WGM Basic Beliefs Summary
1. The Bible and the Bible Only
The Holy Scriptures and these alone–not the sayings of men, traditions, culture, majority opinion, declaration or edicts of ecclesiastical councils, church creeds, or state-enforced religious beliefs—is the rule of faith and practice of Christ’s true followers. Isa. 8: 20; Jer. 17:5; Matt. 4:4; Ps. 119: 11, 99, 104; Job 23: 12; Acts 5:29.
2. The Godhead
The Godhead of three personal, infinite and omniscient Powers of heaven who gave themselves to working out the plan of redemption (Col. 2:9; Rom. 1: 20; Acts 17:29) is composed of three distinct Persons: (1) the eternal God the Father who is invisible and is Spirit (John 1: 18; 4: 24; Col. 1: 15), and is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Ev. 614) and is addressed as “the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning, from whom every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from above.” James 1:17. (2) Jesus, who is “the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His Person (Heb. 1:3),” “for by Him all things were created that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions or principalities or powers. (3) the Holy Spirit, in all the fullness of the Godhead, is the Comforter, the third Person of the Godhead, is Christ’s appointed Successor and Vicegerent on earth since His ascension.
3. The Certainty of Christ’s Second Advent
“One of the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ’s second coming, to complete the great work of redemption. The doctrine of the Second Advent is the very keynote of the Sacred Scriptures. The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers.”
4. The Cross of Christ
Phil. 2: 8; Gal. 6:14; Heb. 12:2; Luke 9:23. “The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity. In Christ glorified they will behold Christ crucified. Never will it be forgotten that He whose power created and upheld the unnumbered worlds through the vast realms of space, the Beloved of God, the Majesty of heaven, He whom cherub and shining seraph delighted to adore—humbled Himself to uplift fallen man; that He bore the guilt and shame of sin, and the hiding of His Father’s face, till the woes of a lost world broke His heart and crushed out His life on Calvary’s cross.
5. The Immutability and Perpetuity of the Decalogue
The Ten Commandments, as God Himself spoke and wrote twice with His own finger on two tables of stone is immutable, it being the transcript of His character, the foundation of His throne of love, the everlasting covenant, and the standard by which mankind will be judged. Exo. 20:1-17; Deut. 4: 13; 5: 6-22; Exo. 32: 15, 16; 34:1; Deut. 9:17; 10:1, 2; Matt. 22: 36-40; Luke 10: 25-28; Heb. 8:10. “Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Rev. 22:14.
6. The Seventh-day Sabbath: Memorial of Creation; the Seal of God
The Sabbath day of the fourth commandment, our Saturday, is the Creator’s appointed weekly memorial of His creative power and the six-day literal creation week. It is the only day which God gave a proper name, the Sabbath, meaning divine “rest,” the day in which He rested from His completed work of creation, blessed, and sanctified or hallowed/set apart. The day is 24 hours, beginning with the dark portion, as creation began with darkness. Gen. 1: 2-6. “In every age there were witnesses for God—men who cherished faith in Christ as the only Mediator between God and man, who held the Bible as the only rule of life, and hallowed the true Sabbath.”- E.G. White, Great Controversy, p. 61.
7. Earth’s final warning messages
The last merciful three-fold messages mankind will ever hear, warning of the final closing issues of the great controversy between Christ and Satan are the burden of the first, second, and third angels’ messages of Revelation 14: 6-12—the closing phases of the “everlasting gospel”—that is being proclaimed “to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people” by God’s various agencies—big and small, collective and individual—before earth’s probation closes (Rev. 22:10,11). It is a combined message of warning of the judgment taking place in heaven, a return to the true worship of God, and the warning against receiving the mark, name, and number of the beast in the forehead or in the hand for all who do will receive “the wine of the wrath of God and the Lamb which is poured out without mixture” in the “seven last plagues.” Rev. 14:10; 6:16
8. The pre-advent or investigative judgment
The final phase and closing work of atonement of Christ, as High Priest, is currently going forward in heaven since the year 1844. “The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and central pillar of the advent faith” and movement “was the declaration: “Unto two thousand three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Dan. 8:14.
9. The Faith of Jesus
The faith of Jesus mentioned in Revelation 14: 12 is not merely the healing of the sick and going about doing good and ministering to the needs of others but “refers to all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament; the whole of the New Testament, which relates to Jesus.”
