Denomination Differences

Seventh-Day Adventist vs. Jehovah's Witness Beliefs

Seventh-Day AdventistJehovah's Witness
Number of Members22,000,000[1]8,687,000[2]
How does one get saved?Sola fide: Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection alone to save you.[3]Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection to save you, be baptized, and do good works for the rest of your life. The 144,000 most faithful Christians will go to heaven; the rest will live on earth.
Who gets saved?Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.
Can one lose his salvation?Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.[3]Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.
Who gets baptized and why?Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.[4]Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.[5]
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by immersion.[4]Baptism should be by immersion.[5]
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?The Holy Spirit is received at baptism.[6]God's holy spirit is received after one prays for it, learns God's Word, and lives in line with it.[7][8]
What is the trinity?The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.There is no Trinity. Jesus is God's first creation, and the Holy Spirit is not a person.
What is the human nature?Total depravity: Human nature is corrupt, naturally inclined to evil, and incapable of choosing God on his own.Human nature is corrupt and naturally inclined to evil.
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.
Are Christians required to keep the Old Testament ceremonial laws?Yes, all Old Testament laws are binding on Christians except for animal sacrifices.No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.
Can Christians become sinless in this earthly life?Most believe no, although Christians can and should sin less, they can never become sinless in this life.[9]No, although Christians can and should sin less, they can never become sinless in this life.
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.[10]
Can one be baptized of behalf of someone who has died?No, the dead cannot be baptized.No, the dead cannot be baptized.
What happens if a saved person dies without being perfect?Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.[11]Death itself is the full and complete punishment for sin.[12]
Did Mary ever sin?Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.
What spiritual gifts are available today?Continuationism: All spiritual gifts are still available to believers.[13]
What are the requirements for clergy?No clergy is employed. All members are ministers, but only men who have been ministerial servants may be elders.
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has three ordinances: Baptism, Holy Communion, and Footwashing.[14]The church has two ordinances: Baptism and Holy Communion.[10][15]
To whom do Christians need to confess their sins?Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.[16]
How should a church be structured?Church congregations should be governed by a local conference which its congregation elects a representative to, and conferences elect representatives to higher conferences governing them.
What day of the week should Christians worship?Christians should worship on Saturday.Jehovah's Witnesses meet on any two days of the week.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Sola scriptura: The Bible is the only infallible source of God's revelation, sufficient for all faith and practice.[17]The Bible, as interpreted by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, is the only infallible source of God's revelation.
How was the Bible written?Dynamic inspiration: God inspired the thoughts of the human authors, but the words were chosen by the authors.[18]
How many books are in the Bible?There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.[19]
Is the Bible inerrant?The Bible is infallible, but not every word is without error.[20][21]
Who can speak with God's authority today?The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is God's "faithful and discreet slave" and "spokesman", although it does so imperfectly.
How was the earth created?Creationism: The earth was spoken into existence by God.The earth was formed by gravity pulling dust together, which ultimately came from the Big Bang.[22]
What is marriage?Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[23]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.
Is sex permissible outside marriage?No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[24]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[25]
When is divorce permissible?Divorce is permissible for adultery or desertion.[23][26]Divorce is only permissible for adultery.[27]
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?The innocent party to the adultery may remarry.[26]Yes, a Christian may remarry after divorce if the divorce was for a valid reason.[28]
When does a fetus become human?Humanity begins at conception.[29]Humanity begins at conception.[30]
Is contraception permissible?Yes, contraceptives are permissible.[31]Yes, contraceptives are permissible.[32]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.[33]No, blood transfusions are not permissible.[34]
Should women cover their heads?Women should cover their heads when praying or teaching when a man normally would.[35][36]
Should Christians drink alcohol?No, alcohol should be totally avoided.[37][38][39]Yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.[40]
Should Christians fight in wars?Varies widelyNo, Christians should never fight.[41]
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[42]God's holy spirit comes from God alone.
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?Souls are unconscious after death until God raises them from "sleep".[43][44][45]After death, one's existence ceases until and unless God resurrects him.[46]