  3. William, I always enjoy your articles and this one is important because I feel that we often forget why we are Seventh-day Adventists. Even though I agree with most of what you said I do wish to comment on some things that I feel are incorrect. You said:

    Speaking of priests and the sanctuary, in the sanctuary service the priests wore jewels on their uniforms “for glory and for beauty“ (Exodus 28:2). In the Bible we read again and again that all glory belongs to God for glory is His character. So the priests officiating in the sanctuary wore jewelry because they were to represent God’s character to the people. The jewelry represented God’s glory and character, which is perfection.

    While Ex 28 seems to assign the jewels to both Aaron and his sons Ex 39 makes a clearer distinction between them. Both Aaron and his sons were to wear, "tunics, artistically woven of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, a turban of fine linen, exquisite hats of fine linen, short trousers of fine woven linen, and a sash of fine woven linen with blue, purple, and scarlet thread, made by a weaver, as the LORD had commanded Moses" (Ex 39:27-29 NKJV). All the rest including the ephod and breastplate that housed the twelve jewels along with the other trappings were to be worn only by the high priest (Ex 39:1). Even the head gear was different. Aaron was to wear the turban along with the gold plate while his sons were to wear hats. The Hebrew words used are completely different (See Lev 8:7-12 where the pronoun "him" is used rather than "them" as opposed to Lev 8:13). As for the jewels they represent the twelve tribes of Israel and are worn over the heart of the High Priest - that to me is the glory of God, His loving care for His people and His attachment to them.

    The church is represented in the sanctuary by the Levitical priesthood while the High priest represented Jesus, the only one who goes into the Holy of Holies during the Day of Atonement exercises and then only with the garments common to both Aaron and his sons except for the turban (Lev 16:4). I think that is significant!

    There is so much more that can be said about all of this but there is an entire quarter of lessons coming up in a year or two on the sanctuary where, if God permits, I will have a lot of comments to make. In my opinion we have lately put the sanctuary on the back burner, so to speak, which I believe is a terrible mistake. We need to understand our relationship as "a holy priesthood" (1 Pet 2:5 NKJV, see also 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6; Rev 5:10) and as "ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20 NKJV). The sanctuary provides that relationship symbolically.

  4. I believe that living like an adventist is a good thing, but surely if we live like adventist without Christ then there is a danger. People might study the quarterly, go to church on Saturdays but does that make one a true Christian. If we profess to be Christians then I bet we should live like Christ and we as Adventists should emulate what Christ did and should with a genuine heart follow in Christ's footsteps.

  5. Much as I agree with the Name, the interpretation and application of the jewels is not right. The jewels were worn by the high priest and not every other person (jewels on the breastplate). To generalise it is therefore not correct. The children of Israel then used to wear earrings and other jewels and had nothing to do with their faith. God only judged. or commended them whether they kept His commandments or not.
    Our salvation today will not be based on jewels or cars we drive but on how wisely we use the resources God has given us and the motive of our actions.

    • William, I appreciate your raising the question "What it means to be an Adventist", as several others also expressed. Identified in your blog are: Keeping the Sabbath, A healthy lifestyle/diet, and Not wearing jewelry. Just as much as you considered it a limitation being called "Adventist", may I express my personal belief that being a Seventh-day Adventist means living in view of and in anticipation of the "Behold I come quickly", "no man knows the day or the hour", "that I may receive you unto myself, that where I AM there you may be also" Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This will include salvation and transformation of character, will be expressed in obedience to the will of God in His Commandments, as well as other directions given by Jesus Christ, as for example "Come ye blessed of my Father...for when I was hungry you fed me, naked you clothed me" and "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel".

