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(ăd`vĕn'tĭsts) [advent, Lat.,=coming], members of a group of related religious denominations whose distinctive doctrine centers in their belief concerning the imminent second coming of Jesus (see Judgment DayJudgment Day
or Doomsday,
central point of early Christian, Jewish, and Islamic eschatology, sometimes called the Day of the Lord. References to it throughout the Bible are numerous.
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). The name Adventism is specifically applied to the teachings of William MillerMiller, William,
1782–1849, American sectarian leader, b. Pittsfield, Mass. He was the founder of the sect of Second Adventists, sometimes called Millerites. In 1831, convinced from study of the Bible that the prophecies pointed to the second coming of Christ in 1843, he
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 (1782–1849), who predicted the end of the world for 1843, then for 1844. When it did not occur, the Millerites, or Second Adventists, at a meeting at Albany, N.Y., in 1845 adopted a statement declaring their belief in the visible return of Jesus at an indefinite time, when the resurrection of the dead would take place and the millennium would have its beginning. Later this body took the name Evangelical Adventists. Another and larger branch of the original Adventist group became known in 1861 as the Advent Christian Church. This branch was formed as a result of a controversy over the question of the soul's immortality. The Advent Christian Church has a U.S. membership of about 26,800 (the Life and Advent Union, which was organized in 1863, merged with the Advent Christian Church in 1964). The largest Adventist body, the Seventh-day Adventists, under the leadership of Joseph Bates and James and Ellen White, adopted in 1844 the observance of Saturday as the Sabbath. Formally organized in 1863, they are fundamentally evangelical, taking the Bible as the sole rule of faith and practice. Fundamental to their doctrine is their belief in the imminent, premillennial, personal, and visible return of Jesus. The Seventh-day Adventists carry on worldwide missionary work; they number some 13.6 million. Another Adventist group is the Church of God, which was organized as Churches of God in Christ Jesus in 1888 and then permanently organized as the Church of God in 1921; its U.S. membership is around 75,000.


See M. E. Olsen, A History of the Origin and Progress of Seventh-day Adventists (1925, repr. 1972).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



adherents of a Christian Protestant sect whose basic dogma is the expectation of the “second coming of Christ” and “the thousand-year kingdom.”

Adventism arose in the USA in the 1830’s among the petite bourgeoisie. Its founder was a Baptist, W. Miller (1782–1849), who predicted the “coming of Christ” around 1843–44. Contemporary Adventists do not indicate definite times for the “advent” but maintain that it will be soon. In 1863 the most powerful group, the Seventh-day Adventists, split off from Adventists; they celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday, not Sunday, and recognize the authority of the American “prophetess” E. White (1827–1915). Preaching the establishment of the “thousand-year kingdom of Christ” only for themselves, the Seventh-day Adventists predict that the “sinners” (that is, all those believing differently) will soon perish by fire. The dogma of the Seventh-day Adventists is permeated with pessimism and leads the workers away from solving the burning issues of the day.

In 1966 there were more than 1.6 million Seventh-day Adventists. Their ruling body, the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists, is located in Washington. In 1966 there were approximately 381,000 Seventh-day Adventists in the USA. The Adventists are an active organization with members in 190 countries—for example, there are 150,000 Seventh-day Adventists in the Congo (Kinshasa; since 1971, Zaire); 100,000 in Brazil, 90,000 in the Federal Republic of Germany, 65,000 in Kenya, and 11,000 in Great Britain. The other Adventist branches are not large.

In Russia, Adventists, mostly subbotniki (Seventh-day Adventists), appeared during the 1880’s among the German colonists of the former Tavrida Province and among the land-starved peasantry of the southern Ukraine, the Don, the northern Caucasus, the Volga Region, the Baltic Region, and in Siberia. In 1908 the Adventists created an independent union. They opposed the October Socialist Revolution of 1917 and during the Civil War fought with the counterrevolutionaries. For a long time they did not accept Soviet power and tried to sabotage its policies. But in 1924 the fifth all-Union meeting of the Seventh-day Adventists adopted an address to the Central Executive Committee of the USSR with a declaration of loyalty to the Soviet system. There are approximately 21,000 adherents of the sect, as well as reform Adventists and Christians of the Seventh Day who have split off from the Seventh-day Adventists, in the USSR.


Klibanov, A. I. Istoriia religioznogo sektantstva v Rossii (60–e gg. 19v.-1917 ). Moscow, 1965.
Lentin, V. N. Adventisty sed’mogo dnia. Moscow, 1966.
Belov, A. V. Adventizm. Moscow, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Seventh-day Adventist diet restricts the consumption of 'unclean' products such asA drugs, tobacco and alcohol that lead not only to various illnesses but also to 'temptations'.
Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) is even more ambitious in scope.
(43) "The primarily aim of the Seventh-day Adventists is to transmit in any possible way the message of the Gospel highlighted to the Second Coming of Jesus.
ButAaAaAeAeAaAeAeA theologians sayAaAaAeAeAaAeAeA most adventist beliefs do overlap wi of evangelical Christians, especially when it comes to hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage.
This is well supported by the series of researches in the Adventist Health Study (AHS), conducted among SDAs in Loma Linda, California, which compared them to other Californians.
These followers were often called Adventists, as well as Millerites, because of Miller's focus on the impending advent of Christ.
Beginning in 1855, a series of meetings was held in Battle Creek in order to achieve what James White called "gospel order." For the next eight years, Sabbatarian Adventists gathered to debate such issues as the acceptance of Ellen White's prophetic gifts, financial support for ministers, the propriety of tithing, and even an appropriate name.
Vegetarian Adventist men live to an average of 83.3 years and vegetarian women 85.7 years - 9.5 and 6.1 years, respectively, longer than other Californians, Fraser explained.
The Havana seminary, which has graduated most of the pastors now serving Cuba's 294 Adventist churches, is active in the surrounding community, seminary officials said.
Seventh Day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures.
This standard biography of the Seventh Day Adventist leader established Numbers as an authority in Adventist and medical history and established White, who lived from 1827-1915, as the central figure in Adventist history and one of the most important women in the history of American religion.

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