10. The everlasting gospel: the plan of salvation that is broad enough to embrace the whole world. John 3:16.
“The gospel is a system of practical truths destined to work great changes of human character. If it does not work the transformation in life, habits, and practice, it is no truth to those who claim to believe in it. Man must be sanctified through the truth. And said Jesus, ‘Thy word is truth’ (John 17:17). Unless the truth of God shall lift up man out of his depravity, his intemperance and profligate habits, and make him reflect the image of God, he is lost.”- E. G. White, Letter 14, Mar. 13, 1885.
11. Justification, sanctification, and overcoming in Christ
Justified, meaning forgiven, pardoned full and complete “of sins past” (Rom. 3:23), not future, is by faith alone in the merits of Christ’s perfect atoning sacrifice (Rom. 5:1; Gal. 2:16) because of God’s forgiving grace (Rom. 3: 24). However, it is “the doers of the law, not mere hearers only, who will be justified” (Rom. 2:13).
12. Spiritual rebirth and true conversion
One has to experience the twin baptisms of “water and the Spirit,” the genuine born-again experience that Jesus taught Nicodemus. John 3: 1-21. The former is the public renunciation of the world and the past life of rebellion against God’s law—baptism by watery immersion—a clear symbol of being buried in death, and rising up to a new life in Christ that Jesus Himself provided an example of (Matt. 3: 13-17).
13. The Spirit of Prophecy
For the guidance, comfort, encouragement, and enlightenment of His people in the last days of earth’s history, God has given “the spirit of prophecy which is the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 19:10). This special spiritual gift (1 Cor. 12) was given in the inspired writings of Ellen G. White, which writings are “the lesser light that leads to the greater light”—the Bible. The “lesser light” is in no case to be used ahead of or to replace the Bible—but helps to magnify and explain the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures as a divinely inspired commentary.
14. The True Preparation to Inherit Eternal Life
The true preparation in this life for the life to come is of moral character perfection through progressive spiritual growth from the time of one’s spiritual rebirth. It is “walking after the Spirit” in liberty from the condemnation of the guilt of committing sin, and not after the flesh, which is bondage to its corruptions and condemnation of sin. Rom. 8: 1-21. Fallen earth is not our home. through the plan of redemption—the gospel– it has become the fitting-up place for our home in heaven among angels who have never fallen in the earth made new. Thus, the goal set before us is to assimilate our Savior’s perfect character—Christlikeness. Jesus concluded: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matt. 5:48. Paul states it this way: “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth for the things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3: 13, 14. As our Example (1 Pet. 2: 21-25), Jesus says to all: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9: 23.
15. Faith, Grace, and Love Establish the Law—not abolish it
Jesus declared: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. Grace, the Greek charis, is “the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.” It is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1: 5, 16) imparted through the Holy Spirit. Paul says: “Do we then make void the law of God through faith” God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Rom. 3: 31. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2: 11-14, K.J.V.
16. The soul is not immortal
The “soul” refers to the living person, the first, being Adam whom God created on the sixth day from the dust of the ground—not from spirit. Gen. 2: 7. The Bible says, “The soul that sinneth it shall die. Eze. 18:4, 20; cf. Num. 15; 27, 28, 30, 31; Rom. 5: 12-15; 6: 23. There is no such thing as an immortal sinner requiring an “eternally burning hell.” This we are assured because Adam and Eve were immediately banished from Eden upon transgression, the entrance guarded by cherubim with flaming sword lest they re-enter and partake of the fruit of the tree of life in their fallen state and perpetuate the sinful nature (Gen. 3: 22-24).
17. Ultimate Salvation is Individual
Because Christ is a personal Savior, ultimate salvation is individual. The prophet says: “Even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live says the Lord, they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” Eze. 14: 20, 14, 16.
18. The Remnant Church
The remnant or the “remaining” church is the “seed” or descendant of the woman (Eve primarily) and all the faithful people of the ages since then, is the one towards whom, at the time of the end (1798) and towards the end of probation time and the seven last plagues, the insanely enraged “dragon makes war against” because they “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 19:10).
19. Separation of church and state and liberty of conscience
Jesus explained the nature of His spiritual kingdom on earth: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” John 18: 36. He taught two great principles, namely: (1). Separation of church and state. Expressed in other words, this would be government in which the ecclesiastical should be separate from the civil power. It is a heaven-born idea, hence, the inalienable right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience—religious liberty. (2) Liberty of conscience is true religious liberty. Jesus declared: “if anyone who hears My voice and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” John 12: 44, 45. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.” Matt. 7:1.