      It is my belief that to define living as a Seventh-day Adventist to keeping the Sabbath, having a healthy lifestyle, and Not wearing jewelry is limiting salvation to a works Gospel: what you do, and what you don't do. If I should infer that you presumed that the saving grace of Jesus Christ precedes those actions, then it would follow that I hold myself fully responsible for the action Gospel of " Be Holy for I AM Holy", "Honor your parents", "Honor the Lord thy God", "Preferring others above yourself", "Live peaceably with all men"; "Feed the hungry, clothe the naked", Preach the Gospel", "Rejoice evermore", "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus", &c. To me, that to me what it means to be a "Seventh-day Adventist".

      I think Henderson is correct in observing that we cannot generalize the Divine directive for the HighPriest to carry symbolically the 12 tribes of Israel over His heart to the issue of ornamental/trinkets attire. To me, it really demeans God's giving a profound indication of the high value He places on human beings, in saying HE WANTS TO TALK TO US, AND GUIDE OUR DECISIONS; as much as He wants to hear what we have to say, ask for, and plan. "He Walks with me, and Talks with me, and Tells me I am His own...."

  6. While I agree with most of whats been said, it is very important to lift the "Seventh Day Adventist" name as the remnant Church! If we understand that the name "Seventh Day" proclaims God's Covenant between His people, (Ezekiel 20:12,20) and the 2nd part "Adventist" represents a people watching for the return of our Risen Lord and High Priest. Then our lives would be so transformed by the renewing of our minds and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that we would become carbon copies of Christ therefore carrying out the commission!

  7. What a wonderful message. You explain what the Seventh-day Adventists believe which is the Bible in a short article. God continue to bless you so you can bless others.

  8. Thank you everyone for your comments. Tungamirai, you are so right, and as a matter of fact, you can't live like an Adventist and not have Christ, becuase living like an Adventist IS living with Christ. Otherwise it is just a hollow profession. Henderson, you are right, we can not judge. However while the priests were told to wear the jewles the people were not. So in my humble opinion the application is still correct. Happy Sabbath everyone!

  9. Dear Adventist SDA Adult Sabbath School Lesson: Thank You for reminding us in this lesson what it means to be a Seventh Day Adventist Christian, and the inward Character is just if not more important and the our outward dress, and that their is a time and place for everything even the simple things in life like dress, but the balance is to be tempered in all things as much as possible through the sacrifice of obedience that only the Holy Spirit can bring, because for the Seventh Day Adventist Christian who wants to be saved, by walk in the things of God it is more important to adorned with the Character of Jesus Christ which is the fruit of the Spirit then the things of the world, like the wearing of things like jewelry, for what does it prophet a man to have things and lose their souls, because the only thing you can take to have with you if you make it in is a Christ like Character not jewelry. Remembering the Character will last for ever but jewelry does not, so the Christian is to think and act up on those things that are eternal, amen!

  10. "Seventh-day" captures the significance of our origins in Elohim as our Creator, His desire for us to be like Him, and to be in relationship with Him. He created us in His image and likeness, so that we can be one with Him, and walk with Him. Taking the identity of "Seventh-day" is wearing the badge of heart commitment to our Creator in whose image and likeness we are created.

    An "Adventist" is one whose identity is demonstrated in honest prayer: "Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom Come". An "Adventist" wears the badge of commitment to coming of the Kingdom of God, both in personal readiness and in helping others to be ready.

    The name "Seventh-day Adventist" does not define diet, adornments or behavior. The indwelling Holy Spirit transforms both desire and commitment to live the life of Jesus Christ. A "Seventh-day Adventist" is one who is planning a full restoration homecoming at the second coming of our Creator and Savior Jesus Christ. I am a "Seventh-day Adventist."


    • This is one of the most eloquent definitions of what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist I have read in a long time. It not only stands as a definitive statement; it invites further unpacking of some wonderful concepts that enrich our understanding of the Gospel of Grace. Thank you for enriching my worship today!

      • Don Roy,
        The Gospel from Genesis' Creation and Fall, to Revelation's destruction of the results of the fall and the restoration of God's plan completely forever, this is our truth and our message. You are correct: our statement must be unpacked.


