Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Brief Explanation of AC Doctrine

A Brief Explanation of Advent Christian Doctrine
By Rev. Mary E. Roller

Advent Christians believe that everyone who dies goes to the grave – not to heaven or to hell as in the traditional understanding. The dead are unconscious from the moment they die until the moment of the Resurrection. When Jesus comes, the dead will be raised, and that’s when judgment will take place. The unsaved will be thrown into the lake of fire, where they will be burned up and cease to exist. Satan and his angels and the false prophet will also go to this lake of fire. Some Advent Christians believe that these evil beings will burn forever, but others believe that God will eventually completely destroy them also.

Advent Christians believe that people are NOT naturally immortal. We are mortal by nature. God will give believers in Christ eternal life; we do not have it apart from Jesus. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you read the words that are there, this verse says that believers will have eternal life. It is clear that unbelievers will perish, and that only believers will have everlasting life. That’s what Advent Christians believe.

Now for a bit more explanation along with a few Bible verses to back it up:

The Hebrew word for the grave (the pit, the place of the dead) is “Sheol,” and the Greek word is “Hades.” Sometimes that word is mistranslated as “hell.” The word “Sheol” is used in Psalm 30:3, which says, “O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the GRAVE: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the PIT.” Hebrew poetry often repeats the same thought in different words. You can see there that the word “grave” and the word “pit” are referring to the same thing.

No one remembers anything in the grave – they don't even remember God. Psalm 6:5 says, “For in DEATH there is no remembrance of thee: in the GRAVE who shall give thee thanks?” As Ecclesiastes 9:5 says, “For the living know that they shall die: but the DEAD KNOW NOT ANYTHING, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.”

This unconscious state of the dead is referred to as “sleep” in the New Testament in verses such as 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, which reads, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all SLEEP, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed; for the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the MORTAL with immortality.” This verse is talking about believers – some who are alive and some who are “asleep” (dead). Notice that it says we have to put on immortality. We don’t have it apart from Christ.

Final judgment in the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) is referred to in Revelation 20:11-15, which says, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” The word “Hades” means the grave. People are raised and then judged. Notice that this is a place of death and not eternal torment.

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is DEATH [not eternal torment]; but the gift of God is eternal LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord.”


  1. Does the church believe in the Rapture, the Tribulaton or Millenium?

    Thank you.

    Hardy Hayes

  2. Don't understand this? "The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” If there is no hell or torment why are they thrown into the lake of fire?


  3. How did Jesus speak with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James, and John watching (3 witnesses). How did the rich man see Lazarus in Paradise, these saints did not lay in the grave waiting on Jesus 2nd coming. Gods Peace Be With You.

  4. I wrote a dispute regarding your article on hell but it was apparently to long. You have given no scripture evidence whatever that supports your views. For example, like the Jehovah Witnesses, you quote from Ecclesiastes which is referring to things "under the sun." Why didn't you quote Ecclesiastes 12:7? "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it."
    In 9:5 He is simply saying death ends his opportunities for earthly praise and worship in the presence of men.
    Why didn't you quote Ecclesiastes 12:5? "...for man goes to his eternal home while the mourners go about in the street." These verses don't support your ideas.
    Zechariah 12:1 tells us that God forms the spirit of man in him."
    Genesis 35:18 "And it came to pass as her soul was departing, (for she died). Her body went to sleep or died but not her soul.
    Psalm 11:6 "Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."
    Revelation 6:9 the souls of the tribulation martyrs are in heaven while their bodies are dead on the earth.
    Jesus speaks of sleep as a synonym for death. Luke 11:11 "our friend Lazarus is asleep." v.14 "So Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead." Not a license for soul sleep!
    Matthew 17:3 Moses and Elijah were both on the Mount with Jesus and His disciples.
    Matthew 10:28 "Do not fear those who are able to destroy the body but are unable to kill the soul:but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Destroy here is apolesai - The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being, but of well being. Vines.
    Matthew 25:46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." The Greek word aionion is the same for both. You can't choose eternal for one and deny for the other.
    Luke 16:22-23 the rich man and Lazarus are both bodily dead and alive beyond the grave. V.24 "Father have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame."
    Revelation 20:10 referring to hell."...and they shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."
    It's a serious thing to reject the truth of God's word, it's very serious to replace God's word with your own ideas, but you are doing all that and teaching others!
    Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19.
    A Christian who loves God's word - Bob Jones.

  5. Thanks for this response. I was a bit confused too.