  11. To Be a Seventh-Day Adventist and to live like one these days, as any others has been a challenge for all of us I think, we have tended to focus on "other" issues, and have somewhat stepped away from the source, the beginner and finisher of our faith, we want to correct behaviour, instead of allowing Christ to change our Character and cover us with His Character, we tend to be bigotted because of what we know, instead of how much of it are we doing, (living faith) we allow "wordly" men to be pastors and ministers, and argue over a lot of things, stepping away from grace. Being an adventist is difficult, being a Seventh-Day Adventist is even worse, but what is more painful yet, is being a true Seventh-Day Adventist, now that is the challenge.

  12. The context of the quote from Mrs. White was not given in its full context. The section starts out "I was shown in regard to the remnant people of God taking a name."
    As we can clearly see that her quote was made to us and not to laud over other groups.

    Regarding the ten commandments and keeping the first 9? I haven't personally known anyone in my lifetime that could keep those, have you? So it's a non issue about being able to keep the 4th except for the grace which God gives us because of Jesus's ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

    The sanctuary ceremonial attire was set up back when the people told Moses to tell God not reveal himself to us directly or we would surely die, but rather what he says we will do. Jesus on the otherhand said I will write in your hearts my laws. God works with what we give Him and attempts to reach out to us in our time and space, including the Israelites comming out of slavery and had 400 hundred years of being told what to do.

    Just a couple of brief thoughts

  13. Thank you for writing Richard,

    You wrote: “The context of the quote from Mrs. White was not given in its full context. The section starts out “I was shown in regard to the remnant people of God taking a name.”
    As we can clearly see that her quote was made to us and not to laud over other groups.”

    I don’t see how what you have added changes in anyway what was already said? The fact remains “The name Seventh-day Adventist is a standing rebuke to the Protestant world.” I don’t see anywhere in Ellen White’s quote or the post where “lauding over other groups” is even hinted at.

    You are absolutely right about only being able to keep any of the commandments by God’s grace. The purpose of the post was not so much about being able to keep one commandment versus another. The point is simply that the fourth commandment tells us who God is. By removing the fourth commandment Satan has intended that we forget God. So, without the Sabbath it is possible to remember not to kill or to steal and still forget about God. There are pagan nations who deny God, but have laws against stealing and killing etc. The Sabbath is the one commandment that reminds us about more than a day or even a commandment, but more so about a Creator.

    Thank you for reminding us of the precious promise that Seventh-day Adventists all cherish, that God will write His law in our hearts and minds.

  14. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Thank you.]

    I believe in all that the Adventist believes. I keep a healthy body as it is the temple of the holy spirit. I believe Jesus will return as he said he would. I love Jesus with all my heart and aim to be just like him and do things pleasing to him and the father. I live as if each day is my last. I don't have a specific church or denomination I call myself. I just call myself a true friend of Jesus and a disciple of God. God Bless You All whatever you call yourself. Soom 🙂

  15. It is nice to hear what others think. In my withnessing, I present spirituality then religion. That means, I presents Jesus first, then if asked I presents the church

  16. I have a question, but GREAT post! Everything me and my family do we must see to it that we are following the word of God and his teachings. And we are preparing for his coming and we don't worship in a church on Sunday but we worship God everyday in our spiritual walk 7 days a week, we can do that because of the holy spirit, new testament.

    I do have a question and I hope I can get an answer from a Adventist teacher. I'll get to the point, my wife is a nurse and because her profession is of helping people she has to work on the Sabbath, to an Adventist is this seen as breaking a commandment? Sure if all doctors and nurses were resting on the Sabbath then whoa to those who're sick. In my understanding providing for your family isn't seen as a sin, but the post makes me feel as though there's no spiritual awakening and your not really following Christ if one works on the Sabbath.

    And here is a scripture to back up my feelings on this topic.

    Luke13:14-16 (14) But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, "There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day."

    (15) But the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?

    (16)"And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?

    Thank you to whom ever read and I hope I can get some clarity on this from my brothers and sister in Christ.


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